The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn -- The Game
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn –- The Game is a simple action/adventure game that follows the plot of the film of the same name. Players will get a good feel for the tale’s classic characters, particularly the noble and admirable teenage reporter Tintin, while solving some simple contextual puzzles and beating up bad guys who stand in their way. Fights occur frequently, but are extremely cartoonish; enemies topple in awkward fashion with stars spinning above their heads. Parents should note that playing this game will likely lead kids to want to watch the movie and perhaps read the classic Belgian comic books.
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What's it about?
A teenage reporter and his dog discover a mysterious model ship that proves to be the beginning of an exciting quest in THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN –- THE GAME. Players spend most of their time between cinematic narrative sequences journeying through two-dimensional side-scrolling levels where they beat up bad guys and solve simple puzzles (like throwing items to hit switches and raise platforms). The action sometimes transitions to give players control of Tintin’s dog, Snowy, who can fit into narrow areas and retrieve hard to reach items, such as keys. Other sequences see players piloting vehicles. A bonus cooperative mode allows two players to explore imaginative levels set in the dreams of Tintin’s friend, Captain Haddock. A second bonus mode for the Xbox 360 version of the game provides a few simple motion-controlled mini-games (Kinect sensor required), including sword-fighting and airplane piloting.
Is it any good?
With its pretty graphics inspired by both the film and the comic, exceptionally accessible action, and healthy range of play modes, The Adventures of Tintin is a cut above most movie-licensed games. Levels move along at a pleasant, movie-like pace and offer little in the way of any momentum-killing obstacles, and the controls are so simple that even video game rookies should be able to get the hang of things in minutes. Experienced players may find the action and puzzles a little too rudimentary for their liking, and it lacks the emotional resonance of a movie or book, but casual gaming fans of the Tintin universe should be well served.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about games based on films. Does playing a game based on a movie improve your appreciation of the film? Do you think they typically do justice to their source material? What makes playing a game featuring plots and characters taken from the silver screen appealing?
Families can also discuss violence in media. Do you think a game about a teen reporter needs to include fighting? What other kinds of activities could have replaced the game’s beat-up-a-bad-guy sequences?
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