HERGE's Adventures of TinTin! used to a familiar cry on children's television long before the current invasion of Japanese transforming catpeople he-man cartoons which profiliate today.
That plucky lad with the strange haircut, and shorts so outlandish that they are bound to be fashionable, had numerous adventurous goings-on with his faithful dog Snowy and other erstwhile companions.
And now, betraying his cross chanel origins, that equally French software house Infogrames brings us TinTin on the Moon, a game loosely based on one of his televised epics. No matter what you might think about French software, it is fair to assume that more than average effort has been lavished on the graphics. TinTin sur la Lune is no exception.
The opening sequence is superb, using animation and sound effects which honestly give the original TV cartoons a run for their money.
It starts with a minimalist French countdown, after which the re-decorated CV2 rocket - designed by Professor Calculus and piloted by TinTin and friends - blasts off amid a blaze of pixels and some 2001-type music. The Thompson Twins appear to be absent from the crew list; they must have been at a recording session that day.
The game consists of two stages, each played five times as the ship progresses on its journey to the moon. The first stage is a three-
The second stage, which is where the real game take place, is a platform and ladders affair. If you used the mouse for the first stage, you must quickly look around the desk and find a joystick. It's either that or the keyboard, and nobody uses the keyboard these days.
The dastardly, anarchical and suicidal Colonel Boris has planted some bombs around the various cabins. As if this wasn't enough, the has started fires left, right and centre while he was at it.
TinTin rushes about the ship in a sort of breakdancing frenzy, defusing the bombs and extinguishing the fires before the ship explodes with suitably terminal consequences.
Snowy is as helpful as always, waggling his tail and going woof. Or is it bark? No matter, the dog is a waste of space and can't even climb the ladders properly. How it is going to put its little doggy spacesuit on, or where it is going to find a lamppost on the surface of the moon is never explained.
To successfully complete this stage. TinTin must deal with all the incendiary devices, as well as freeing anyone tied-up. A type of panic button is available in the form of a zero gravity switch, which causes everyone to float about hoping Snowy doesn't have an accident.
Attacking Boris is best left to Captain Haddock, who will quite happily knock the living daylights out of him whenever they meet.
According to the instructions, after completing the fifth stage you will "momentarily lose control" as the rocket makes its final approach to the lunar surface. I certainly did, and danced crazily around the room, shouting "Thundering Typhoons!" for several minutes.
Then the rocket starts its landing phase and you must fire the braking motors as gently as possible to conserve energy. For what does energy make? No, not the greenhouse effect, but points.
Entering your name in the hiscore table is also an out-of-