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Secret Files 2 review - An old-school adventure game for better and worse

For: iPad   Also on: DS, iPhone, Steam

Use confusion on self

Product: Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis | Publisher: Deep Silver | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
There's a certain charm to be found in the old-school point-and-click games of the world, with their bizarre puzzle solutions and often ridiculous storylines.

This is especially true for Secret Files 2: Puritas Cortis, a PC/DS game from 2009 that has now found its way on onto mobile.

It definitely shows its age, both mechanically and in much of its writing, but there's something about it that keeps egging you on to dig further and find out how bizarre it's going to get.

A closer look

Secret Files 2 sees you embroiled in a mystery that spans ancient civilisations, a growing cult of apparent lunatics, and a wealth of catastrophic events that threaten to destroy the world.

In the middle of it all is a handful of characters – Nina, Max, and Bishop Parrey – who all have their parts to play in what may well be the end of days.

As you might expect, most of your time will be spent tapping the screen to investigate and pick up items, talk to people, wander about, and ultimately solve some puzzles.

Your inventory is in view at all times, helping you keep track of what you might be using next, and you can always hit an icon in the bottom-right of the screen to show you everything in a room that you can interact with.

Control-wise it works perfectly - movement is a little slow but not horrendous, and dragging and dropping items to use them for puzzles is straightforward enough.

Say what?

The problem is the puzzles themselves. Like the true "classic" adventure games, solutions will require some incredibly lateral thinking if you intend on getting anywhere.

An early puzzle, for example, tasks you with finding a note that's stuck underneath a toy UFO.

But rather than, say flipping the UFO over, you need to roll it onto a window, clean said window, and shine a torchlight to see what the note says - all of which requires about five more steps than it should.

If the puzzles feel a little too old for modern audiences, then the dialogue absolutely will too. Secret Files 2 manages to throw countless sexist and slightly racist comments around with an alarming lack of self-awareness - particularly the word "bimbo", for some reason.

Yet behind the mad puzzles and the dodgy writing lies a weird, undeniable charm. It's so bizarre and stupid that you kind of want to stick with the game to see where the hell it's actually going.

Everything clicks

Secret Files 2 is bound to infuriate more than a few people with its ridiculous puzzles, occasionally offensive writing, and downright weirdness.

But the mechanics underneath it all are perfectly sound, so while your brain might be exploding with confusion, your fingers will be trying a thousand different solutions with ease.

If you're a fan of the old-style adventure games with little to no hints and utterly bizarre solutions, then this is more than worth checking out.
Secret Files 2 review - An old-school adventure game for better and worse
Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley | 7 August 2017
It makes next to no sense both in plot and puzzle design, but there's a weird charm to Secret Files 2 all the same
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