Hergé's famous cartoon character is brought to life in this multi-stage action game, specifically based around the episode of the same name. In many details the story was similar to the real moon landings, then many years off. A more accurate title for the game would be 'Tintin Gets to the Moon', as reaching it is your challenge. The game is split into two distinct types of sections; the first of these involves guiding the rocket through space. Steer it to avoid contact with asteroids, and to collect eight red spheres. Yellow spheres boost energy, and so should be collected.
This is followed by a platform-based battle, as the evil Captain Jurgen has tied up several crew members, planted time bombs, and started several fires. Use your extinguisher on Jurgen and the fires, and touch the bombs and crew members to solve those problems. Turn gravity off to reach the more troublesome bombs.
Tintin is in my opinion one of the best comic book series ever made (along with Asterix and Lucky Luke). There have also been cartoons made after this famous character and naturally the gaming industry could not ignore Tintin either. Several games staring Tintin have been made for various systems already, but the first computerized adventure of Tintin is the one I'm presenting to you at this time. It's Tintin on the Moon. I'm afraid though that Tintin fans will be slightly disappointed at the plot of the game. Although it features the red and white rocket and the crew of the Explores of the Moon series, the game has no real plot (unfortunately). The more appropriate title would be "Tintin's Flight to the Moon", for all you really do is try to get there.
First off I guess I should mention the game offers the language selection. This doesn't really effect anything - except the language of the title on the screen following the take off.
After the take off you take control of the rocket and guide it through 5 stages of the flight to the Moon. At the bottom of the screen there's a line indicating how far along the way are you. To the left of it there's a box showing energy and to the right of it there's a box showing your score. Once you run out of energy, the game is over. To keep going it is therefore of vital importance to keep collecting energy boosts (the red squares flying at you). I suggest you try to collect as many in the early levels, so you'll carry enough energy over for the tougher parts of the flight. The blue round things flying toward you increase your score. You should, however, try to avoid the meteors (the big rocks flying towards you).
Upon completing each stage you'll have to stop the sabotage aboard your rocket. Evil Boris is planting bombs and setting fires all over the place. So you'll need to get the fire extinguisher, put all the fires out, disable all the bombs and capture Boris in order to continue. On the left of the screen you'll see if you're carrying the fire extinguisher (if it starts blinking it means it's empty), you'll see if any of your friends are tied up and you'll see if there's a flame burning somewhere on the ship (you won't see where). At the bottom of the screen you'll see how many bombs are active.
Your companions can help you on the way. If they collide with Boris they'll tie him up (but he does the same to them). To save your friend you simply need to touch them (it's the same with disabling bombs). Just be careful not to touch Boris, he'll knock you out for a while (and he even shoots at you). You can however spray him with the foam from the extinguisher (pressing fire), just like putting out the flames all over the ship. You will find some bomb placed in locations you can't get to (like under the ceiling). That's when you need to shut the gravity off and float toward the bomb (you toggle gravity by pressing F1). Try and be quick about it, because the longer the fires burn the more energy you loose and if a bomb explodes, you'll really loose a significant amount of energy. I should also warn you, that you can not restore energy while in the rocket.
And finally if you get that far, you will have to land on the moon, by controlling the auxiliary drive (you do that by pressing fire).
Although this is not a great classic, it's a very representative 80's computer game (although it came out at the end of the decade). The premise is simple, the gameplay basically consists of two different arcade type minigames. You will need to replay it over and over in order to get better at it, so you will be able to finally complete it and after you've completed it, the only thing that might make you come back is setting the new highest score. It's slightly frustrating, since no mater how close you get to the end, if you loose you'll have to start over and do a better job at it the next time around (there's no save option). It's one of those things that kept you glued to the screen until your eyes became all bloody from the lack of blinking, while trying to collect objects flying towards you.
I have to warn you though that this game although made in 1989 (a time where 16 color EGA graphics were not unusual in a computer game) still features CGA 4 color graphics and only the PC speaker blip-blips, which certainly make the DOS port of the game one of the least pleasurable. Still I'm quite sure that if you're not bothered too much by eye burning CGA graphics, you will enjoy the game for at least a while.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
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Tintin in Tibet, Tintin: Prisoners of The Sun, Tom & Jerry: Yankee Doodle's CAT-astrophe, Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry, Tomb Raider Gold, Silent Hill 2, Resident Evil, Smurfs, The
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