hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Review: The Adventures of Tintin

2:00 PM on 10.27.2011 // Maurice Tan

Ah yes, the movie games. For every G-Force there is a Thor. For every Rango you have a Megamind: Ultimate Showdown, and for every Captain America a James Cameron's Avatar: The Game.

Like that last one, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is another Ubisoft licensed game based, for the most part, on the new Spielberg movie. But does it manage to offer a better time for players this time around?

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (PC, Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS)
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: October 20, 2011 (EU); December 6, 2011 (North America)
MSRP: €49.99

At its heart, Tintin is not so much a children's game as it is somewhat of a throwback to the old 2D Prince of Persia and Another World games. The vast majority of the game sees you controlling the boy reporter with his questionable fashion sense as he side-scrolls his way from room to room.

The basic trappings of platforming are all here. Jump, climb up ledges and ladders, wall jump off conveniently placed walls, or even hit a baddy with a few punches. The platforming itself is a joy to play, with just the right mix of cartoon and realistic physics to make it feel like you're really in the world of Tintin. Combat often offers you the choice to go in as a brawler, or to sneak around enemies and instantly take them down from behind.

Occasionally you'll come across enemies who shield themselves with an armor suit or an umbrella, requiring you to use throwable objects like beach balls and explosives or luring the enemy to a slippery section on the ground, making him go "wee-wee-wee-wee-boing!" If you just want to pummel enemies head on, then in most cases you can, but there's always the option to take a more elegant approach by using your surroundings and this adds a lot more fun for the more experienced players.

The 2D sections use some clever 3D to give you access to hidden paths for collectible Golden Crabs and make it feel like the world has some more volume than it appears to have. Whether you're a kid or an adult, these sections are a blast and thankfully they'll have you occupied for most of the game.

At other times you'll move out of a 2D section to follow a corridor in 3D, and this is where you notice that the game is much better off with its 2D gameplay. It's meant to switch the perspective around a bit and keep things varied, but none of these sections ever add anything other than the obligatory "run from danger towards the camera" bit. While the swap to playing Snowy can be fun to play here and there, it feels more like he just had to be put into the game in some fashion -- sniffing paths and exploring sections Tintin doesn't fit in -- than that he's an integral character.

Likewise, there are some plane flying levels where you'll evade obstacles and occasionally shoot at rocks or enemies. These levels sadly never offer anything that is solid in gameplay, expands upon the story or the world of Tintin, and quite frankly the flying was done a lot better in the Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole game. A few simple swashbuckling sections can take a little bit to figure out how to work the controls, as the analog stick suddenly moves your sword while your character is on rails. Slightly more entertaining are the various driving missions where you'll alternate between driving your bike and shooting at vicious Arabs/Berbers from the bike's sidecar.

None of it is terrible to play, but neither will it blow you or your child's mind. It's just there to spice things up from the platforming and break the inevitable repetition, and at least it does that well enough. Still, the entire journey through the game's "Tintin" mode, in which you play through the movie's events, is an enjoyable and very family-friendly one. There's no drinking, no blood, and defeating enemies with retarded AI will just make them lie on the ground with their butt up in the air.

Beyond the "Tintin" story mode, there's a challenge mode where you can play some more of the plane, swashbuckling, and sidecar sections. This mode also lets you use Kinect if you have the Xbox 360 version of the game, which offers some good family fun. Swashbuckling lets your inner child get its due, with on-screen prompts for where to hold your arm to block an incoming blow and flapping your arms around to slash at pirates in different directions.

The sidecar and plane challenges are controlled by holding your arms out as if you're holding the handle bars or a steering wheel, respectively. The plane's shooting challenge is brilliant, though, since you can shoot down enemy planes by moving both your hands back and forth. The Kinect functionality doesn't offer enough to buy it for this alone, but if you're wondering which version to pick and you have Kinect, the Xbox 360 version is definitely the one to get.

Tintin also has a very expansive co-op mode where Ubisoft Montpellier seems to have gone all out with the craziness. After the conclusion of the movie's story, Thompson and Thomson accidentally hit Captain Haddock in the head and this cues a wonderfully bizarre dream state for the drunken captain. Here you'll unlock level by level by playing through weird alternate versions of the game's locations, in which enemies make reflective remarks on being inside a dream.

These co-op levels are of the 2D platforming kind and you'll have access to some new attacks like Tintin's hookshot that never appears in the story mode. You can choose to play it solo if you want, but to get all the collectibles you'll sometimes need a different character or a co-op partner, plus it's more fun to play it cooperatively. You'll also get a chance to play some of the side characters who each have their own special ability.

Although you can probably breeze through Tintin's main story mode and spend an hour or two completing all the challenges, the co-op mode will offer at least a bunch of hours worth of extra content whether you play it by yourself or not. Moreover, the game does a great job at giving you that Tintin vibe and atmosphere of boyish adventure, despite the graphics reflecting that somewhat creepy look the characters have in 3D.

It should be noted that Tintin can also be a bit of a dick in this game, though. He'll just barge into places without permission and steal other people's property without so much as a blink of an eye. If a servant is just there to protect his master's property he'll only get a black eye for his trouble. Or worse, be set on fire. I also don't really understand this obsession with having Tintin and enemies end up with their butt in the air when they are knocked out -- in various positions -- but c'est la vie.

Putting that aside, there's a lot to enjoy in this game. The Adventures of Tintin may not be a fantastic game, but as licensed games go it's far more than decent. The different modes and variety in gameplay do not always reach the same level of quality, but the majority of it is a lot of fun to play for kids and adults alike.



The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn - Reviewed by Maurice Tan
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Maurice Tan,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -