Your Sinclair

Tintin On The Moon

Author: David Wilson
Publisher: Infogrames
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #49

Tintin On The Moon

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!

Tintin On The Moon

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.

A lovingly crafted arcade adventure that's both playable and addictive. Suffers from smallness of game size and lack of difficulty.

David Wilson

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