3 Reviews

The Golden Compass

The bear-faced truth

The movie may have copped a bit of a critical slaying over Christmas, but this Wii adaptation, while a little schizophrenic, isn't all that bad.

It begins with a romp through the snow, on the back of giant talking bear Iorek. After smacking some wolves, jumping a bit and beating up a wizard, the story steps a couple of months into the past, and control switches to Lyra, sneaking around an Oxford college, spitting on unsuspecting professors.

To make progress, you have to lie to various adults. Deceive them by playing a series of limp microgames, and you get to move on to the next scene. Each section of the game is small, with more time spent talking than exploring.


Key points in the plot are shown through snippets from the movie, which doesn't make you feel like you're really in control.

One minute, you'll be sneaking around a flat, fighting Mrs Coulter's monkey; the next you'll be on a ship, heading out to sea. If you haven't seen the film, it's likely to be a bit confusing.

Younger gamers should enjoy it, although even adults might have trouble figuring out what's going on with the baffling truth-telling compass that's introduced during the ship scene.

The characters are likable, and look like their movie counterparts, and the animals are cute. Apart from the monkey, which gives us the pure terrors.

The verdict

Jumping, fighting and puzzling for young fans of the movie. Most of it is incredibly easy but there's the odd bit of confusion to slow progress.

Nintendo Wii
Action, Adventure