Secret Files: Tunguska

Posted by: TuesdayNext

Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/29/06 03:43 PM

This is my first review so I hope it turns out OK.

The game is based upon a real event - The Tunguska Event - an explosion that occurred on June 30, 1908, near the Tunguska River, Siberia. Since that time there have been various theories given for the explosion: meteorite airburst, an asteroid or comet, a natural H-bomb and a slew of other theories. But the game Tunguska claims to reveal the true cause of the event.

While some players’ game came on a DVD, mine came on four CDs. It’s a classic point and click game. The game and cut scenes look good. Inventory is found along the bottom of the screen and as the number of items increase you can scroll through them using the arrows at either end. There are times when inventory items can be combined. There are times when it takes quite a bit of imagination to find items that work together. The cursor is in the shape of a mouse. Left click means that you might be able to perform some action with objects – either with the item on the screen or combining an item in inventory. Right click allows Nina to comment or explanation about the item.

At the bottom left of the screen there at are three small icons. One is in the shape of a PC-this brings up the menu including the save menu which stores a snap shot image of the place you’re at in the game along with the date and time. Hints can be turned on under Options in the main menu. Hints can be found by clicking on the magnifying glass. It will highlight objects and exits that are at the scene. When you click on a hotspot it gives the name of the object – you may be able to interact with the object or just get a description of it. The final icon looks like a book and is the diary. Here you can find important events recorded. It also has a section that will give you either the complete answer to a puzzle or a very good clue.

There isn’t any way to make Nina run but double clicking on the exits brings Nina into the next scene. There are no action sequences and Nina and Max cannot die. Eventually there comes a time when the players can interchange between Nina and Max’s characters. That way they can split up and investigate different parts of the world and even together.

The story: Years ago Professor Kalenkov made expeditions to Tunguska to try to determine what caused the blast. On one expedition an object is found that is unlike any other matter found on Earth, yet it has markings on it that shows that the material has been worked. Gameplay starts out when Nina Kalenkov goes to her father’s office at a museum in Berlin to pay him a visit and finds Professor Vladimir Kalenkov missing and his office ransacked. Nina meets a young colleague of the Professor’s across the hall from his office – his name is Max. Max offers Nina his help in finding out what happened to her father.
Their adventure takes them to many places around the globe. We start off in Berlin where the Professor’s office and home are at. In Berlin Nina meets the Professor’s colleague Oleg Kambursky. At first he is reluctant to join Nina in her search for Vladimir but eventually joins Nina and Max in their efforts to find the Professor.

As Nina and Kambursky head off to Moscow, Max travels to Ireland. Our two heroes travel either together or apart to such locations as a Russian Military Hospital, Cuba, the Himalayans, Siberia, and of course, Tunguska. Of course, no adventure would be complete without an antagonist or two. Inter cut between Nina and Max’s travails, we see a sinister man in shadow talking to someone we do not know (or do we?) demanding results and answers about the artifact found at Tunguska; an evil man whose goal is to rule the minds of the entire population of the world.

And who are those ghostly figures in hooded capes that seem to appear and disappear at will? And, of course, nothing could be more ominous than a double-cross or two. So do Mina and Max save the world from mind control and domination? Do Nina and Max eventually fly off into the sunset together? Or does a double-cross tear them apart? And finally, what is the Secret of Tunguska?

Pros: I didn’t find much to dislike with this game. The plot was interesting and intriguing. Even though there were no action scenes and the characters could not die, there were times when I found the game suspenseful. The changes in location made the game more interesting. There are very few puzzles and if the player is stuck, hints can be found in the diary. These hints are for puzzles only – they won’t help you if you’re at a loss as to what to do next. That’s where walkthroughs come in handy. The way that some inventory items were combined together or used with the environment was a bit out-there to me. I admit to referring to MaG’s walkthrough two or three times; well, maybe three or four.

Cons: There were two main problems with the game for me. The first involved installation – and I know I wasn’t the only one with this problem. At first I tried to install the game onto my laptop. There are very few games that I have not been able to play on my laptop. In fact, a couple weeks ago I was able to play Blackstone Chronicles on it without any configuration changes. I made a couple attempts to install Tunguska on my laptop. The first time I couldn’t get past the first CD. The second time I couldn’t get past the second CD. So I moved over to my PC. I was able to install the game on the second try. I had one freeze up so I followed the suggestions that I found at TAC. They recommended trying a clean boot (which I had never done before). That was a bit of a disaster for me since I couldn’t remember how to change all the settings back to the way they were. Enough of my problems.

My other pet peeve was Nina’s voice – not just her voice – but by the way in which she talked. Her voice was that of a young teenager and she sounded as though she wasn’t taking things too seriously. I got used to her voice but not the immature way in which she spoke. But definitely not enough to make me dislike the game at all.

I’m not going over system requirements – read the box or check out the website.

