Saturday, July 10, 2010

Puzzle Agent

FBI special agents usually are tough guys. Nelson Tethers isn’t. He’s with the FBI, he’s a special agent (there are not other agents in the FBI), but he’s no tough guy, he’s a geek, in a way.

I have waited for this game to be published by TellTale Games for a whole month. They promised to publish it in June – and did so at the very last day, late enough for me, as an inhabitant of Europe, to get it on the first of July instead.

Apart from providing me with pictures of snowy landscapes (a good thing throughout the heat wave we’ve been experiencing here for the last couple of days), it also does provide me with a lot of puzzles to solve. It does so, because it’s some kind of “Dr. Kawashima” with a story and without an analysis of my brain power beforehand.

Nelson Tethers is working in the puzzle department. One day he has a vision which leaves a mark on his daily crossword puzzle. It’s just one word: “Scoggins”. Scoggins, it turns out, is a small town and the site of the Scoggins Eraser Factory, the only factory that supplies the White House with erasers. Now the factory has been closed and all agents looking for the reason have disappeared. So it’s time for Nelson to solve the puzzles in Scoggins and find out what has happened there.

Even though Nelson travels from one area to the other, as people do in an adventure, even though he talks to people, the game is mainly about the puzzles various people in the town give him. There’s a large variety of those, all kinds of puzzles.

The graphics are a bit crude when you look at them for the first time, but that’s the designer’s style. The way all characters were drawn actually grew on my quickly.

The story around the puzzles also is quite interesting. There’s strange red gnomes running around in Scoggins, there’s a light in the eraser factory and a complicated lock outside. In addition, it’s freezing cold and everyone seems to be thinking only of puzzles.

The game could be a bit longer, but considering it only costs 9.99 $, the price is okay. There might be some new cases for Mr. Tethers ahead, after all.

Once you’re through with the story, you can replay the puzzles you’ve solved already and you can play the puzzles you might have missed (you do not have to play all puzzles in the game to solve it).

So, if you’re looking for an interesting game that supplies a collection of puzzles with a story that’s interesting, but weird, “Puzzle Agent” might be something to check out.

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