Great user interface
The user interface is one of the most user friendly ones that we’ve experienced in a point and click videogame. Click on the magnifying glass in the bottom right of the screen and smaller magnifiers appear over all of the hotspots in that area. Whilst purist may prefer to slog through the game without the extra help, we get increasingly frustrated with games where you need to search every crevice and pixel to find the smallest of clues; this solution eliminates the problem. Not only that, but as you hover over an item, you’ll see a number of different options displayed on or around a mouse icon. If you can interact with the object you’ll see a hand and the left hand button of the mouse icon is illuminated. If on the other hand it’s not an interactive object, you’ll see an eye and an illuminated right hand mouse button. These icons basically tell you exactly what to press without the trial and error method of clicking on ever single interesting object that catches your eye.
The inventory bar runs across the bottom of the screen and all items are clearly labelled. By right clicking on them you’ll hear a description that often holds a clue as to the objects purpose. Secret Files: Tunguska is filled to the brim with inventory puzzles and the inventory bar is where you’ll be dragging items onto other items to see if they can be combined to create a new object. For example, one of the earlier puzzles sees you having to mend a bicycle tyre. You’ll need to create a patch with the items that you have accrued and combining the glue and a rubber glove is one of the stages involved in that particular puzzle. Unlike many games of this type, Broken Sword for example, the combining of objects is a fairly logical process. There were times when we were scratching our heads in bemusement trying to work out certain puzzles, but after a small amount of trial and error we always got there in the end, and once we knew the solution, we were slapping our foreheads at our inability to work out the logical solution earlier.
We don’t want to give too much away but another scenario involves making a slingshot and then attempting to distract a guard by shooting out a lamp in the guard hut. It’s simply a matter of surveying your surrounding thoroughly and clicking on anything that you can interact with to get the right equipment. Once the catapult was built, by combining three objects in your inventory, it was obvious that we had to hit something with it. By selecting the slingshot from the inventory, and hovering over the lamp, the mouse icon reveals that you can interact with it. You then click on the left mouse button and Nina will shoot the lamp out.