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“Secret Files: Tunguska” Could Be Better


Entertainment Editor

In 2006, Fusionsphere Systems and Animation Arts released “Secret Files: Tunguska” for the PC, with Wii and Nintendo DS releases following in May 2008. The game features a point-and-click method of play, which allows players to discover clues that will further advance the plot in the story.

 “Secret Files: Tunguska” focuses on a real life event: an explosion near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia in 1908. The cause of the explosion was never determined, which is where the story starts.

 The game centres on Nina Kalenkov, a Russian woman living in Berlin, as she tries to find her father, who was abducted from his work at a German museum. As the story progresses, Nina uncovers clues to her father’s whereabouts, as well as pieces of her father’s past. While Nina learns new things about her father, her mother’s death in a car crash suddenly seems like foul play.

 Similar to “The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks,” “Secret Files: Tunguska” requires playing as two characters in certain situations. As players must alternate between Link and Princess Zelda in “Spirit Tracks” to accomplish certain tasks, the player of “Secret Files: Tunguska” must switch between Nina and Max, a friend of Nina’s father, to advance the plot.

 One thing that “Secret Files: Tunguska” has been criticized for is the weak plot. At several points in the game, characters say things that do not make sense. Some sentences run together, as though a period was missing that ended the first sentence. Nina uses words that are becoming archaic in the English language, which seems strange if they are used in the wrong context. An explanation for this could be translation problems, as the original game was most likely released in German since the game designer was German, but this would not explain the unusual placement of punctuation.

 All in all, “Secret Files: Tunguska” has a unique plot for a video game that requires players to think in a way that is not commonly used for video games. Though, its odd dialogue and word choices make it a bit awkward to play.