Reviewed: July 27, 2011
Released: June 30, 2011
When I think of adventures and puzzles, the first place I look to is my PC. As a long time adventure title fan, Iíve had the opportunity to play some of the best games that developers have had to offer over the years. TellTale Games, one of the most legendary developers in the business, released the start of a unique adventure series under the moniker of Puzzle Agent last year. Sadly I missed out playing or even hearing about it until this year. That all changed when I got a hold of a copy of Puzzle Agent 2 to review.|
Nelson Tethers of the FBI Puzzle Division, our tax dollars at work here, returns in the sequel to the eerily creepy cartoon puzzle adventure. This time he returns to the seriously creepy town of Scoggins, Minnesota on his ďvacationĒ to investigate more into the disappearance of Isaac Davner. What he doesnít know is that heís about to uncover something far more sinister than the red little gnomes known as the Hidden People.
Unlike most adventure titles, there are no items to use, combine or find in Puzzle Agent 2. Here, itís all about solving various puzzles to progress the story. These vary from number logic puzzles to various forms of slider and distribution puzzles. There are 30 puzzles to be found all over Scoggins to put your federal training to the test. The puzzles I found vary from the fairly easy to the somewhat challenging. Most of the puzzles I solved decently fast, but for those that need an extra hand Nelson can use the power of gum to give you up to three hints per puzzle.
There are a few puzzles that I thought were pretty cool including one where you have to program coordinates to make 3 electrical nodes go into 3 different receptacles. This puzzle was cool since you could possibly solve it a couple different ways, though due to some bug, I found that I couldnít finish the coordinates for one possible solution. I also liked one of the puzzles that required you to direct a light beam through one of the crazy Brotherhood cultistís brain to help him regain his sanity.
The thing that I like the most about Puzzle Agent 2 isnít really the puzzles, which are fun donít get me wrong, but I like the town of Scoggins and more importantly the graphics. The overall feel of the town is like something right out of a movie where outsiders get stranded in some backwater town and soon find out everyone in town is out to get them. WaitÖum that happened already. The story still has its spooky feel though perhaps not as scary as the original.
What really makes Puzzle Agent 2 and its predecessor special is the artistic styling of Graham Annable, a cartoonist and animator whose work is just awesome. Iíve seen his works all over the place, including his animated shorts and he was absolutely perfect for this series. The simple artwork and probably not so simple animations have a very comic style look that just works. The coloring and lines are sharp where they need to be, but the whole experience is like playing a comic strip. The characters are definitely memorable, especially the motherly inn owner Ms. Garrett and the recluse Russian sounding Korka.
To go with the awesome graphics, Puzzle Agent 2 features an equally awesome voice cast and score. The music fits the mood of this title perfectly with eerie melodies that start up on cue during the weirder parts as well as a few lighter moments. The voice acting is my favorite though, as there is such a variety of talents in Puzzle Agent 2. The game takes place in Minnesota and the actors definitely make it sound very natural. I still canít get Ms. Garrettís ďdonít you knowĒ voice out of my head. I swear they got someone that sounds just like Gail Matthiusís portrayal of Bobby Genericís mom to do her voice.
Puzzle Agent 2 definitely was a fun experience though I felt that it was over way too fast. Donít get me wrong; I actually really enjoyed the experience and for $10 dollars the price canít be beat. I definitely would look forward to another sequel. Puzzle Agent 2 has the right blend of suspense, puzzle solving, and Minnesota charm; donít you know.