We don’t have to tell you that there are a plethora of match-stuff puzzlers available for mobile. Most of them are, to all intents and purposes, the same, albeit wrapped in a slightly different aesthetic or franchise. Which brings us to Tintin Match (download from the App Store and Google Play Store).
Based on everyone’s favorite Belgian comic, the game sees you travelling with Tintin through some of his most famous adventures. Or, more accurately, it sees you matching stuff to make vignettes of some of the boy detective’s most famous adventures.
The gameplay mechanics are pretty standard. Match colored shapes in straight lines of three to clear them. Match longer lines, squares and L shapes to unlock special boost tiles.
There are different challenges on all the levels. You might need to smash boxes by matching near them, clear a set number of tiles, or collect gems that are hidden in goopy oil.
If you’ve played any of the Candy Crush games you’re going to know what to expect. There are also meta challenges on the levels that, if you complete them, bag you three stars and some materials to make the game’s vignettes.
That’s where the grind comes in. Three-starring a level is pretty darn difficult, and you’re going to need to do it multiple times to unlock everything you need to move onto the next chunk of the game.
This can lead to a lot of frustration as you bang your head against the same level over and over. When you’ve finished it there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you need, either, which leads you back to another level to bash your cranium some more.
Sure, there isn’t an energy system here, but the game quickly becomes a trudge. Forcing players to repeat the same level over and over again, with no way of knowing if they’re grinding in the right place, isn’t the best way to encourage engagement.
The matching itself is a fun enough diversion, and the Tintin trappings are definitely going to appeal to fans of the quiffed journalist. But the entertainment value slowly but surely leaks out of the game as you fail, fail and fail again.