The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn & Win!

8 Overall Score
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
3D Sections: 7/10

Strong Story | Memorable Characters | Simplistic, Brilliant Gameplay | Great VA

Unnecessary 3D Sections | Clunky Controls in 3D Sections

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is Ubisoft’s latest release to tie in with the recent movie of the same name. Although sticking to the same story, the Tintin game takes a different approach to your average movie game. Instead of opting for a monotonous 3D beat-‘em-up, Tintin chooses to tackle this cursed genre with a sidescrolling, 2D, puzzler style. Surprisingly, this unique take makes Tintin far better than most movie games on the market; it actually turns out pretty damn good.

Tintin’s gameplay revolves around minor puzzles, and sidescrolling, platforming action similar to that of Epic’s Shadow Complex. Navigating from room to room, you jump, climb, sprint and crawl often trying to escape or infiltrate. But, on your adventure, you will encounter various enemies and puzzles to keep the experience fresh and interesting. Being a game aimed at children, obviously there can’t be much violence, but Ubisoft manage to create the perfect non-violent combat suitable for any child. Tintin’s hand-to-hand combat consists plainly of basic punches, which ultimately result in the enemy humorously collapsing to the floor in an awkward position, with the classic ‘dizzy stars’ rotating around their head. But when it’s not hand to hand, it’s often using clichéd banana skins to slip the enemy, causing the same effect. Both comedic and appropriate combat, parents need not be worried about it badly influencing their kids.

When he’s not fighting, Tintin’s busy solving simple yet fun puzzled, being cautious not to overcomplicate things for the younger audience. Catching a nimble enemy with a key necessary for progression is a good example: it requires the player to think up a strategy, simply running at him head on won’t work since he’s much faster than Tintin, but the player must use their wits to successfully flank him. Other puzzles require Tintin to: sneak up on enemies guarding their front with oversized umbrellas, bouncing large beachballs to hit hidden switches, jumping up and around vents to get collectables, and many more. These puzzles add another element to the game which offers ab small challenge coupled with fun and exciting results.

On his adventures to find the secret of the Unicorn, Tintin will find himself in many different environments: pirate ships, a desert-y island, a big industrial ship and more. Each environment is radically different from the next, and each tailors its ‘resources’ around that aesthetic. For example, what was a nautical themed bottle on the industrial ship, would now be a bag of sand in the desert area. These areas all look great, although they all have the same basic features, Ubisoft have done a great job of making each one still seem different. Areas are colorful, vibrant and full of life, really pleasing on the eye, and sure to keep children ‘happy’.

As a simple 2D sidescroller, you’d think gameplay would quickly become repetitive, but surprisingly, it does not. Tintin is very clever in combating this often common flaw, by mixing in a few more gameplay styles and sections. Occasionally offering a break from the platforming, Tintin throws in a few 3D sections, and somewhat ‘minigames’ to bridge the gap between sections. These 3D sections just expanding on the already great gameplay, but only act as an exploration section, so unfortunately there’s no combat or puzzling. The minigames – also in 3D – link two areas together, showing the transportation between them. One of the first minigames is riding a motorcycle through the desert whilst being chased by bandits, also on motorcycles. Tintin is swapped between driving, and using a slingshot to off-road the enemy, both of which are equally fun. Not only do they keep the story ‘intact’, but these sections also maintain the game’s beautiful appearance. An appearance that – although not as good looking – stays in the same, great style as the movie.

Other sections of the game involve switching characters too. Players get the opportunity – at set points – to play as Snowy (Tintin’s dog) and Captain Haddock. Snowy’s sections often involve navigating through vents, sniffing out people (in the 3D sections), and collecting keys for Tintin to progress. Snowy looks and plays brilliantly, and his animations are so fluent, each of his sections – although short – are great to play. Haddock’s sections however mainly involve flashbacks to his ancestor’s on a pirate ship as it is invaded. The player needs to fend off attacking pirates with their sword. These sections are less fun, and much more difficult to complete:

Using Haddock’s sword is seriously difficult. To slash enemies, you use the right stick, and swing it in a back-forward motion – creating a ‘lunging’ effect. Not only does the sword not do what you wish, but it’s difficult to even create the initial motion, failing to do so usually results in no swing at all. After forcing yourself through the easy enemies, harder ones with shields are introduced, as is the parrying effect. Parrying somehow manages to make sword fighting even worse. The player needs to observe what the enemy is doing, and counteract their sword swing with a block, needing to position their sword in the correct direction to combat the incoming strike. It’s really difficult to notice which direction the enemy is swinging and so what you thought might be the right block, actually isn’t, but in hindsight; you still did it right…

The pirate sections, and very minor sections in the game demonstrate where Kinect functionality would be used to improve the gameplay. With no Kinect myself, I couldn’t test the functionality, but the sections appear to be made just for it, and so I’d expect it to be much more responsive and easy to play than as described above.

