Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 12/04/07

Nope, it isn't the revival of Adventure gaming

Secret Files: Tunguska is a Adventure game developed by Fusionsphere Systems and released by Deep Silver. These are sad times for Adventure fans like me… this genre is slowly dying, (or is already dead), not only because it doesn’t sell, (like a MMORPG, FPS or Strategy game), but because gamers nowadays prefer games that require little brainwork and that are full of stereotypical characters and storylines. Syberia and The Longest Journey where 2 masterpieces that could revive the genre but unfortunately they just didn’t. So now we have Secret Files: Tunguska, a typical Point n’ Click Adventure game which had the bright idea of bringing Adventure gaming back to life even though much, much better just couldn’t…

Story: 5/10

The main character Nina Kalenkov, the daughter of a scientist has come to visit him in his work only to find out that his office is a mess, as if there was a thief in there and above all her dad was missing. You soon realize that the disappearance of your father has something to do with a mysterious explosion that had occurred many years before in the Tunguska region. And that’s where the good stuff end…

First of all the 2 main characters, along with everybody else, are very bad, with lame dialogues that are supposed to be funny. Secondly the relationship between the main characters… one look at each other and the male says, “I will help you”, the female answers, “You are a sweetheart” and guess what… they fall in love, (DUH!). Throughout your quest many questions will appear that will make you want to go on playing in order to find out what is happening but after some hours you’ll realize that there isn’t something special about the plot. Another bad thing is that most of the time you just try to open a door with items from your inventory and no real details about the plot apart from 1-2 books. Finally the biggest mystery of the game that was the main reason of me keep on playing, is left unanswered and is supposed to be in the sequel, (which I hope won’t be developed).

Graphics: 7/10

Very good but nothing spectacular considering the fact that older games where much better, and I don’t mean high budget games like the Myst series. All areas are pre-rendered 3D images, look very good, but have little background animation. Characters look good also but they don’t move while talking something that makes them game look old.

Sound: 4.8/10

No music while playing, (at least I don’t remember it), something that isn’t bad, but where’s ambient sound. You just can’t have ambient sound in an Adventure game, it gives the right atmosphere and brings the game into life, but no, not here! Also what’s up with the dialogues??? First of all, you’ll meet, Russians, Siberian shepherds, Irish people and you have a Russian immigrant who lives in Germany and they all have AMERICAN ACCENTS!!! I don’t mind all them speaking English, but for Christ’s sake, American accents for all?!? Apart from that, dialogues are just lame and with very bad voice acting. Especially the bad guy sounds like a child who is trying to make impressions of the cool bad guy talking style. While searching an area or solving a riddle your character talks likes there’s no tomorrow and says things that are supposed to be funny but first of all they aren’t and secondly is it normal for somebody to make jokes with a happy voice while he in a cell with a killer Doberman next to you?

Gameplay: 5/10

This is a typical Point n’ Click adventure which means that you search the scene with your mouse, click something in order to see what it is, or use an item on something, like a key on a door. The game is 99.9% inventory puzzles, so the inventory is always accessible in the bottom of your screen. You must come up with a way to remove some obstacles on your quest to save daddy. Locked doors and closets, guards, machinery that doesn’t work and things like that await you in the game like most adventure games like this. The problem is that the solutions are most of the time totally unrealistic and stupid, forcing you to use all the items in your inventory in random placed hoping to achieve something, instead of carefully thinking what to do. For example, (*SPOILERS* ahead) in order to find a lemon you put a wet flag over a low speed traffic sign in order to make a vehicle move very fast and drop a box with fruits in the road that has only ONE lemon inside, or in order to make a painter see a dancing woman better in order to make her a portrait you’ll have to put some stuff in the rotating record in order to make her dance more slowly and these where simple examples!!! Yes, I know that Mokey Island had insane inventory puzzles too, but they where extremelly clever and you COULD use your imagination to think about them. Also, due to an automatic scene search button, you can forget pixel hunting, something that is good and bad at the same time, because it makes the game much easier but takes away the joy of searching the scene on your own. Also there are only a bunch of riddles and only one was a bit more challenging, (it took me 2 looooooong minutes to solve it!) Generally the game is very short and easy, relies to much in peaking up useless items and making them useful in the most bizarre way. The plot is very bad, something totally unflattering for an adventure game and characters are very bad in my opinion.

-Relax, don’t believe what you’ve read in the credits, there won’t be a sequel …
-Good for inexperienced Adventure gamers, (I think…)
-No pixel hunt

-Badly executed plot
-The inventory puzzles define the rules of physics and are totally unnatural and stupid
-Lame characters, bad voice acting
-Only 3 riddles with only one being a bit challenging
-No pixel hunt

Also Play:
Runaway: A Road Adventure (PC)
Syberia (PC)
The Longest Journey (PC)

Overall: 5.4/10

Unfortunately no, this won’t be the new adventure game legend. It looks good on the outside but it is actually very bad and if not bad extremely mediocre and doesn’t even serve as a tribute to old adventure games… Just don’t play it…

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Secret Files: Tunguska (EU, 09/29/06)

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