Secret Files: Tunguska 
by Danyboy
January 27, 2007

 

The story: 

On the morning of the 30 June, 1908, hundreds of eyewitnesses observed inexplicable and previously unseen phenomena in the skies above the Tunguska region. Just a few minutes later, several huge explosions with the destructive force of 2,000 Hiroshima bombs shattered the stillness of the boundless central Siberian highlands. In just a short space of time, a flaming inferno reduced everything to dust and ashes, and an unimaginable blast wave snapped trees like matchsticks, hurling the inhabitants of a settlement 20 km away, and their reindeer, through the air.  Despite countless expeditions, no crater and no meteorite parts have ever been found; scientists today are still searching for answers.  In the Secret Files: Tunguska adventure game, attractive mechanic Nina Kalenkov sets out on a dangerous quest to find her missing father.  The search puts her on the trail of the secrets and conspiracies that surround the Tunguska Phenomenon. 

Nina is torn from her day-to-day routine when she discovers that her father has disappeared without a trace.  As the police seem reluctant to help her, Nina sets off to look for clues relating to her father's whereabouts.  She joins efforts with Max Gruber, a young colleague of her father who impulsively offers to help the attractive young lady. 

Together, they quickly determine that Nina's father was involved with a research expedition to Siberia in an attempt to reveal the causes of the mysterious Tunguska catastrophe of 1908.  In that mysterious event, a mighty explosion triggered an inferno that decimated the land of Tunguska.  Nina and Max soon realize that her father's disappearance is related to the Tunguska event and the search for answers leads Nina and Max to the most remote corners of the world – Berlin, Moscow, Cuba, China, and the Antarctic.  Powerful adversaries are also interested in Nina's father's secret.  In the end, much more is at stake than just the disappearance of an old man. 

Game Specifications: 

OS: Windows® XP/2000 
CPU: 500 MHzPentium® 3 or Equivalent 
RAM: 128 MB 
Disk Space: 2.5 GB 
CD/DVD-ROM: 16x 
Video Card: 16 MB DirectX 9.0 Compatible 
Sound: DirectX® 9.0c Compatible Audio Device 
Other: Mouse, Keyboard, and Speakers 

Secret Files: Tunguska is a modern third person point-and-click game. The game begins with a cutscene where we're able to see the explosion that happened several decades ago in the Tunguska region. That scene opens the door to many great adventures and will shift your brain immediately into “play” mode. 

The story in Secret Files: Tunguska is very written and we’re always finding plenty of into to captivate us. There is a lot of stuff to read, but Nina reads it for us. We only have to step back and watch the images.  The story brings us in different directions.  One moment we’re thinking we know what happened and the next moment after seeing or reading something else the story takes a turn onto another path. What really happened in Tunguska nobody really knows, but a lot of theories are explored in the game and a possible solution is given to us at the end. 

Nina is a very lovable character - funny, intelligent and beautiful.  Max the other playable character is also a captivating guy who should please many of the women who will play the game.  The chemistry between those two brings electricity into the air.  They both fit well together and work together as a wonderful team during the game. 

Music is well chosen for all of the scenes and the different sounds in the game along with the music brings an enjoyable atmosphere to the gameplay.  The voices of those extra-terrestrial characters give you chills.  Nina’s voice is very sweet and easy to hear.  Max’s voice could have been better. 

The graphics are very nice.  The scene in the swamp near Daddy's looks fantastic.  The view from the cliff looking at the research center is very beautiful.  Breathtaking cutscenes occur throughout the game.  My favorite one is the one when we're running away from the soldiers in the area of Daddy's camp.  I felt an adrenaline rush, felt sorry for Nina and I was expecting the worst.  The cutscenes are important and interesting.  You wont be able to pass them up.  At some point in the game you have scenes with snow that reminded me of some of the scenes in Syberia 2. 

I liked a lot the way the way the inventory worked.  Things that you don't need anymore disappear from the inventory. Nina's note book is clear and has all the information we need during the gameplay.  We're not buried under tons of things to read trying to find the right line or phrase.  Some clues can be found in that notebook. 

A lot of energy and work was put in the smallest details and even if at some points there was a bit of pixel hunting, you can click on the spyglass in the menu and it will show you all of the places you need to look more carefully.  In one scene you need to walk on the train's roof when it's moving and the effect is spectacular.  I almost fell off my chair.  A few explosions happened during the game and they were well done. 

Most of the puzzles are very challenging and intuitive. You’re able to find clues to help you with some of the puzzles. The coin puzzle was a nice one and the safe puzzle in the train was also one of my favorites.  A lot of inventory based puzzles are found in the game.  One sad thing about some of the puzzles - cutscenes occurred right after finishing some of the important ones.  So if you want to keep a saved game for people who have trouble with those puzzles you can’t make a save right after finishing the puzzles.  These cutscenes are long, important and need to be watched. 

I received a lot of Private Messages and e-mails from Canadian players asking me where I found the game.  Like them I wasn't able to find the game in any of the several stores I went to and I got mine from a friend in the US, so, developer and distributor, you need to do something about that and make this great game available for my fellow Canadian adventure players. 

I'm very happy that another Secret Files game will be released in 2008. Take some well deserved holidays, Nina and Max, and come back next year with another great adventure. 

On a final note, Secret Files: Tunguska is an excellent game.  I had a problem installing the first game I had (I bought it from someone and it was used) and with the second one some problems occurred later in the game.  But those were because of some of the programs I installed on my computer after I installed the game.  I didn't find any bugs in the game. 

My final note for the game: 9/10.  At the end of the game don’t close the game right away.  Be sure to watch the bloopers.  It’s been several years since I played a game that pleased me completely so a big thumbs up to the developer and I can’t wait for the Secret Files 2 game that will be released in 2008. 

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