(Ubisoft for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
One of the seemingly obvious checklist items developers often ignore when making games that kids can enjoy is making sure that kids can actually play them. So many games that have a tone best suited for toddlers (games based on kids movie licenses, some Mario titles) are way too complicated and/or demanding on the player for their developers to legitimately think that a child or someone with limited skill would be able to experience it from beginning to end. The Adventures of Tintin: The Game gets this part mostly right: Levels are straightforward, combat is one button and can’t-lose, and puzzles aren’t going to stump anyone. This makes it a great fit for young or inexperienced gamers, but that doesn’t mean it condescends to or neglects adults. The environments are varied and interesting, the art style does a great job of capturing the colorful, clean look of the movie, the music is charming, and the gameplay doesn’t fall into numbing repetition. The game is always throwing some new wrinkle at you, whether it’s taking control of Snowy the dog or racing in a motorcycle, and everything flows at a nice pace and shines with a polish that makes you wish all movie tie-in games could perform this well.