Game Review: Secret Files: Tunguska (Wii, DS)

Back in 1908, a mysterious explosion rocked the Tunguska wilderness of central Siberia. Its effects could be felt worldwide. The cause of the explosion remains a bit of a mystery. Was it a meteor, nuclear explosion, or maybe a UFO? Fast forward 100 years later. A renowned scientist goes missing, and it’s up to his daughter Nina to find him. In the process, she will solve many more mysteries and maybe even uncover the secrets of Tunguska!

Secret Files: Tunguska is a point and click mystery adventure game for the Wii and DS (DS version reviewed here). Use the stylus or D-pad to guide Nina around various environments around the world as she searches for her lost father. Tap on objects on the touch screen to examine them or pick them up. By tapping on the magnifying glass icon, you can easily see which areas you can investigate.

Sometimes you must combine two items in your inventory together or use items with other objects in the area to progress, and you must gather all the clues and items you can to solve all the puzzles. Talk to witnesses to collect more information about where to go and what to do next. Sometimes Nina will team up with her boyfriend to solve team-based puzzles. The whole adventure has kind of an X-Files vibe to it.

The graphics and ambient sounds are surprisingly good for the DS, with lots of cinematic videos and detailed 3-D visuals. Only problem is the storyline starts out a bit slow, and some of the puzzles and items can be a bit confusing. But even though it’s not as lively, fans of other DS mysteries like the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games may want to crack this Tunguska case.

Kid Factor:

Secret Files: Tunguska is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Drug Reference, Language, Mild Violence, and Suggestive Themes. Most of these are referred to in the text only, but some of the profile pictures show people with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth, or they may talk about drinking too much. Sometimes you might see a scene alluding to someone being punched or kidnapped, but any drastic violence happens off-screen. But because of all the reading required and tricky puzzles, the game is best for older players only. One nice thing is you can save at any time and there are four save files so the whole family can play.

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