Tintin’s character’s are very memorable, and even if you’ve not seen the film or read the comics, the game does a great job of introducing them. Tintin features a lot of dialogue, even during gameplay, and the voice acting throughout is absolutely stellar. I’m not sure if the movie actors are used for the voices, but even if not, it’s a perfect representation of how you’d expect the characters to sound. Its story is equally strong, and although it doesn’t follow the movie script exactly, it makes appropriate twists to make it ‘fit’ with the game.

Overall, Tintin is the most different, and best movie game I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Its appropriately simple gameplay, memorable characters, and hilarious antics make it the perfect game for any child you’d like to introduce to gaming, or any child who enjoyed the movie. However some seemingly forced sections really pull the game down, and their failure to comply can become really frustrating. Definitely worth a buy for any parent who’d like their kids to grow up with gaming taste!

 

WIN THE TINTIN GAME ON PLAYSTATION 3:

We have a copy of the Tintin game on Playstation 3 to giveaway to one lucky reader. Entry is simple: retweet this tweet, and in the comments below, include your Twitter handle and tell us:

  • If you’re a parent, why your child would love this game.
  • If you’re not a parent, why your inner child would love this game.

The competition is open worldwide, so good luck to anyone who enters, and we’ll pick our favourite answer from the comments (who has also retweeted) on Saturday!

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Author: JackBrommers View all posts by
Aspiring Community Manager / Games Journalist. Geek, Gamer, Gearhead, Figure Fanatic, Avid Competition Enterer and Non-Preachy Vegetarian. Follow me on Twitter: @JackBrommers or feel free to add me on Xbox: Pipboy V3 Eagerly waiting for: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Arkham City, Soul Calibur V, Skullgirls
  • Anonymous

    I’m not a parent, but my inner child would love this game because he LOVED the original comics and TV series. Its an absolute classic and looks fantastic in a modern format.

    @Josh_UK

  • Pushaman55

    My inner child would love this game because, I’m not far from my child years (only 20) and I still have that feeling of being a kid again. I used to read The Adventures of TinTin and fell in love with it. Now that there’s a game, I definitely want. Thanks for the chance!

  • My inner child would love it because I watched the cartoon when I was a kid 🙂 and so my inner child would remember how fun was it 😀

    http://twitter.com/#!/jgghgames/status/129341483030560768

    @MyPyrito:twitter

  • @Netweb_PT:twitter Tintin, cartoon character, an intrepid young investigative reporter who stars in a series of popular Belgian comic book albums. Accompanied by his faithful fox terrier, Snowy (Milou in the original French), Tintin travels the world in the service of truth and justice.
    In his debut story, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, which began as a serial in 1929 in the children’s weekly Le Petit Vingtième,
    the intrepid young reporter travels to Soviet Russia, exposing
    nefarious dealings by the Bolsheviks. In subsequent tales his
    inquisitive spirit takes him to the Belgian Congo, China, the United States, the high seas,
    and even the Moon. In humorous adventures that often reflected
    contemporary events, Tintin explored an increasingly complex world and
    always stood up for what was right.

    • If you’d read the question, you’d realise that your answer doesn’t even answer it. And next time, please make some effort: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/596673/Tintin

  • Anonymous

    @mysticfail:twitter
    link to tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/Mysticfail/status/129359278325764096

    I would love to win the style looks cool and is not something that is common in games these days. Not to mention I would like to get in on the story before watching the movie written by the genius 

    Steven Moffat
    Thanks for the chance

  • Anonymous

    My inner child would love to win this because it looked really fun, i saw the app to this and was thinking about getting it but maybe ill win this version instead thanks for the chance!!

    Twitter: @volcombrandon

  • I’m a kid at heart! (; My inner kid would love this game because I can jump, climb, sprint and crawl in it. The 2D scrolling and graphic, cartoony-in-way, makes it much more appealing to me.
    – CtrlChris

  • Anonymous

    Well my son is a bit too young now but I still enjoy games very much and if my son can sit down and watch with me even better ^^ Thanks for the contest and review!

    @genxsis83

  • My kids would love this because of the platforming elements! @staulcub:twitter 

  • my son would love watching this game because of the visuals…hes too young to play tho

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have a child or two because I’m too young for that and the economy doesn’t help either.
    I’m a child at heart, my inner child would love to win this game because this game looks very well made, the graphics are very attracting and it will make my inner child feel like I’m just watching the cartoon version in 3D.
    No, really… I would love to win this game because I’ve read the books and watched the cartoons when I was younger and I’ve always wanted to to be like Tintin, he is adventurous, a traveler, a fighter and he is a very unique character… you cant really find any cartoon with such a unique story. He sort look like Doug (an old animation cartoon in Disney channel) but the story is nothing like Doug, Tintin has that 007 and Sherlock Holmes style, if you’ve seen the cartoon, you will know what I’m talking about. Talking about this bring me a lot of memories of my childhood.. nostalgia. Yup, when I first read that they would be making a Tintin movie, I was soooooooo happy! It’s like a dream come true for me, my favorite childhood series will be made into a MOVIE! When they first announced that Tintin will be made into a movie, first thought in mind was that it’s going to be “real” as in played by humans but it turns out, they’re going to make a animation movie of it.. it still awesome, since characters are going to be in a 3D-ish form and not flat (which is the old version of it). I cannot wait to see the animation movie, it is one of the most anticipated movie for me besides the avengers.
    I cannot wait to see how they will present this great cartoon into a animation movie! I would really love to win this game, it looks great from the screenshots in this review and reading the review… puzzles will be included… I love solving puzzles! And oddly enough, my birthday is on oct, 31 (i know it’s halloween lol and yes, I know… call me spooky, a witch, etc… lol I’m not that scary =_= I’m an ogre, and I’m not lying that its my birthday, I can actually prove it by showing my california id) all I’m saying is… this would be a great gift for me. If i dont win.. it’s okay, I will eventually purchase this game (when the price goes down to $20 or less because I’m not really rich or anything lol and I dont really have $60 to buy it on day one.) but yeah… I would love to win it!
    I’m @ItsPirrip:disqus on Twitter, I follow you guys on and I’m a super fan on Facebook too! I also retweeted the contest entry, plus extras 😀 I am really excited for this game and cannot wait to see the movie in theaters!