I played the game on:

MPC, Pentium 4 CPU
MS XP Pro with SP2
3.2 GHz
1.00 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce7800 GTX
Creative Sound Blaster Live

Grade A-

tuesday next
Posted by: +Oblivion+

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/29/06 04:11 PM

Thanks for this great review TuesdayNext!
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/29/06 04:23 PM

Thanks, TuesdayNext. I enjoyed reading your review.

Don't let this be your last wave
Posted by: TuesdayNext

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/29/06 04:23 PM

Thanks. Hope it made sense.

tuesday next
Posted by: granny

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/29/06 10:39 PM

Well done!! happydance I just moved it up a few notches in my 'to be played' stack.
Posted by: Robert Gault

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/30/06 07:33 AM

TuesdayNext, I agree with everything you've said including the problems reading the disks during installation. It is also strange and irritating that when there are games on both DVD and CD, US customers get stuck with only the CD release.

I'd like to add that many of the tasks Nina must perform to proceed in the game are at best very juvenile. No adult would dream of such convoluted methods for achieving such simple tasks which makes (for adults) parts of the game almost impossible without a walkthrough. Well, this certainly goes along with Nina's voice which is at its worst when she reads off numbers for combination locks.
Posted by: TuesdayNext

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/30/06 11:48 AM

Robert G. - Glad I wan't the only one who feels the same way as me about the game. One of the cons I forgot was the length of some of the cut scenes. I get so paranoid about saving that all I can think of is "stop talking so I can hurry up and save" - especially if a game gives me the slightest trouble. Now I'm playing Murder on the Orient Express and talk about long cut scenes - whoa!

tuesday next
Posted by: Becky

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/30/06 07:20 PM

Hey TuesdayNext -- nice review! I especially enjoyed all the story background you provided.

I haven't started this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it!
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 11/30/06 10:30 PM

Hi Tuesday.......

Nice review...I just loved this game...I had no problems with Glitches..This Game was well DONE thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Posted by: chrissie

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 12/04/06 02:14 PM

Hi TuesdayNext, Thanks for a lovely review - I enjoyed the game very much. But the only thing, I didn't mind Nina's voice! You described her as sounding like a young teenager - I would agree but didn't mind maybe because at my age I just saw her as a sweet young person with a lot of drive!! lol
Posted by: TuesdayNext

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 12/04/06 04:17 PM

Thanks everyone for the positive responses.


tuesday next
Posted by: Peralandra

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 03/02/07 03:43 PM


Thanks so much for your great review. I just installed this game last night and have been concerned about whether or not I was ever going to be able to get past Nina's voice and manner of speaking. They are like fingernails on a blackboard to me.

Most generally I play games to take myself to a world other than this one. I really prefer first person where you are alone on a journey or adventure. I have dealt with people so much in my work life that a world without anyone else in it is what most appeals to me. Syberia helped somewhat with that attitude and caused me to think other 3rd persons might be okay.

This voice of Nina in Tunguska is supposed to be of a 25 year old young woman, instead it sounds like a spoiled and unpleasant highschool girl--one of the last people on the planet I'd want to hang out with in any circumstances.

Anyway, thanks for noting it and also saying it didn't ruin the game for you. I'm going to try to follow your example and not let it ruin it for me.

Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 03/03/07 08:35 AM

Hi Perelandra, and Welcome to GameBoomers!

Enjoy the game. I thought it was a lot of fun.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 03/04/07 07:41 AM

Hi Perelandra -- welcome (I like your Member name!).

I hope your enjoy the game as you get further in. There are times later in the game when you don't play as Nina, but play as Max instead -- it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference. wave
Posted by: Tracy

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 04/25/07 02:04 AM

What a great review, well-done! smile

btw---my little pet peeve about our Nina was how tight her jeans were! LOL! Good Lord! I was amazed that she could walk at all! wink

Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 06/15/07 11:00 AM

Tuesday, Great Review, very well written.

Robert Gault, The cd/dvd thing irks me too. But it isn't all bad. I was reading where the DVD release of Dreamfall has Starforce protection on it while the U.S. CD version does not. I don't know about the CD issue but the DVD does have Starforce.

I just finished the game and really liked it. I could find some things to dislike but they were minor. Many reviewers and players really hated Nina's voice and I was prepared to dislike it as well. But I really did not think it that bad. Perhaps all the complaining I heard from many quarters set me up to expect something awful. So when playing the game I thought this isn't so bad. Also the tight jeans I did not notice but did think she looked good in that army uniform. Sorry just couldn't resist smile
Posted by: old lady

Re: Secret Files: Tunguska - 08/05/07 11:14 AM

Hi Tuesdaynext, good review. I had no problem loading but mine is on DVD. One thing I liked in the game was that at the end of each locality they removed items that were no longer needed from the inventory, thanks