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The Golden Compass review

Another movie tie-in that deserves to be left out in the cold


  • Evokes the film nicely
  • Compass minigame works
  • Good character models


  • Liberties taken with the license
  • Annoying and boring gameplay
  • Terrible voice acting

Dec 7, 2007

The Golden Compass gives new meaning to the all-too-common phrase ‘disappointing movie tie-in’. Perhaps if the film wasn’t quite as epic, or the Philip Pullman book it’s based on quite so engaging, we wouldn’t have been so crushed to find the game is such guff.

The opening level is hugely disappointing, and that sets the tone for the rest of the game. Confusingly, the game starts at the end of the story, with heroine Lyra racing round the Arctic searching for her pal Roger on the back of Iorek the polar bear. Unless you know the story, it all seems a bit mad and the game never really explains why you’re there and who everyone is. Still, it’s a forgivable oversight because - after all - this is the game of the film.

More Info

DescriptionThe game sucks for many reasons - mostly because it's broken and pug fugly. But what did you expect from a movie tie-in?
PlatformDS, PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor rating12+
Release date4 December 2007 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)