Developed by:Telltale Games Published by:Telltale Games Genre(s):
  • Adventure
  • Platform:
  • Handhelds
  • PC
  • Cost:$9.99 ESRB Rating:RATING PENDING Players:1 Release date:June 30, 2011 Reviewed on:PC

    Puzzle Agent 2

    The two things I enjoy most about a casual adventure game are an interesting story and challenging, yet reasonable puzzles. This is just what I received from Telltalle Games’ signature puzzle adventure game, Puzzle Agent 2. This is the sequel form the award winning Puzzle Agent, based on the drawings of Grickle creator and artist, Graham Annable. There wasn’t really much to talk about on the side of disappointment when it came to reviewing this game, so here’s hoping for many more sequels for this series.

    For those of you, like myself, who missed out on the first Puzzle Agent, never fear this review won’t be a simple basis of comparison piece, but rather a look into Puzzle Agent 2 in its own right. However, the story does pick up right where the first game left off, so I’ll give you some background info. FBI Agent, Nelson Tethers of the Puzzle Research Division was charged with investigating the disappearance of the Scoggins, Minnesota eraser factory foremen, Isaac Davners. Upon his arrival into Scoggins, Agent Tethers is met with many strange locals, stranger happenings, and of course puzzles. He seems to have uncovered many more mysteries than he intended surrounding the local society, the Brotherhood of Scoggins. Even after failing to locate Davners, the FBI orders the case closed and the eraser factory was reopened. Here is where the second game begins. Agent Tethers can’t seem to let this case go and returns to Scoggins on “personal leave” to further investigate the disappearance of Davners as well as the many secrets surrounding the Brotherhood and their pious devotion to the “hidden people” (read gnome-looking forest creatures). I was thankful that the “case files” from the first Puzzle Agent gave me a decent background about the first game before moving forward, because the story just continued to get stranger and stranger, but in a delightfully entertaining way!

    Playing as Agent Tethers, you will move through the town of Scoggins in a point-and-click manner, interacting with people and things by left-clicking the mouse and selecting preset actions/conversational responses. The clicking radius of certain objects or people is sometimes a little finicky. Clicking in the general area of an object but not directly on it would still register as clicking it, which would be fine most of the time. However, when two or more objects are close together, it can get a bit bothersome. This problem wasn’t nearly bad enough to deter one from continuing their play; it just meant that at times, more precise selection was necessary.

    The puzzle solving in Puzzle Agent 2 beings almost immediately, just after a brief cinematic intro. Solving puzzles will require thousands of tax-payers dollars and the number of submissions or hints that you use to solve the puzzle correctly will negatively affect your status as a puzzle agent. This status doesn’t affect your gameplay, but like any other casual game, you need some sort of a score to beat, right? Following the FBI-agent theme, each puzzle is presented to you in a case file and you have the option to solve. Keep in mind that in most cases, the story will not progress without you correctly solving a puzzle but there are some optional ones too.  Upon “opening” the case file, the puzzle is displayed with four main options available to you, Quit, Hint, Reset, and What. Hints are not unlimited, as you will need to collect pieces of gum found around Scoggins to trade in for a helpful hint, but they are quite easy to find. The “What” is your set of directions. This is where my first (and last) real complaint comes in. The problem with the “What” function is that you will often find the directions somewhat ambiguous, only you won’t know that until you actually try to solve the puzzle. To explain this I’ll need to explain the types of puzzle you’ll see in the game.

    You’ll have anywhere from simple mathematical number patterns, to rearrangement of items to make a path, and chronological organization of pictures. Other more challenging puzzles could be a what-comes-next, carrying animals across the river, positioning reflective mirrors to bounce a ray of light, or moving objects around as barriers to maneuver another object from one side of a map to other. Now for a puzzle like chronologically ordering pictures based on the clues in the pictures, the directions are rather straight forward. However, for something like positioning mirrors or barriers, the solving process requires a short animation to show you the outcome of your proposed solution. Therefore, you have to try to perceive how the objects will actually interact with one another (like the path a ray of light will take as it bounces off your positioned mirrors). Now some might say that this is part of the puzzle solving but it can be argued that this is actually a deterrent in the solving process. This issue could really just be solved with an example animation. The player will still need to use their brain power to crack the puzzle but the process will be enjoyable, and not frustrating. As a consolation, since you repeat most of these more challenging puzzles, you can always learn form your mistakes. Furthermore, this type of directional ambiguity was few and far between, and the majority of the puzzles were straightforward.

    The puzzles are the main part of this game but the plot was equally important. The story took some very interesting turns and even left an opening at the end of the game for an additional sequel. The background music and sound affects also helped to enhance the overall investigative theme. The animation and voice acting were superb. Even if you have never seen any of Graham Annable’s work you will be a fan of this game. The facial expressions are simple but still quite charming. I particularly enjoyed the scared, half-crazed face that agent Tethers makes; there’s just no way you can’t smile at them. The dialogue was pretty witty too.  Even though the people of Scoggins aren’t particularly flashy, their voices were all quite unique and memorable, especially those with somewhat foreign accents. The narration of Agent Tethers, as he verbally documented his intrigues, was not only your guide for where to go or what to do next, but it also provided plenty of the humor in this game.

    Puzzle Agent 2 is entertaining, humorous, and provides you with an array of puzzles to solve. The voice acting and dialogue is engaging and the animation is pretty neat. There are minor issues with mouse selection and the directions for certain puzzles, but neither of these issues are major enough to really hurt the gameplay. Even though it is a short game, from one sitting to the next you may still forget just exactly how you solved certain puzzles giving it some replay value (especially if you want to beat your previous score). Varying difficultly levels would be helpful here to add some more solid replay incentive though. Overall, casual gamers and puzzle lovers really ought to give Puzzle Agent 2 (and its predecessor) a try!



    Minor issues here and there but nothing to keep you from enjoying this title.



    Graham Annable is the man, nothing more to add here!



    Appropriate background music for the espionage theme and pretty awesome voice acting, even the whispering from the hidden people!

    What's New:


    Most of the puzzles were new with respect to the first game but not completely original in the world of puzzles.

    Replay Value:


    If you are into beating your high score than reply value is decent for this title, but without varying difficultly levels there isn’t mush else to propel you to replay outside of the humorous interactions of the local Scoggins clientele.

    Final Score:


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