The Adventures of Tintin – Tintin, as Spielberg imagined [RETRO – 2011]

RETRO – Tintin and Milou: the comic book adventures of the forever young, blond reporter guy and his fox terrier dog accompanied me throughout my childhood. The Belgian comic book writer and illustrator Hergé created a magical, unique world that completely absorbed me.



Until now, no other medium has successfully recreated the charm and humor of the original comics: all the cartoons and games made from them have failed. That’s why I was a little skeptical about the latest attempt, which we saw in 2011 through the vision of two veteran filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. The 2011 film was a relative success, both critically and at the box office, but nowhere near as successful as Spielberg’s other films, and the PS3 game based on it was released the same year.



Who is Tintin? Don’t you know?


Before I dive into the “mysteries” of the gameplay (which, unfortunately, is not as “mysterious” as the original comics…) I would like to tell you a little about the basic work, which I don’t think too many people know. The animated film created by Steven Spielberg covers three comic albums: “Les crabes au pinces d’or” (1941), “Les secrets de l’unicorne” (1943) and “The Red Rackham’s treasure” (Le trésor de Rackham le Rouge” – 1944). Although the albums were made during the Second World War, the motif of the great world fire fortunately did not make its mark on any of them. According to the story (which the game also tries to “broadly” follow…), Tintin finds an antiques dealer during his market trip, from whom he buys a model ship, which the evil Ivan Ivanovich Sakharine (what an advertisement for the sweetener, haha…) and his gang he wants to get it at all costs. Since the evil Ivanovich Sakharins rarely collect ship models so aggressively, it soon turns out that it is actually a piece of a secret map, possibly showing the coordinates of a hidden treasure. From there, the adventures of Tintin and his dog and the bearded and alcoholic Captain Haddock begin.



Just “easy”!


When in my childhood I saw a colorful bottle with one of my favorite Tintin characters, Professor Tournesol, printed on it, I happily took a big sip. Well, that’s how I learned that “tournesol” actually means sunflower, and the colored (not transparent, before you look completely stupid…) bottle contained sunflower oil. I spit for a quarter of an hour or so, and then laughed at myself watching Professor Tournesol’s commercials, which kept proving how “light” the oil was (“Air! Air!”) while Tournesol and his friends rose into the air in a balloon. Well, if I want to be kind, I have to admit that this “lightness” is characteristic of Tintin as well. On the one hand, the game is an intentionally relaxed, simple little platform action, which is inherently 3D, but due to its style, it is still more similar to classic side-view platform games (e.g. Super Mario). In the levels with fairly simple challenges, you have to knock down bad guys with Tintin and Milou (of course, because of the game for over 7 years old, they don’t die, they just fall down making idiotic noises), get keys, and jump on platforms. The whole thing is actually nothing more than a fancy Super Mario clone.

On the other hand, Tintin is very “air”, because the game is simply too easy. For example, many enemies could or should be killed by stealth, but it is childishly easy to take care of them with one or two tricks. The jumping isn’t much of a challenge either, although there is no doubt that this makes the game smoother compared to other similar titles.



So… cartoony


Tintin’s graphics are not earth-shattering, but they fit the style of the theme. It is certain that it is nowhere near the level of the animated film, and nobody should expect all kinds of spatial 3D miracles. Regardless, we have a pleasant, cheerful, atmospheric visual world. I tested the game on PlayStation 3, and overall the game’s graphics came through, especially the transitions. It is interesting in terms of control that the game supports Kinect on Xbox 360 and Move on PlayStation 3, but this is more of a “gimmick” (roughly: marketing ploy) than an actual serious feature that can be highlighted.



“You guys know!”


The most fundamental mistake that Ubisoft made was that, in their deep belief that Tintin was mostly aimed at the “younger age group”, they made an extremely simplified and simplified platformer out of the adventures of the reporter and his dog. Of course, this is not necessarily a problem, and I definitely recommend the game to anyone who wants to spend a few easy afternoons or loves Tintin.



Hergé and Tintin…


It’s hard to articulate what exactly is the secret to Tintin’s charm – a bit like Star Wars mania. Actually, the young Tintin with the strange hairstyle is not the character figure, rather he personifies the adolescent living in us – even with his old head. He is the eternally young adventurer who is a kind of Indiana Jones junior. More memorable characters are Haddock, the constantly grumpy, alcoholic ship captain, Dupond and Dupond, the two idiot twin detectives, Tournesol, the typical “fun professor”, or Madame Castafiore, the middle-aged singing diva who sings in an annoyingly high voice. In addition to the superbly developed stories, exotic locations and brilliant visual world, Hergé’s kind, yet sarcastic humor is worth highlighting. This is what I’m curious about, how well it’s conveyed in the film, because unfortunately it wasn’t done in the game.



+ Easy, pleasant relaxation
+ The Tintin vibe pretty much comes through
+ Pleasant, cheerful graphics


– Too easy, almost no challenge
– Repetitive after a while
– Short

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier

Style: Action-adventure

Published: October 21, 2011.

The Adventures of Tintin

Gameplay - 6.8
Graphics - 6.3
Story - 7.4
Music/Audio - 7.6
Ambience - 7.2



Dupond and Dupond, the two idiot twin detectives, Tournesol, the typical "fun professor", or Madame Castafiore, the middle-aged singing diva who sings in an annoyingly high voice. In addition to the superbly developed stories, exotic locations and brilliant visual world, Hergé's kind, yet sarcastic humor is worth highlighting. This is what I'm curious about, how well it's conveyed in the film, because unfortunately it wasn't done in the game.

User Rating: 3.38 ( 1 votes)

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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