The Polar Express

Action 2004 Windows THQ Cartoon 3D action adventure

The trip of a lifetime

The Polar Express is based on the technically dazzling kids movie of the same which told a heartwarming tale of one young fellow's trip to the North Pole at Christmas time. As with all good (and bad) movies, it got a couple of video game tie-ins, and while this is not as good as Robocop, it's at least not as bad as Home Alone. It's definitely aimed at younger gamers, as older ones are likely to find it lacking in challenge and suffering from repetition, but it's quite fun for a short burst of Christmas-themed action. The game is essentially is 3D action platformer, which finds you in control of Chris, who's on his way to the North Pole in search of Santa aboard the titular train. Along the way, you'll have to help out other kids with activities like finding their lost tickets, navigating your way around some of the creepier parts of the train, battling against Scrooge, skiing and flying a zeppelin. It's this variety that's at the game's core, and you'll find rhythm sections, platforming, racing and other such elements to keep you entertained. In terms of variety, you can't really fault The Polar Express and the sheer range of options is quite impressive. However, once you delve into them all a bit, you'll probably find them a bit shallow and repetitive and unlikely to hold your attention for long. There's also a sense of being overly restricted as much of the action takes place in the narrow confines of the train itself, so there's not much in the way of freedom, which can prove frustrating. However, the pleasant graphics and simple but entertaining gameplay means there are worse ways to spend your time.

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