The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun is based on the Belgian comic book of the same name. The basic plotline is the same: Professor Cuthbert Calculus gets kidnapped and the player, in the role of Tintin, needs to rescue him. The rest is more loosely adapted: in contrast to the comic, which is mostly based in Peru, this game offers many different locations all over the world.
The gameplay itself is a typical platforming action: Tintin walks through the levels while avoiding the enemies. Pretty much everyone, e.g. little girls and security guards, is out to hurt Tintin who has no means of defending himself. This means the most important aspect is learning enemy placements, their patterns and how to avoid them. But he has to hurry because of the time limit. Required for success is the usage of the two playing plains: from the player's perspective in the foreground and further towards the background. Tintin can switch between the two at any time.
In Tintin - Prisoners of The Sun (or as I like to call it: Tin PotS), Europe's own Indiana Jones returns for the third and final time.
Who is this Tintin? Tintin is a character from the famous European graphic novels entitled: "Tintin", which was created by George Remi (Better known as Hergé) The character Tintin is an adventurous journalist who, together with his friends The Professor and Captain Haddock, always manages to report the most amazing stories. His adventures span the entire globe, from the frozen wastelands of Siberia, to the deepest Aztec ruins and even all the way to the moon.
The story The storyline in Tintin: Prisoners of The Sun is told via text balloons and small cut scenes in comic book-form. In short: The professor is attacked and kidnapped, Tintin and Haddock set out to find the professor and his kidnappers and thus get involved in a storyline spanning the entire globe. As far as platform games go, this one has a pretty solid story.
The good As I said before, the story is small, portrayed well, and overall better than in most arcade games. The graphics are nice and crisp and are reminiscent of those found in the graphic novels. The character can move from left to right, but also further into the scene (meaning: away from the player), which creates some complex situations in which you have to observe the movement of your enemies and then time your own movements. However, this nice feature can get annoying because of one of the bad points in the game (which I will discuss further on) Like the background, the characters are well drawn and look a lot like those in the graphic novels. A nice little addition is that you can play as Tintin, aswell as Haddock; This is a nice change from when you get tired of controlling that scrawny reporter.
The bad and the ugly While enemies may be nicely drawn, some of them are completely ridiculous! To demonstrate: in the first level you must reach the curator of the museum you are in, sounds simple enough, right? Wrong, you have to avoid other professors and security guards patrolling the museum. This brings up the following question: why? Did our dear Tintin offend the guild of professors in one of his articles and is thus the target of a worldwide conspiracy led by insane professors who have nothing better to do than to stroll around a museum all day long? Perhaps he forgot to pay for his ticket and must thus avoid contact with all security guards? One could assume that these professors and guards are paid by the enemies to stop Tintin, however Tintin can also get hurt by a little girl with a ball tied to a stick or in her hand, is this girl also evil? Maybe she is in league with the professors or the security guards? Perhaps she came in contact with a cursed relic and is really a demon from the Nth dimension? Alternatively, the creators could not find any plausible enemies and just threw in some random figures that enjoy stealing Tintin's lifeforce.
Another thing I felt was highly annoying in Tintin: Prisoners of The Sun was the timer, if our hero doesn't reach his destination before he runs out of time he fails the mission. Since you need to study the movement of your enemies, a lot of time is lost and often you must submit to sheer luck in order to overcome some of the obstacles (instead of assessing the situation at hand)
The sound featured in the game is not bad per se, just... annoying, and sometimes even out of place. I also got the feeling that the sound was a bit dated for a game made in 1997, the same goes for the graphics.
Conclusion Tintin - Prisoners of The Sun is a nice game for Tintin-fans and people that like arcade games, but for the casual gamer it may get tedious at times. My Suggestion is: try it for yourself and see if you like it, judging from scores given by other reviewers chances are you'll like the game more than I did (not that I disliked the game, I just have a few gripes)
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Tintin in Tibet, Tintin on the Moon, Lucky Luke, Tomb Raider Gold, Total Meltdown, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Missions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game
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