£9.99 cass, £14.99 disk
Straight from the long-running comic strip books comes the first rocket launched to the moon. On board are TinTin, Snowy the wonder dog, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus (not calculating evil Colonel Boris). The story has been turned into a two level computer game: it starts with the moon rocket flying through a meteor storm which contains two types of tumbling spheres. Hitting yellows increases TinTin's energy level (zero energy means end of game), while the red globes warm and warp you to the second part of the game (eight need to be grabbed).
The second part of the game shows TinTin running around inside the rocket trying to complete several tasks: defuse the bombs set by the evil Colonel Boris, extinguish the fires that inexplicably spring up, untie your friends who have been attacked by the nasty Colonel and finally give him his just desserts by capturing him. Fire extinguishers are used to put out the fires as well as stun Boris, but don't let too many fires spring up because they drain your energy.
If you're successful (and don't run out of energy) you are returned to the meteor storm to collect more globes, and so on until you reach the moon.
TinTin is one of my favourite comic characters, and for many years - oldie that I am (and old he sometimes seems - Ed.), I have followed his exploits both in books and on TV. Whilst TinTin On The Moon captures the spirit of the comic book, the game is sadly too easy to complete (it didn't take Nicko very long, git), and there isn't enough action for your money. The two levels are fairly challenging for a while, but sadly tedium soon sets in.
Sorry Infogrames, TinTin On The Moon entertains for a while but it soon dies the death. I didn't know a review of a trip to the moon could be this short...
I thought TinTin on the Moon had great potential when I first saw it. All the presentation is brilliant, with an animated title sequence and loads of colour. There are two main sections in the game. The first has TinTin in a space ship zooming through space in 3-D. On this section all you have to do is dodge the asteroids and pick up energy pods to use on the next section. The second is a type of platforms and ladders game where large animated sprites of TinTin and all his mates (including Snowy) run around trying to stay out of the way of the evil bloke. On this stage you must find an extinguisher and put out all the fires then collect bombs. That's all there really is to the game: each level gets a little bit harder, but if you collect enough energy (there's an endless supply) you can complete the game, no hassle. It only took me about ten minutes! TinTin on the Moon would have been an excellent game if it had been endowed with a bit more challenging game play, - if you don't believe me, try it yourself.
Ah ha! At last a French game that I can relate to! I mean, let's be frank, most French games are really weird!! (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing of course - in fact it can make for a refreshing change!) But Tintin is most certainly not weird. It's a true-to-the-original, hum-dinging, blistering barnacle of a game, and I like it lots!
Tintin, as if you didn't know, is a comic character who's bigger in France than eau mineral! Created by Belgian comic artist, Herge, Tintin's escapades are related in a huge library of books. Two of the best, Destination Moon and Explorers On The Moon, were written in the 1950's and basically had our hero experiencing all sorts of rum goings on as the first boy on the moon. As if you haven't guessed, these are the inspiration behind Infogrames' Tintin On The Moon.
The game starts with an animated sequence where the rocket blasts off from Terra Firma. Then it's up to you. There are live levels, each comprising two separate parts. First you fly the space rocket, viewed from behind, through a field of meteors zooming towards you, collecting coloured spheres. Yellow ones will give you extra fuel, whilst red ones give extra points and, after you've collected eight, access you to the next part. Here you get to play Tintin himself, as you dash about inside the rocket trying to foil various attempts at sabotage. Yep, there's a traitor in the crew. Just like the nefarious Dr Smith in Lost In Space, Tintin has the dastardly Colonel Boris Jorgens to contend with! He's dashing about lighting fires, setting bombs, tying up crew members and even shooting at you! In the second part of each level you have to dash about, collect a fire extinguisher, put out fires, find the bomb(s), and release anyone who's tied up, all the while avoiding the dastardly Jorgens. You can use the extinguisher on him, which will result in him being trussed up, but you can be sure he'll escape! If he shoots at you you'll end up unconcious and lose valuable time!
All the characters are here walking about including Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus, not to mention Snowy the dog (except he doesn't walk about, he just stays in one place and yaps!), and the whole thing has been crafted to be very faithful to the original. The Speccy version has been coded by those Probe people again (the guys responsible for the forthcoming Dan Dare III amongst others) and, bearing this in mind, you won't be surprised to hear it's very slick and colourful.
In conclusion then, Tintin's a great game, one that does justice to its licence. It's faithfully programmed and very addictive. Unfortunately, there's a catch. The problem lies with the game size and the level of difficulty. I played it about four times and managed to reach the fourth level. Once you get through the fifth stage and land on the moon the game is over. This is going to affect lastability and value for money, which is a shame because had the game been fatter I'd've Megagamed it.
Zut alors, he's back! Tin-Tin, the cute Froggie kid with the hilarious haircut and the little white doggie, is now the star of a computer game. So if you've seen all the cartoons a thousand times, your comics are a bit dog-eared and you still thrill to the adventures of TinTin, salty seadog Captain Haddock, the bowler-hatted Thompson Twins and the evil Colonel Jorgen, now's your chance.
A multi-part arcade adventure with some lovely graphic design, TinTin On The Moon smells like the start of a continuing series; certainly there's enough material in the hundreds of comics to provide ideas for computer games until the year 2500. TOTM is one of the classics, and if the game isn't searingly original, it's a good guffaw and true to the spirit of the comic. Part one sees you steering your rocketship through a meteor storm, swerving to pick up yellow spheres (extra fuel) and red ones (bonuses which allow you to proceed to the next level when you have captured eight of them). Just when you're congratulating yourself on completing this level in about thirty seconds, you realise that you have to go through it between every level, and you get more meteors, and fewer spondules, each time!
The next section is a bit like Virgin's Dan Dare; set on the walkways and corridors of the spacerocket. It sees Tin (as his friends call him) struggling to defeat saboteurs. Leap up ladders, leap down ladders, leap across ladders; collect fire extinguishers: squirt out fires; locate bombs and defuse them; find your captured friends and free them from the grip of the crazy Colonel Jorgen; and, most importantly, avoid being biffed by the ray-gun wielding thugs. If you achieve all these aims without running out of energy, it's back to the meteors before gaining access to the next area of the rocket - more fires, more bombs, more thugs.
In the last phase TinTin has to land on the moon, so it's not surprising that this section is a bit like those ancient Moonlander games.
Still and all, as I believe they don't say in la belle France, TinTin On The Moon is a nice-looking package; probably not challenging enough for gung-ho death-freaks, but a pleasant diversion for fans.
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
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