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Secret Files: Tunguska
(hx) 06:51 PM EST - Dec,11 2006

There are many hypotheses as to what caused the Tunguska incident. For those lacking in the knowledge of the real life story of the Tunguska region in Siberia, way back in 1908 there happened to be an explosion that devastated the region, packing the power of an atomic bomb. The explosion was probably caused by the airburst of an asteroid or comet 5 to 10 kilometers (36 mi) above the Earth's surface. The energy of the blast was later estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT, which would be equivalent to Castle Bravo, the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated by the US. It felled an estimated 60 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers (830 sq mi). The odd thing about the blast is the fact that it left no crater and no large meteorites. The popular theories range from a meteor explosion to a visit from aliens, some argue the explosion was caused by anti-matter, etc. After several expeditions to the site of the event, a definitive explanation still eludes scientists. What truly happened in Tunguska almost a century ago still remains a mystery.

Based on this curious mystery, Secret Files is a traditional point-and-click adventure game. You start out as Nina Kalenkov, daughter of this disappeared scientist, as you visit your father's office only to discover his area in a supreme mess, and your dear pop nowhere to be found. With the police on their way, you begin to explore the museum in which your father worked, only to discover little in the way of clues and no one around able to shed too much light on the situation. Needless to say, it's up to Nina to find him. Throughout the course of the game, you'll discover just how much your father knew about the Tunguska mystery, and even continue his research in order to uncover his whereabouts. On some occasions during the game, you switch to Max Gruber, who is a colleague of Victor Kalenkow's. Moving on, the game leads them to Tunguska, Siberia, which is where a weird explosion occurred in 1908, hence the title of the game....

The game is completely mouse controlled. You right-click on an object to get a description, left-click to pick it up or use it with another object. You'll find you can't click everything (no more pixel hunting, only the objects that are integral to the story - which you'd probably assume at this point makes the game pretty easy, but it seems to take this advantage back when it comes to solving puzzles.

The puzzles are almost entirely inventory-based, which means you will have to find the correct items and apply them to the correct locations. There are no timed sequences, no fighting, no sneaking, and even no 'conversation puzzles' that make you plod through every possible question until you reach the single, inevitable outcome. So if you don't like inventory based puzzles, then Secret Files: Tunguska will definitely not be your cup of tea. The puzzles run from the trivial to the quite difficult, but even the most difficult ones are solvable with a little out-of-the-box reasoning, and that old standby: trying every object on every other object.

Overall, Secret Files: Tunguska is a charming and entertaining game. If you're a fan of the genre it's definitely worth your time with refreshing, logical puzzles and genuinely mysterious story. Highly recommended game for those Syberia fans out there.

related links: homepage, demo, patch 1.02, walktrough #1, walktrough #2, The Secret Files: Tunguska CDROM.

Minimum requirements: Pentium II with 500 MHz, 128 MB RAM, DirectX 9 compatible AGP graphic card with at least 16MB RAM, DirectX 9 compatible 16 bit sound card, DVD-ROM drive, 2 GB free hard disk space


snd: 4/5 - solid, some crisp, realistic ambient effects, well done voice-acting
gfx: 4/5 - pretty good, incredibly detailed backgrounds, dynamic lighting and shadows
playability: 4/5 - old-school point&click adventure game, generally logical and satisfying puzzles, mysterious story, helpful interface, very low hw requirements
genre: Animation Arts/Fusionsphere Systems
release: October 2006
developer: Deep Silver/Adventure Company
publisher: Animation Arts/Fusionsphere Systems
Very_good
Overall: 80%


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