Secret Files: Tanguska – Review
Follow Genre: Point and click adventure
Developer: Fusionsphere Systems, Animation Arts
Publisher: Dreamcatcher Interactive
Platform: iOS, Windows PC, Nintendo DS, Wii

Secret Files: Tanguska – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Lengthy and engaging story, intuitive controls, voice acted
Bad: Poor translations in certain places, far-fetched solutions within the game, lack of detail on characters
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Mobile devices are getting more and more juice when it comes to graphics and processing power. Even phones are already as powerful as desktop computers once were. No wonder then that older computer games are finding their way into the mobile app stores. Secret Files: Tunguska is one of those games that besides a pc version, also has a Nintendo Wii and 3DS version but just now got its iOS version. Let’s see if the game survived the cross-platform leap.

SecretFiles_Logo

Story

You play as Nina, a young German woman. You haven’t heard from your father in a while so decide to go find him. He isn’t at home so you try his working place. He works as a professor in a museum. However on arriving there, you quickly notice something is wrong. His office is a mess and there’s no trace of him. That’s where you start your adventure. It starts off quite small but quickly escalates into something of global importance as you link your father’s research with an enormous explosion that happened years ago in Siberia.

In the museum you team up with Max Gruber, a colleague of Nina’s father and together you start to slowly unravel the story. Progress does however happen at quite an enjoyable pace, not throwing too much information at you from the start but keeping you engaged as you go and giving you a sense of importance along the way. You’ll encounter other characters as well and there’s a nice variety of them. The story will take you around the globe, starting off in Germany but then visiting Russia, Cuba, China and more.

Sound

All dialogues are voice acted which does add some immersion to the story. However it doesn’t really go well with the animations of the characters. Weird stances make for awkward conversations. It’s also hard to sometimes differentiate parts of actual conversations and thoughts (which are spoken as well) because you can’t clearly see the character’s face. Generally, the dialogues and spoken sections work best within cut scenes. The world is filled with other sounds as well. Interacting with objects usually generates a sound effect and there’s some subtle background noise in most areas. This game deserves to be played with headphones.

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Graphics

By today’s standards, Secret Files: Tunguska is no graphical marvel. Not even on iOS. But it does however look better than most games on the platform. Especially the objects and backgrounds look pleasing. Characters however do lack some detail to really stand out which is a shame. Also when multitasking, reopening the game sometimes causes the characters to start flickering which requires a game restart to get fixed. The cut scenes however look very pleasing, it’s always great when they come by and offer a welcome distraction.

Gameplay

It’s not always easy to imagine how a PC game would play on a touchscreen device, especially with controls that have to replace keyboard and mouse. The point-and-click genre however seems well suited. Controlling your character is intuitive and selecting objects feels natural, even more than with a mouse even. You simple tap the objects. Moving around is done in the same manner, by tapping a spot on the floor. Combining objects is done by simply dragging one to the other. Possible interaction between objects is shown by a colored circle.

While control wise the game plays well, there’s just something off about how you are supposed to progress. Whilst the combinations you make with the different objects you find are all realistically possible, most of them aren’t a solution you would come up with on your own. I often found myself just testing all items with each other to find possible matches as logical thinking doesn’t get you very far. Luckily there’s a reference guide available which offers all solutions if you would get stuck. One problem though, while the game itself is translated well, there are some serious issues within that guide. Objects are simply translated wrong. You’ll find different names for objects which makes the game, even while using its own guide, very frustrating at times.

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Conclusion

Secret Files: Tunguska has its flaws. It requires a decent amount of patience from the player as well as assuming that the player can come up with some ridiculous solutions in certain parts. It did however survive the leap to touch-devices very well. Walking around and tapping items is intuitive. Graphically the game stands its ground compared to other games on the platform and the story draws you in. Not your “I’ll-just-grab-my-phone-and-play-something-while-I-wait-in-line” type of game but something you’ll rather play at home or on a long train ride. It’ll keep you occupied for several hours.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Secret Files: Tanguska - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Veflow
Veflow


I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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