Previews

Hands-on with The Adventures of Tintin on iPhone and iPad

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Hands-on with The Adventures of Tintin on iPhone and iPad

I’ll be honest – my heart always sinks a bit when I find out I’ll be previewing a movie tie-in. There's a long tradition of such games being stinkers.

However, the new Tintin game from Gameloft genuinely looks interesting. Primarily a stealth game, it looks like it’s captured the feel of the new animated film in both look and in terms of how it plays.

What's cooking?

During our hands-on session at Gamescom, we took control of both Tintin and his dog Snowy as they sneaked their way through Captain Haddock’s smuggling vessel, past armed guards, through air vents, and across busy ship kitchens.

Movement is handled via virtual buttons disguised as stamps from the era, so rather than write ‘run’ there’s a very traditional looking image of a man running, complete with all the decoration you’d expect from an early 20th century postal service.

As this is Tintin, not James Bond, you’ll be mostly using your wits rather than your strength to survive. Avoiding enemies is your main priority - trying to dash between cover while they’re not looking, or using objects in the environment to form temporary ladders for Snowy to climb.

Winter wonderland

The section with Snowy was actually the longer of the two we played, as the faithful pooch sneaks his way through collapsing air vents and tries to steal keys from beneath a jailer's nose, taking on sudden swipe-based quick-time events when they occur.

One of the most eye-catching things about The Adventures of Tintin is easily how much effort has gone into making the game look as close to the upcoming animated film as possible.

Subtle effects like depth of field (cinematically deployed to, for instance, draw attention to a guard below) and what looked like real-time shadows push it well into the ranks of the better-looking games on iPhone and iPad.

While the sound wasn’t fully in place for the version we tried out, the atmosphere created by the graphics alone was impressive.

Feature length

The game’s plot closely follows that of the film - so much so that little details such as the design on the various smuggling containers are perfectly modelled replicas of the celluloid version.

Whether Gameloft can find enough in the tin to keep the stealth gameplay fresh for the duration of the game remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure - The Adventures of Tintin is looking like it might not be the typical disposable film tie-in.

We’ll find out when the game launches a little later in the year.