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The Golden Compass Review

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A movie tie-in woth checking out

★★★★★

Like DFS adverts, broken fairy lights and sprouts, console spin-offs from the biggest family flicks have become an integral part of the Christmas blitzkrieg of consumerism. Yet while kiddy quests are normally half-baked cash-ins, Golden Compass puts an imaginative spin on its source material and goes to great lengths to capture the movie’s stellar production values.

Doggedly following the movie plot – with occasional excursions into the original book – TGC is a slick way for young players to relive the story, packed with mini-games and ever-shifting controls that allow you to teeter across tightropes, clobber packs of wolves or even deceive pesky grown-ups. And with crisp graphics that transport players from Arctic wastelands to stuffy boarding schools, this is the closest fans will ever come to exploring Philip Pullman’s swashbuckling world.

Predictably, the game offers little to hook experienced gamers, who’ll doubtless feel frustrated by being pushed down a narrow, predefined path, and how the retro-styled mini-games repeat themselves ad nauseum. But if you want to keep the young ’uns quiet while you sleep off the sherry, it’s a reliable babysitter.

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