Neil Gaiman’s Coraline on DS, Wii and PS2

Something inside of gamers groans at the mention of another movie tie-in game, so forgive us for reporting on yet another one. However, dare we hope that Coraline for Wii, DS and PS2 will not suffer the fate of so many before. Our hope comes from the facts that Coraline the movie is a stop motion film co-directed by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the story is based on the international award winning book by Neil Gaiman, whose works include the Sandman comic series as well as several novels and screenplays/adaptations.

D3Publisher (D3) is working closely with film makers Focus Features and LAIKA Entertainment as well as Universal Pictures to bring the eerie story to life as players guide heroine Coraline through a small door in her apartment into the “Other World.” Here Coraline finds a twisted mirror image of her own world complete with “Other Mother” and “Other Father” except that their eyes have been replaced with buttons. Exploring this world is fun until “Other Mother” tries to convince Coraline to stay and sew buttons on her eyes. Denied she kidnaps Coraline’s true parents and it is up to her to save them and the souls of other children that the “Other Mother” has tried to capture as well.

The story sounds creepy, which is something Gaiman is quite good at and the movie boasts being the first-ever stop-motion animated movie to be made in 3D. Signs are pointing to this film being a spiritual successor to The Nightmare Before Christmas and we can only hope that is true. Does that mean the game will be good too? By no means, but still we can hope.

The gameplay is sure to focus on exploration and item finding, but nothing has been shown so far as to how combat will work. D3 is going to release the game Q1 2009 to match the movie’s release, slated for Feb. 6. Coraline is being developed by Papaya Studios for the Wii and PS2 versions and by ART for the DS.