Commodore User

Tintin On The Moon

Author: Mike Pattenden
Publisher: Infogrames
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #74

Tintin On The Moon

It's taken years for a software company to show some sense in licensing, probably the greatest comic character ever. Currently enjoying his 50th anniversary, celebrated in a wonderful exhibition during the summer in London, Tintin now makes his small screen debut.

Infogrammes have been working on Tintin On The Moon, based on the intrepid hero's troubled journey through the stars. It was published nearly ten years before the real event and showed some remarkable foresight on the part of Herge as to the real problems of lunar flight - even if Tintin did find ice on the surface.

The possibilities for games design in this game were enormous, but sadly Infogrames have chosen to ignore most of them for a few rather trite mini games. The beginning is promising with a neat opening sequences with some nice samples as the team are ferried to the rocket and take off. The game begins with a tedious phase in which you have to steer the rocket away from asteroids and into the path of energy capsules and red spheres.

Tintin On The Moon

Once you've collected enough you move onto the second stage of the game which takes you inside the ship where Colonel Boris, the spy, has tied up Professor Calculus and Captain Haddock and planted a bomb. Fires too begin to break out, and to complete the section you have to put them out, free your friends and discover the location of the bombs. Boris wanders uselessly around the ship, but it's Boris you have to avoid. He'll shoot you, sapping your energy. Running through the fires too, will deplete it further. If you fail to extinguish the fires or find the bomb the ship blows up and the game ends.

If you manage to get through the second stage there's a shock in store - the game repeats these two sequences four more times before you have to land the rocket and complete the game. There are no further levels on the moon itself, thus wasting many excellent possibilities. Further game sections could have been added when Tintin has to rescue Snowy after he falls down a crevasse, or when the tank begins to run out of air as they return. In fact, Tintin On The Moon could have been designed along Cinemaware lines. Instead an excellent opportunity to create a 16-bit interactive cartoon has been squandered.

The graphics are excellent too, which makes this all the more frustrating. The characters are readily identifiable and much of the game resembles Herge's style and his book.

It's sad once again to have to say that another great cartoon licence has been thrown away. Infogrames, reportedly had memory problems, but if that's the case why didn't they make it a two-disk game? I hope this doesn't deter them from taking on another Herge book - something like The Crab With The Golden Claws which offers many good opportunities - and doing a good job on it. I'm waiting...

Mike Pattenden

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