I am sure a fuller discussion of the virtues and vices of The Golden Compass: The Movie will be forthcoming on FT soon, but a quick mention must be made of the Golden Compass QUIZZER which we saw afterwards. Fast work from IND:E games and lavish production values but ultimately not a success.

The game involves picking symbols on an alethiometer, causing the compass to point to another symbol, which determines your category. This may or may not have some complicated algorithm behind it, to our unknowing eyes it appears to pick the categories completely at random which means that the process of picking 3 symbols to get to each question quickly becomes 1xBIG CHORE as you have to go though them all to get to the cash game. This kind of does mirror something in the film (SPOILER AHOY) where they fairly quickly ignore which symbols Lyra is picking as she just dives into the swirly ale-coloured depths of the compass to pull up details of the next level objective the answer she needs.

The gradient of question difficulty is annoying too – very easy questions for ages, which is tedious, then suddenly hard ones just as you’re about to hit the cash game, with none of the gradual ramping up of challenge you want. Gimmicks include a “daemon game” i.e. a skill test and a “Truth button”, which answers the question for you. (Sorry Sarah for my over-eagerness in using this). “Quiz users have rarely if ever been offered such a rich casket of wonders.” – CAMRA News.