The Polar Express is an action-adventure video game based on the film of the same name directed by Robert Zemeckis, which itself is based off of a book written in 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment and published by THQ, the game was released in North America on November 2, 2004, eight days before the film.
The game tells the story of the film over the course of six chapters, each one with two or three levels for a total of fifteen. This gives players the opportunity to explore areas, including the Polar Express train and the North Pole. Every level, which is played as Hero Boy, include mostly puzzle-solving and minigame-styled elements.
One major difference the story in the game has from the film is that the Ebenezer Scrooge puppet, who only made a minor appearance in the film, plots a plan to steal all the children's tickets in order to get them thrown off the train so that they will never reach the North Pole and believe in Santa Claus.
Several scenes from the film appear as cut-scenes.
The game was first unveiled by THQ at the 2004 E3 convention. While the PlayStation 2 version has EyeToy support, no specifics were given. A GameBoy Advance version was also being developed by Tantalus.
The game mostly received negative reviews except for the PC version, which had mix reviews. On MetaCritic, the GameCube version currently holds a 40 based on 7 critics while the PlayStation 2 version has a 39 based on 10 critics, both indicating generally unfavorable reviews.