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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Game in North America) is an action-adventure video game based on the film The Adventures of Tintin. It was released in Europe on 21 October 2011 and in North America on 6 December. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier together with the producers of the film, and published by Ubisoft.[1] The iOS version was published by Gameloft and released on the App Store on October 26, 2011.

Gameplay

The game is predominantly a platformer. The player controls Tintin most of the time, but can also control Snowy, and in the final battle, the player controls Captain Haddock. Snowy has the ability to follow the Tintin's scent, as well as the scent of other humans and creatures, and can also scare harmful creatures away with a bark. Tintin can punch enemies and climb ladders, and can also pilot planes and motorcycles. Whereas Tintin can only attack using punches, Haddock can also use a sword to fight.

In the iOS and Android versions, there are several gameplay differences. For example, the game doesn't include side-scrolling views. Instead, it uses a third-person perspective. The player can press and hold the "sprint" button to run, and the "stealth" button to crawl silently. The player cannot attack, but can tap and swipe buttons on the screen to do attack moves. In the Sir Francis levels, the player is able to fire cannons and sword fight. Sword fights are played using a side-view, and are utilize finger swipes to attack, block and dodge.

Plot

A plane, carrying Tintin, a young journalist from Brussels, Captain Haddock, a sea captain and Tintin's dog Snowy, is hit by lightning and crash lands in a desert, knocking Tintin, Snowy and Haddock unconscious.

The game then shifts to the previous day, where Tintin and Snowy are looking around a market. Tintin purchases a model ship, which another man tries to purchase from him, but fails. The man who sold it to Tintin then brings him to a ship expert, who tells Tintin that the ship is called the Unicorn, a galleon which belonged to Sir Francis Haddock. From a book given to him by the expert, Tintin learns that the ship (which was a part of Charles II's fleet) was on its way from Barbados to Europe when it was attacked by Red Rackham. Rather than be boarded, Sir Francis scuttled the ship and fled. Tintin then takes it to a back alley to examine it, finding a scroll hidden inside, which contains a strange poem about three ships. Suddenly, he is attacked by some men, who steal the ship. Tintin gives the scroll to Snowy, who sniffs one of the men's hats, subsequently leading Tintin to Marlinspike Hall. There, he meets the man who had attempted to get the boat in the market, one of the Bird brothers. The brothers chase after Tintin, attempting to get the scroll, but they are knocked unconscious by a man named Allan Thompson and his men. Allan then knocks Tintin unconscious as well.

Tintin wakes up on a ship, the Karaboudjan, but is freed by Snowy. Realising that Allan has stolen the scroll, Tintin goes to find him. However, he inadvertently climbs into the cabin of the original captain of the ship who gives Tintin directions on how to find Allan. Tintin confronts Allan, who reveals that the former captain is a member of the Haddock family, and an ancestor of Sir Francis. Tintin manages to get the scroll from Allan and brings it to Captain Haddock, who agrees to tell Tintin the story of his ancestor.

The Unicorn was an enormous galleon that transported goods from various places to Europe. When it was attacked by Red Rackham, it was carrying gold, coins, diamonds and other precious treasure, which Rackham had hoped to steal. As Haddock re-enacts the sword fighting of his ancestor, he destroys some electric cables, setting fire to the cabin, which ultimately causes the ship to sink. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock manage to escape and climb onto a seaplane. The rest of the crew also survives, and they too board the plane and escape.

The game then picks up where the first scene left off, as Tintin, Haddock and Snowy wake up in the desert. Two men approach them in a motorcycle with a side car. They are Allan's men, and plan to bring Tintin to the city of Baghar to meet with Allan's "boss." However, Haddock knocks them unconscious and he, Tintin and Snowy steal their motorcycle and head to Baghar to continue their quest to stop Allan. In Bagghar, they discover that the rich Omar Ben Salaad has the third model Unicorn. After getting into his palace,they meet Bianca Castafiore, who is staging a concert in the palace. Tintin finds out that Salaad wants to get the third scroll and that he is in fact Allan's boss. After a fight with Allan, Tintin gets the third scroll and heads off to Brittany, where he and Haddock earlier identified as Sir Francis Haddock's hideout. Learning that the scroll contains the coordinates of the treasure of Red Rackham, Tintin and Haddock plan to head there, but Haddock is kidnapped by Allan, who uses him as a hostage to get the scrolls. After rescuing Haddock, Tintin discovers that the treasure is hidden within Marlinspike Hall. There they find the treasure and Thomson and Thompson arrest Allan and his men.

