The game is viewed from a third person perspective and uses a classic point and click interface.
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The trail leads Nina and Max to a mysterious disaster in the Tunguska region of Siberia in 1908, which Vladimir Kalenkow had been investigating. Sometimes it can be hard to explain the seemingly masochistic tendency to keep playing modern point and click adventure games when almost every one of them is terrible.
Secret Files: Tunguska follows Nina Kalenkov, supposedly a Russian but portrayed in the game with a thoroughly American accent, as she turns up at a museum to visit her father and finds (or rather fails to find) him missing. Ita€™s not just the bizarre nature of the situations but also the poor quality of the puzzles themselves.
It also has the sort of puzzles that lead to your character doing unpleasant things just to achieve their goals, no matter how insignificant the task might be and with no regard to characterisation.
Thanks in part to puzzles like this but mostly to the quality of either the writing or the translation from the original German, the main characters arena€™t very well developed, most of them being bland and lacking any distinct personality. It needs to be noted that the ending of the game does change depending on which version youa€™re using. Gameplay: The mechanics are handled well but the puzzles are so bad that it cancels that out.
The main protagonist is Nina Kalenkov, a Russian girl living in Berlin, whose role is to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of her father, who was involved in a secret scientific project concerning the Tunguska region in Siberia. The game features a 'snoop key' tool, which highlights all interactive objects on screen and assists in finding small, easily overlooked objects. It does not indicate that the app was specifically designed for that particular age, or if a certain level of skill is required to play the game or use the app. Nina Kalenkow's world is turned upside down when she learns that her father, the scientist Vladimir Kalenkow, has vanished without a trace. Does the disappearance of Nina's father have something to do with his previous expeditions to Siberia? We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.
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The patience is rewarded however when the occasional gem turns up, so I keep playing in the hopes of unearthing another Longest Journey or Gray Matter. She meets up with Max Gruber, an equally American sounding German scientist and colleague of Ninaa€™s father who disappointingly doesna€™t seem to own a little tank. The developers apparently couldna€™t find a good way to integrate the puzzles into the story and have instead created rather arbitrary challenges to block your progress. The game contains the sort of nonsensical adventure game logic that leads to combining seemingly random items that inexplicably lead to a solution that you could never have thought of.


This reaches its most jarring during one of the occasional scenes where you get to play as Max Gruber, the 19th century scientist whoa€¦ oh sorry, wrong person. The rendered backgrounds often look quite good, occasionally verging on beautiful, and therea€™s plenty of animation included in the scenes to bring them to life.
Ita€™s as if it was being created by a group of people with different aims, some wanting to make a serious sci-fi conspiracy story and some wanting to make a cartoon comedy adventure.
Most of the scenes look ok, some look very good, the characters are passable and the cutscenes weak. It must have been a real effort to take a plot involving a mysterious explosion in 1908, a mysterious cult, a kidnapped scientist and potential aliens and come out with something so dull.
At times, the role of the player-controlled character switches to Max Gruber, who is a German scientist, and Nina's father's colleague. Since the polive can't (or won't) help, Nina decides to search for clues to her father's whereabouts on her own. The search for an answer leads the two heros from Berlin around the globe and to the Antartic, and it soon becomes clear that there are others who are also interested in Nina's father's secrets.
We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Far more often, I end up playing games like this; games that are well intentioned but for various reasons just dona€™t have the quality needed to revitalise the flagging genre. Together (since in stories of this sort any man and woman who randomly meet are inevitably going to end up in love despite only knowing each other for a couple of hours) they set off to investigate and in the process uncover information about the Tunguska incident. The ideas they have come up with for this are some of the most ridiculous Ia€™ve encountered. Some of the puzzles are logical and make perfect sense, but far more often youa€™re left using the old tricks of trying every item on everything else until something works. At one point he covers up a road sign on a dangerous road to cause a truck to have an accident. As is far too often the case in adventure games these days, the voice acting is mediocre at best. The characters themselves dona€™t look quite so good though, and the pre-rendered cutscenes in particular are of significantly lower quality than the rest of the game.
On the way, she meets Max Gruber, one of her father's colleagues, who spontaneously offers the attractive young woman his help.
In a more cartoonish game these sorts of situations could work (though theya€™d have to be done better than they are here) but here theya€™re at odds with the style of the story.
Usually when this happens you end up wondering how you were ever supposed to think of that rather than feeling foolish for not coming up with the solution yourself.
The reason for causing this potentially fatal crash: he needs to get a lemon for someone to squeeze onto their fish.
Perhaps more significantly it adds a narrated set of synopses explaining what happened to all of the characters in the game. It fails to achieve that fine balance between the two that games like the Broken Sword series managed.


For anyone who doesna€™t know, the Tunguska event was an explosion about a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb that occurred in 1908, knocking down trees across an area of over 800 square miles. For example, at one point you need to speak to a scientist before youa€™re allowed to look around the room.
It can also take a while, since Nina has the same sort of bottomless pockets that most adventure games protagonists have, able to easily fit a couple of bricks, a length of hose, a sandwich and a lit cigarette without any visible signs.
To be fair, the main actors probably try their best with the material given, but it seems to lack any sort of direction. This bit is actually very well done and is funnier than any of the attempts at humour in the original game. Much of this could well be down to a poor translation and lack of direction, but whatever the cause, ita€™s a significant issue. Another time she walks around with a soup ladle, two fire logs and an onion amongst other things.
Gruber hasna€™t heard of greengrocers due to too much time fighting with Bruce Willis at Nakatomi Plaza. The lines were probably recorded separately with nobody telling the actors the context of the lines, leading to the wrong words being stressed.
Ita€™s hard to completely dislike Secret Files: Tunguska, but therea€™s really very little here to recommend it to anyone other than the diehard adventure game fanatic. The only resolution option you get is a checkbox to use the desktop resolution, but while this initially sounded promising, loading the game reveals that you simply get a smaller 1024 X 768 picture in the middle of the screen with a black border around it. In a more bizarre moment, we get a series of faux-outtakes over the closing credits, made as if the game was actually being filmed with people making mistakes. Thankfully the game does utilise some of the features that are becoming standard for the genre these days. No, far more sensibly, it turns out hea€™s in a bad mood and his assistant reveals it is because therea€™s no jam on the train so he cana€™t have his bread and jam. Ninaa€™s walking pace is rather slow, but double clicking on an exit will instantly move you to the next screen.
As Bruce Banner might say: a€?You wouldna€™t like him when hea€™s hungry!a€? Queue running around making a€?jama€? out of a bunch of random ingredients, which he of course enjoys as if it was the real thing. More importantly, therea€™s a magnifying glass button that you can click on to reveal all the hotspots in the scene, removing the irritation of working out which items in the sometimes cluttered environments you can actually interact with. They genuinely couldna€™t think of a better puzzle than getting the player to make a jam sandwich. Thanks to this discordance, most of the actual story ends up being revealed in big info dumps at the end of scenes, with a character telling you everything thata€™s going on rather than you ever getting to learn it through your actions.




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