The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Hands-On Preview

Later this year, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will reveal their computer-generated version of Tintin, a hero whose comic book adventures first began in 1929. It’s been over 80 years since Tintin first started solving mysteries, and on December 15, Gameloft will bring the boy detective to iOS with the US release of The Adventures of Tintin, just in time for the movie. The game is out now in Europe, so we decided to take an early look.

Playing The Adventures of Tintin on an iPad is a pleasant surprise. Instead of feeling like a shallow licensed product, the Tintin game on iOS has a surprising amount of variety, humor, and detail.

The game mostly follows the events of the movie. In the first few cutscenes, you’re introduced to Tintin as he buys a model ship from a shop owner. A nefarious-looking man named Mr. Sakharine attempts to buy the ship from Tintin, but after Tintin refuses, he’s mugged and the ship is stolen. During these cutscenes, which contain 3D renderings of the characters, one nice touch is that you can tilt the device to slightly shift your view of the scene.

In the first level, you have to control Tintin as he breaks into Mr. Sakharine’s mansion. The camera is often fixed in one place, but pans around as you move Tintin with the D-pad. You can tap on floating coins to collect them, and they’re everywhere– we were reminded of the seemingly endless amount of collectible Lego blocks in Lego Harry Potter.

We discovered several interesting sequences in this first level. There were some stealthy moments, where you have to climb past windows and tiptoe around piles of books, and quick-time events, like when you’re running from a guard dog. There are even some Cut The Rope-style physics puzzles, where you have to literally cut the rope holding a crate, so that it falls and destroys a box full of giant rats.

The first level of The Adventures of Tintin had more variety than many full iOS games, which is something we’ve come to expect from Gameloft. The graphics are outstanding, too, especially on the larger iPad screen. And a few moments, like when Tintin tries to sneak up on a butler while objects keep falling around him, were genuinely funny.

Though we weren’t before, after having played The Adventures of Tintin for iOS, we’re very excited for this game (and movie’s) US launch. It should exceed a lot of gamers’ expectations, which are generally low for promotional tie-ins. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is currently available only in European App Stores, with a December 15 release date set for the US App Store.

Recent Stories