Coraline Review
Wii | PS2 | DS
Coraline box art
System: Wii, PS2, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Art 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: D3 Publisher 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 27, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The controls in Coraline are very reminiscent of the Nancy Drew PC games and have a point-and-click style. You can run around by dragging your stylus and can enter different rooms by clicking on different arrows. Most of the mini-games also have a point-and-click interface, where you have to tap on various objects to interact with them. The control interface here is very familiar, which is good for those who aren't comfortable with more complex games. However, the control does not really add anything to the experience, and clicking through areas and mini-games will wear on you eventually

Coraline screenshot

The visuals in this game are fairly good for a handheld title, with decent character models and divergent color palettes that help to distinguish the real world from the Other world. However, the game really only inhabits a singular setting (Coraline's house) and is very bland. There is very little detail, and even though the house changes depending on what side of the little door you are on, that just isn't enough to make this title interesting to look at.

Sound in Coraline is also very underwhelming. Both the regular world and the Other world have their own thirty-second theme song that loops endlessly while you are playing. These themes are very basic and can get quite annoying fairly quickly. Mini-games have their own level music, but these only provide an all-too-brief reprieve from the droll level music.

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Coraline is a great story in novella form, and the movie, based on the book, is getting excellent reviews so far. But, I just can't say the same for the game based on this work. Running around, talking to different characters, and finding items for five hours just isn't very fun, and this game does a poor job of representing its eccentric source material. Although you may have enjoyed Coraline in some other form, just stay away from the Nintendo DS video game. Unless you can make it to the Other world. Then this game might be a whole lot better.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Visuals capture the different themes of each side of Coraline's world, but visuals suffer overall from too much simplicity.
3.1
Control
Point-and-click-based controls work very well both for wandering around and in mini-games, but they don't really make for fun gameplay.
2.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is very sparse and is incredibly repetitive. Voiceovers are incredibly sparse and only consist of the occasional "oh" or "hmmm" from characters.
2.9

Play Value
The game relies far too heavily on talking to characters to hold young gamers' attention for any substantial length of time. However, some of the mini-games can be fun.

2.4
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play as Coraline and interact with all of the colorful characters in this fantastical interactive adventure
  • Explore two distinct, fully interactive worlds like never before the brooding Normal World and mesmerizing Other World.
  • Graphic style and tone inspired by the amazing stop-motion animated film and the eerie storyline.
  • Earn buttons as currency through unique and engaging mini-games.
  • Collectable items galore: find unique outfits to customize Coraline's look, fill your scrapbook with photos, and unlock artwork, and stills from the movie.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge Coraline screenshot - click to enlarge

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