I really enjoyed the first 'Secret Files' game, 'Tunguska', and as soon as I had finished it ordered this sequel, hoping that it would live up to the first. To my delight, I found myself enjoying it even more than the first instalment.
The game focuses again on Nina and Max from the first game - you get to play both of them in different sections of the story, as well as two other characters at various points in the game.
The graphics are again spectacular - very crisp and detailed, and put some other adventure games to shame. There is also a nice zoom feature, when the game zooms in to a particular area of the screen, as well as a number more nice cut-scenes.
The voices are different to that from that of the first game - this is particularly noticeable with Nina. The new voice sounds so... I don't know, I can't put it in words (great for a review, huh), but I did eventually get used to her new tones.
The dialogue volume shooting up and down, something which many players complained about in the first game, returns, as well as some lines being spoken out of context when they were recorded, but at the same time, it is not too serious, and I've experienced far worse in other point-and-click games.
As with the first game, the plot revolves around finding items and solving puzzles in particular locations, which moves the story along when you have completed them all. I particularly like the first section, with Nina on the cruise that turns out to be anything but luxury, and the later section where Nina must find four blue stones from a demolished building in their new locations across Paris (sounds weird, but somehow it works), and the puzzles involved in those sections.
There are also a number of interesting characters to encounter. However, as with the first game, many of the characters, supposedly from around the world, all speak in American voices!
The game's engine feels pretty identical to the first game - if it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess. The hotspot-finding tool returns, saving the player from hours of aimless pixel hunting. One thing I did find, though, that the game could have done with an arrow or something when a screen was scrollable - on one section, I was stuck for ages, before I finally realised that one of the screens scrolled over, and there was loads more to do on the other side of the area!
And in keeping with the feel of the first game, there are some truly obscure puzzles. I've been playing adventure games for 20+ years, but even I became truly stumped at a few points, and had to resort to a walkthrough to point me in the right direction. This is my only true gripe about the game - too obscure in places.
But other than that, I really enjoyed 'Secret Files 2'. From the Broken Sword-wannabe roots of the first, by this sequel things had really found their own feet, and the result is a highly enjoyable and immersive point-and-click adventure. I really want to see a third instalment.