Android and iOS version

Tintin purchases a model ship from a stall, when another man approaches and offers to buy the ship from Tintin, but fails. The stall owner tells Tintin the man's name is Sakharine, and that he has come to market for a few weeks to buy antiquities. Shortly afterwards, the ship is stolen from Tintin, so he and Snowy decide to head to Sakharine's home, Marlinspike Hall, to investigate. Tintin finds what he initially thinks to be his stolen ship, but soon realises that the one he has found is slightly different from his.

On the way home, he is kidnapped and taken aboard the Karaboudjan, a steam ship heading for Baghar, a city located in North Africa. Tintin escapes from his cell and meets Captain Haddock, the original captain of the ship, who has been imprisoned by Sakharine after he took over the ship and bribed Haddock's crew into working for him. Haddock helps Tintin and Snowy escape, but as they are at sea in a |lifeboat, they are attacked by a seaplane sent by Sakharine. The attack fails and Tintin is able to damage the plane. Tintin and Haddock hold the pilot captive and fly away, but crash-land in the desert after the plane is struck by lightning. As they travel through the desert, Haddock tells Tintin about his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock, who was the captain of the Unicorn, a galleon that was attacked by Red Rackham, who wanted Haddock's treasure. Haddock decided to scuttle the ship and escape in a life-boat.

Tintin and Haddock eventually fall unconscious in the desert. Tintin wakes up to find himself in Fort Salaad, an outpost a few days away from Baghar. There he meets Lieutenant Hank Morris, who tells Tintin that Haddock, who had been angry and violent, is currently in the barracks unconscious. Tintin asks Hank's permission to use the telegraph, sending a message before joining some soldiers on a caravan to Baghar with Haddock and Snowy.

There, Sakharine has joined an opera owned by a rich man named Omar Ben Salaad, who has the third miniature ship, which is hidden in his opera house. Having received Tintin's telegram, Thomson and Thompson prepare an arrest outside the opera house, while Tintin and Haddock sneak in. Tintin makes it to the walkways under the ceiling and finds that one of Haddock's old crewmen has gotten the miniature ship. Haddock reveals himself to Sakharine and challenges him to a fight. Chaos begin on the stage and walkways. They fight across the stage, much to the surprise of Ben Salaad and the audience. Tintin defeats Sakharine's crew, and jumps off the walkway down onto the stage to help Haddock. Snowy pursues Sakharine's pet crow and holds on to its feet, getting the miniature ship in the process. Sakharine attempts to kill Tintin, but Haddock hits him in the head, knocking him unconscious. Tintin, Haddock and Snowy all receive a loud applause from the audience.

After hearing Tintin, Haddock and Snowy's story, Salaad gives them the ship and the scroll, telling them that they can take it with them to find the treasure, and thus giving Tintin and Haddock an excuse for another adventure.

Critical Reception

 The Adventures of Tintin: The Game
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com D[2]
Edge 6/10[3]
Eurogamer 7/10[4]
IGN 6.5

The PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii versions of the game received mixed reviews. Reviewing the Xbox 360 version, IGN wrote that "Tintin only has itself to blame for its shortcomings: for every exciting moment there's a turgid interlude which drags the overall experience down. While these distractions are more tedious bore than hair-pulling aggravation there's no doubt their omission would've made for a tighter and ultimately better game. By shoe-horning variety into the game it loses its focus, which combined with silly game design decisions – the dogfights really should've been left on the drawing board – and a handful of game-breaking bugs – Tintin crashed on more than one occasion during review – it's hard to recommend this to anyone other than diehard fans of both the comics and the movie." They awarded the game a score of 6.5 out of 10[5]

1UP.com described the game as "a frontrunner for Worst Game of 2011", and gave it a D.[2]

Eurogamer called the game "clever and deeply charming" but criticized the parts of the game that diverged away from its platforming core; "all of these interludes provide a little variety, but they're unconvincing in execution and a bore to play through." The co-op play was singled out for praise and described as "absolutely magnificent."[4]

Edge awarded the game 6/10 and raised similar points as the Eurogamer review. It also praised the quality of the graphics and level design.[3]

The iOS and Android version received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic they received a score of 84/100. Gamezebo gave the iOS version a glowing review, giving it a score of 100 and stating that "Gameloft's pulled out all the stops this time, and the result is a masterpiece of an adventure game, one that combines the point and click adventure elements with the best uses of an iOS device's attributes."[6] App-Score gave the iOS version 9/10, also praising the features.

References

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