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Review: Secret Files: Tunguska - Wii

by Steven Williamson on 22 April 2008, 16:12

Tags: Secret Files: Tunguska for Wii, Koch Media, Action/Adventure

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Not a simple point and click

Like numerous games of the same ilk, there are many static environments in Secret Files: Tunguska, full of objects and items to examine and interact with as you unravel clues by filling up your inventory and combining objects to solve some tricky puzzles. There’s plenty of variety in the locales and a number of them feature background animations, whereas some of the outside environments boast weather effects, such as rain and snow, which adds to the atmosphere.

You start the adventure playing as Nina (you do switch between two characters to solve team-based puzzles later on in the game) and you begin by searching for clues to her father’s disappearance. You control her by plugging in the Nunchuck and using the thumb-stick to move around, or by pointing your Wii-mote at the screen and clicking in the direction you want her to go.

Instead of the small mouse cursor, which you see in the PC version, you have a larger cursor in the shape of a Wii-mote. The developer has attempted to counteract the oversensitivity of the Wii-remote by making the cursor quite large to make it easier for you to pin-point an object, but it’s still far too oversensitive and, at times, even the slightest of movements, for example when you’re combining objects in your inventory, can sometimes lead to you inadvertently moving Nina around the room as the cursor zips upwards, from the inventory bar that runs along the bottom of the screen, to the game-play area at the top.

Despite there being times when I found myself focusing intently on trying to keep my hand as steady as possible so not to click on the wrong area, you do become more accustomed to the sensitivity over the course of the game and it’s worth persevering with to tackle some of the interesting and challenging puzzles. However, the whole experience isn’t helped at all by the over-complicated controls and, what I consider to be, some poor choices when it comes down to choosing which functions to map to which buttons on the Wii-remote.

In the PC version, the whole game was controlled via the mouse; it was point-and click adventuring at its most simplest and effective. In this version, there are a number of things that you now need to bear in mind and remember. There’s ‘A’ to examine, ‘B’ to pick up, ‘D-pad’ to open up inventory, the minus sign opens the diary, the plus sign opens the menu, the ‘1’ button brings up the magnifying glass, allowing you to see all interactive objects in the room, and the ‘2’ button brings up options; get my drift?

Perhaps I’ve become too accustom to the controls of the point-and-click genre on PC, but I thought that part of the appeal of point-and-click adventure is the simplicity of the controls (isn't it called 'point-and-click' for a reason?), yet in Secret Files: Tunguska, the developer has used every button on the Wii-remote for something; it just doesn’t quite work and it can feel awkward as you constantly shift your hand from one end of the Wii-mote to the other to execute the simplest of tasks.