  • twitter @karmaquarius:disqus 

    my inner child of course, even now as a grown up i grab my comics and animation dvd’s and winning a game that remind me golden days of childhood would be fantastic!

  • My inner child would love this game because while I watched the cartoon series and read some of the stories, I don’t remember Tintin much and in my head it goes exactly like this:
    http://i687.photobucket.com/albums/vv237/Navarin/TINTINMF.jpg

    Yes, he’s about to shoot through his own hand. He’s THAT hard.

    (WARNING: NSFW)

  • My inner child would love this game because while I watched the cartoon series and read some of the stories, I don’t remember Tintin much and in my head it goes exactly like this:
    http://i687.photobucket.com/albums/vv237/Navarin/TINTINMF.jpg

    Yes, he’s about to shoot through his own hand. He’s THAT hard.

    (WARNING: NSFW)

  • ItsJustOneE

    My son can’t wait for the movie to come out! He would love this game. He likes adventures and Tin Tin has a cute dog. Please pick us! Retweeted msg as @ItsJustOneE Thanks!

  • my daughter is not a gamer but maybe if i take her to watch the movie and win this game, we might have a father and daughter time together and maybe she will become a gamer afterwards. make it happen jgghgamers, you could be turning a non-gamer girl to a girl gamer.

    twitter: earl_dj

  • My inner child and my girlfriend’s inner child would both love playing through this game. We’ve both read quite a bit of Tintin and we love games with a good adventuring feel. This one seems made for us. Thanks for the contest!

    twitter: @louiedog

  • My inner child tells me that it will love this for what it is adventure and mystery all rolled into one. I remember watching this when I was a kid as Tintin and his awesome dog go on trips all over the world to solve all types of mystery with wits and brawn. I also enjoy watching the two twin detectives make a fool out of themselves … hilarious and wished that I had a dog like Snowy 🙂
    @Chronorayven

  • My inner child would love this game because as since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed of traveling around the world and being a hero and Tintin’s story is no difference, except he actualy does travels around the world and is a hero lol. I hope my dream will eventually come true someday, in the meantime.. I should win this game and travel around the world and help people digitally lol.

    Twitter: angry_bubbles
    My tweet entry: https://twitter.com/#!/Angry_Bubbles/status/130137273072226304
    Thanks!

  • My inner child would love this game reminds me of Sam & Max adventures and I like puzzles and solving them.
    @mushcool

  • Herges Adventures of TINTIN!. My inner child would love the prospect of easy achievements whilst actually having fun with a subject matter he loves. He would also be suicidle over the fact that he will become a lazy gaming slob when he is older, but tough crap.
    My kid would love it but I’m not sure he deserves it. The old school platform parts would be wasted on him as he has been spoiled by first person shooters and doesn’t know he’s been born. But hopefully we will both love the Snowy parts and I he has inherited my love of collectables.

  • My inner child tells me that Tintin is just like me: clumsy, mysterious, adventurous, loves pets and likes helping people. I want to win this game because like everyone else, I like puzzle sidescroller games and I love the looks of it!
    @psbambi is my twitter.

  • Anonymous

    Dude it’s called TinTin.. my inner child is already pleased right away there. He likes the old stuff and we’ve always wondered about TinTin

    http://twitter.com/ramdomwolf/status/130411421744898048

  • Wait did it just delete everything I typed? That sucks, guess i’m not destined to win lol.

    In a nutshell I will like the achievements, son will like platformy bits and we both will love the dog parts especailly with lots of collecting.

    @slaptarze:disqus

  • My inner child would love to win this because it needs to be awaken by the fantasies, adventurous feel that this game have to offer and remember how awesome this animated series was back in the day.
    https://twitter.com/#!/pepperjimmybean/status/130414327231553537
    @pepperjimmybean

  • Gekkoton

    I’m not a parent but my inner child would love this because I’ve been a Tin tin fan for a looong time… Thanks for the contest guys!

  • i would love to play this game. I remember watching this cartoon when i was small and it was awesome. It would great to revisit a cartoon of my past time.   @aznxchunky