Review by Lathany
"Worth playing, but never going to make the list of adventure greats"
Secret Files: Tunguska is part of the adventure game genre and focuses on the Tunguska incident of 1908 - a real world mystery (which the player does not need to already know about) that was never completely answered.
The game is controlled in the usual way - mouse-driven. My version of the game didn't have a manual, and I didn't find that a problem. Right-click to look and left-click for interaction. The player controlled one character for most of the adventure, but will switch to a second character for a few scenes.
The game is all about object interaction, which is hardly surprising in this genre. Whenever you are stuck, you basically want to try using everything with everything. You don't need to have clues to a puzzle to solve it. That said, there are a few puzzles here and there where you are required to leave a location for the resulting scene to unfold.
If anything, this game is unusual because, given its relatively recent release (compared to the others in the genre that I play), it's almost entirely about object interaction rather than having much innovation in this area.
The game is better than some because you are mostly stuck in smallish locations to solve puzzles (mostly). Also - a wonderful feature - there is a button on screen to click and see all the hotspots. Finally, I found I rarely got stuck for very long.
The story exists, but is nothing to write home about. Not all of the mysteries are resolved (but there is a sequel). The writers do answer the first mystery that you come across (the one raised in the opening credits, no real spoilers here!) - what happened to Nina's father.
The romantic aspect of the storyline is somewhat cliched - boy meets girl and they instantly fall in love - but I've seen worse.
The atmosphere is nice - creepy in some places and comic in others. The locations are also well-chosen. Plus the ending sequence which details the fate of the various characters is not to be missed.
It's a pretty game for an adventure point-and-click. Some good movie sequences and plenty to look at. I liked the portrayal of the different scenes, characters and countries. The sounds and music chosen work well in all the scenes too.
The voice acting is fine although not outstanding. On the one hand, they almost all have American accents, on the other I've heard far worse.
I found it was a couple of weeks of play on evenings and weekends. It's a long game for this genre, but I rarely got stuck. It's not particularly replayable as it doesn't have secrets and specials (not as far as I know anyway!).
I would say it's worth buying at its current cheap price. It's not an unmissable game, but it's still a lot of fun and great if, like me, you're waiting for something rather more epic to come out. I preferred The Lost Crown, the (rest of the) Darkfall series, Syberia, The Longest Journey/Dreamfall and the Broken Sword games, but this is fine to brighten up a couple of dull weeks.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 07/15/09
Game Release: Secret Files: Tunguska (EU, 09/29/06)
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