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Secret Files: Tunguska (PC)
Review by muddasheep, March 07th 2007, 20:15:08
Tunguska, June 30th, 1908. An explosion with the energy between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT, equal to the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated by the US, shook the earth. 80 million trees were felled, seismic stations across Europe went wild, and the next few days the sky wouldn't darken during the nights. Expeditions to the site bring pictures of scorched trees - but no crater. And up until now, there have been a dozen speculations made about the cause, reaching from black holes passing through the earth, to antimatter, natural h-bombs, aliens and meteors. But the actual truth has still not been unveiled.

Secret Files: Tunguska plays about 100 years after the (true) event and tries to give an answer to what might have happened, and wraps it all in a traditional point and click adventure.

I'd rather die than give you control.

The game plays just like the genre suggests. You move your cursor over the screen and try to find objects, and interact with them by for example combining items with it that you've found previously, such as using a lock pick out of your inventory on a locked door. What Tunguska adds to freshen things up a bit is a button that shows all areas on the screen that can be interacted with. This might throw off the hardcore audience, but it does get rid of the common mistake of overseeing an item because it was only made of two pixels. The game also hints at solutions in the diary, which you can access when you find yourself stuck in a puzzle. Even though the game helps you out quite a lot, there are a few very tough nuts to crack. Sometimes in the game you have to solve puzzles by using two characters in different locations as well.

Hand me the mirror.

A common (or even required?) tradition of this genre are the 2D backgrounds. In Tunguska those have been crafted with extreme love in detail. Little animations bring life into the scene, such as moving trees or waterfalls. All characters are rendered in 3D, and the animations are smooth and lifelike. Even though the game looks simply beautiful, it still runs on a machine with at least a 500 MHz processor and 16MB video card (I played it on a 950MHz machine). There are various pre-rendered cut scenes throughout the game that easily do the rest of the game's artwork justice.

Lend me your ears.

One of the most important aspects of Point and Click adventures are the character's voices. At the beginning some voices seem to be slightly dull, but when the story takes off it resembles the quality of top movie actors. Maybe one or two side characters' voices aren't that great, but since the game is full of humor that even makes fun of the game itself, it isn't such a big deal at all.

Anything else?

Overall Tunguska is an eight to ten hours thrill-fun-puzzle-solving-ride. The story is good, the controls are very intuitive, the backgrounds will make you gasp and some of the main character's one-liners are pure classics. The diary keeps track of your actions and it is worth checking out because of the artwork next to the diary entries. The game feels very polished in every way, it's neither too easy nor too hard and the story is full of mystery that won't let you exit the game until you get to the end. Plus, a second part is already announced and scheduled for a 2008 release. Along Monkey Island, Flight of the Amazon Queen and Syberia this game is now on my top point and click adventures list. Full recommendation.
One of the early scenes in the game.

Heyyyyy, who goes there!

When Chuck Norris sneezes ...

That guy can't answer no questions no more.

Scorched trees everywhere, devil's minions are still there, above the evil master's lair, god still thinks this is unfair.

Links:
>Walkthrough
>Main Website
>Real Life Tunguska Event
Rating:
How readers rate this Review: 8.4/10 (5 votes)
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