Okay, so you've escaped from a suicidal cult, been framed for murder when the other members of the cult die in a horrible fire, and are about to be executed when you suddenly are transported into a different, nightmarish world. It'd drive you slightly mad, wouldn't it?
In Tunguska, developed by Black Friar, you don't have the 'I'm going slightly mad' option. Instead, you have to find the real killer and get back to the real world to prove your innocence. Far-fetched? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. Massively enjoyable? Oh yes.
The strange new world is a real nightmare. There are teams of monsters and beasts to avoid and contend with, as well as a particularly nasty brotherhood of monks after you. Their deity is the very personification of evil, but you'll have to find him to prove your innocence and escape to reality.
The game is full of taxing logical puzzles and frequent combat with the monks. Progress comes from finding obscure objects in the alternate world and there is also time in Tunguska to wander around and explore the new world. There is an inbuilt aspect of Artificial Intelligence to the game that helps the player if he or she is having difficulties, so the game can be played by anyone.
Tunguska is a first person 3D action adventure game, yet differs from other similar hits such as Tomb Raider and Quake II in its use of camera angles. Whereas other games have the camera close in to the main character, the view in this game is more removed, all the better to take in the action from a variety of unchangeable angles. The camera pans around, changes perspective, and displays the action smoothly, as in a well-edited film.
Tunguska demands, 3D acceleration. The graphics are detailed and convincing, if a little dark. The sound effects are good, but there is no omnipresent soundtrack to add more depth to the atmosphere; possibly a good thing.
The combat scenes are very effective, and the storyline will reward the player with a feeling of success when Jack finally escapes. Playing this game was a wonderful, unique experience.
Graphics: Smooth and realistic
Sound: Atmospheric, draws you into the scenery
Enjoyment: Absorbing; a real feeling of pain when Jack is injured.
Replay Value: Next time I'll do better...
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