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The Adventures Of Tintin: Can he survive this adaptation?

A look at the movie tie-in...

In this benighted world, in which Michael Bay feeds off the nutrient-rich slurry of our dissolving childhood like a blood-swollen cinematic tic, it's reasonable to ask: what hope is there that a blockbuster adaptation of Tintin can do justice to the plucky journalist's innocent sense of derring-do and gently paced sleuthing?

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But while early glimpses of the Tintin film resemble the demo-reel for a third-person cover shooter, the game of the film of the comic actually proves to be wholesome and delightful.

It's a 2D platformer, which initially struck us as an ill-fitting genre choice, given Tintin's lack of wall-jumping in the original comics. But on further play, it turns out to well recapture the physical humour and clean visual style of Herge's drawings.

WREAKING HADDOCK

More importantly, it's a smart little platformer in its own right, most of which takes place across a series of singlescreen challenges, patrolled by goons that Tintin must evade or defeat. Fisticuffs is one option: Tintin acquits himself well, pummelling enemies then grabbing them by the collar to heave them back into their friends.

But the intrepid reporter may easily be overwhelmed, and certain bruisers are just too tough to take on. Luckily, there's a wide repertoire of alternatives. Tintin can pick up a bucket and lob it onto the head of an unsuspecting thug, who'll then swing out wildly, clocking nearby evildoers.

There are trapdoors for quick escapes, allowing Tintin to dart around the environment, luring enemies into hazards. Cut the rope on a counterweight to flatten foes below, or toss a banana peel to send a pursuer into a sprawl of limbs while stars whistle round his bonce.

There's other more frantic fare too - we've played a tense section that sees a ship capsize, turning the level and its platforming challenges through 90 degrees. Ladders become monkey bars, and obstacles become vital platforms as Tintin tries to escape the rising waters.

Co-op, meanwhile, unhinges itself almost entirely from the constraints of Tintin's universe, delving into Captain Haddock's brain as he lies unconscious after a blow to the head. It's here the game shows off its platformer vocab, with nonsensical dreamscapes conquered through bonkers mechanics, like turning into the hands of a giant clock.

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It's barmy, but suggests the devs had ideas to spare after outfitting the main storyline. Even if the film sullies its source material, its digital sibling may yet salvage it.

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