The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Review

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Based on a feature film with the same name, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn marks the return of the young journalist to the video gaming scene after a rather long absence. As we all know, games that tie-in with the films aren’t usually met with much praise, and are forgotten quicker than you can say Snowy. Can Tintin’s gaming return go against the norm and actually provide us with a decent movie tie-in? Read on to find out.

Game: The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Reviewed on:

(Nintendo Wii and 3DS versions also available)

STORY

As you would expect, The Secret of the Unicorn follows yet another adventure of Tintin and his trusty dog, Snowy. Coming across a ship in a local sale, Tintin is intrigued by it and purchases it. Little does he know, the ship has a very interesting story behind it, and once he discovers the scroll hidden in the ship, he is eager to find out more. The ship he has is a replica of the Unicorn, a ship that was owned by an ancestor of his good friend, Captain Haddock. Only problem is, there are a few crooks who also want the ship and the scroll that Tintin possesses.

Our hero eventually finds out that there are three scrolls, and sets off with Captain Haddock (and Snowy) on an adventure to find them and discover the treasure of the Unicorn. What follows is a story that isn’t the deepest, but still enjoyable nonetheless. At the very least, it’s a tale that children are sure to have some fun with.

GRAPHICS

It’s certainly not as breathtaking as some titles available on the current consoles, The Secret of the Unicorn manages to impress at times through its own unique yet simple visual style. Without a doubt, the game is at its visual best during sections that feature water. The blue stuff looks startlingly realistic, especially when you’re on the run from it! Water aside, there is not much to write home about, the title is aimed at a younger audience, and that is clear to see.

SOUND

Much like the graphics, the sound is very much catered to the audience the game is looking to attract. The in-game music is quite catchy, and is something that might well grab the attention of some younger gamers.There is some classic music present too, as one of the characters Tintin comes across in his journey is an opera singer. Haddock isn’t too impressed with her vocals though, make of that what you will!  In all seriousness, The Secret of the Unicorn has a nice mix of music, which is complimented by some very good voice acting from the cast of the film. If there’s one department where the game excels, it’s the sound.

GAMEPLAY

If it’s a platform/puzzle game that is aimed at kids you’re looking for, then The Secret of the Unicorn delivers. Although it is not too challenging, moving Tintin through the platform sections of the game is quite a fun experience. At times, you also get to guide Snowy and Haddock through parts of the game too. As Snowy, you’ll navigate small gaps that Tintin can’t, and retrieve treasure or help find a way through so you can progress the game further. Playing as Haddock you’ll enter the dream world and play as the legendary Sir Francis Haddock. In these gameplay sections, your character moved is automatically, all you have to do is complete the numerous sword fights. Whilst the Snowy sections are fun, playing as Haddock can be rather frustrating at times, as there is no set control method in place for you to defeat the pirates. You just move the left stick from side to side, and hope to catch your opponent off guard for a quick kill.

The opening section is where the game shines the most, as it feels fresh and new. As you spend more time with it and progress further, the game becomes quite repetitive. Driving cars, planes, going down zip lines and flying with the help from a parrot (yes, a parrot) can be enjoyable, but thanks to the lack of imagination, much like the rest of the game, it can get repetitive very quickly.

Thanks to the use of Kinect, the mini-games/challenges (motorcycling, sword fighting and flying) inject more life into proceedings, but the lack of content means the enjoyment is cut short. The game also features a co-op mode that can be played alone or with a friend. You are able to choose your character, with each one having different traits. Levels in the co-op mode are taken directly from Haddock’s dreams, and differ from the single player content, with some levels being completely upside down. They are a decent addition, but don’t really offer much in the way of an incentive to get stuck into.

LONGEVITY

The story mode can be completed in 4 to 5 hours, it’s very very short. Unless your an achievement/trophy hunter or a huge Tintin fan, you won’t find a reason to go back and complete the game again. In fact, if you get into them, the co-op mode and challenges will probably take up more of your time than the story mode. However, limited content means you won’t be playing them for that long either.

VERDICT

The enjoyable platforming and puzzles make The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn an title ideal for younger gamers. However, due to the lack of content, it will probably be shelved after just one playthrough. The return of Tintin to the gaming scene is a welcome one, but next time we hope he brings more content and imaginative ideas with him.

6/10

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