The game is a 2D platformer with puzzle elements, although there are several other level types; flying levels where the player controls a Beechcraft, driving levels where the player controls a motorcycle and sword fighting levels. The player controls Tintin for the majority of the game, although in some sections, Snowy can be controlled, and in the final battle, the player controls Captain Haddock. Snowy has the ability to follow Tintin's scent, as well as the scent of other humans and creatures, and can scare harmful creatures away with a bark. Tintin can punch enemies and climb ladders. Whereas Tintin can only attack using punches, Haddock can also use a sword to fight. The game also includes an offline co-op mode set in Captain Haddock's nightmares, where Tintin, Haddock and Bianca Castafiore (each controlled by a different player, or by the same player at different times) must combine their unique abilities to complete each level.
In the iOS and Android versions, there are several gameplay differences. For example, the game does not include the 2D side-scrolling views. Instead, it uses a 3D third-person perspective throughout. The player can press and hold the "sprint" button to run, and the "stealth" button to crawl silently. The player cannot attack directly but can tap and swipe buttons on the screen to perform attack moves. In the Sir Francis levels, the player is able to fire cannons and sword fight. Sword fights are played using a side-view, and are controlled by means of finger swipes on the touchscreen. The game also incorporates stealth levels and quick time events.