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Available on

Telltale's site!

 

Platform

PC

 

Genre

Puzzle

 

Publisher

Telltale Games

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

June 30, 2011

 

 

- Most puzzles are challenging in a Rubik’s Cube style that won’t frustrate or confuse gamers trying to solve them too much
- Chewing gum hints are a very welcome feature, although using them decreases your puzzle score
- Art style and story elevate what really is nothing more than a mind-teaser puzzle game into an interesting mystery adventure

 

 

- A few puzzles need the solver to understand some mathematics principles, like calculus and pi, so math dunderheads (like this reviewer) trying to solve them will be left scratching their heads trying to find the puzzle answer

 

 

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Puzzle Agent 2

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

puzzle agent 2          puzzle agent 2

 

In the bizarre little town of Scoggins in frosty-frozen Minnesota, agent Nelson Tethers of the FBI’s Department of Puzzle Research solved the biggest case of his career.

But too many loose strings were left untied, including the unsolved disappearance of the eraser factory foreman and what exactly was the real story behind the Hidden People “myth” – the gnome creatures that some believed were actually real. So, taking some “vacation” time, the always inquisitive and never satisfied Tethers

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returns to Scoggins to tie up those loose ends in the PC game sequel, Puzzle Agent 2.

Using the distinctive art style based on the drawings of Graham Annable, the game has a generally smart and oftentimes darkly humorous storyline that keeps gamers interested in playing what essentially is a Rubik’s Cube-type puzzle game. Although the mystery of Scoggins

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sometimes can get a bit confusing, what with bigfoot, red gnomes, astronauts and G Men running all about, it generally is a very good plot that somehow binds a lot of seemingly random but eventually connected tangents into a coherent tale. If gamers haven’t played the first Puzzle Agent game, they may be a bit out-of-the-loop initially on the background of Nelson Tethers and what happened before in Scoggins, but the sequel does a good job of catching unfamiliar gamers up rather quickly by talking to an array of eccentric and peculiar characters throughout the snowy landscape of Scoggins.

But it’s not the story that will attract gamers – it is the puzzles that move the gameplay, and mystery and finally the (somewhat) resolution forward. Although the complexity of the conundrums varies greatly, most puzzles are challenging in a Rubik’s Cube way that won’t frustrate or confuse gamers trying to solve them too much. Rubik’s Cube is really an apt way of describing most of Puzzle Agent 2’s puzzles, as for the most part many are deciphered by twisting or sliding objects around until they are arranged in the proper position to unlock the solution.

 

puzzle agent 2          puzzle agent 2

 

However, there are a few that require the solver to understand some mathematic principles, like calculus and pi, so math dunderheads (like this reviewer) trying to solve them will be left scratching their heads trying to find the puzzle answer. Fortunately, there is a generous hint system for stuck gamers. Tethers finds that if he has a stick of chewing gum being chomped in his mouth, he’s able to do his best puzzle solving. But Scoggins has enacted a ban on selling chewing gum, so Tethers is seemingly unable to employ his chewy conundrum-solving ploy at first.

Luckily and also rather disgustingly Tethers finds all kinds of ABC (already been chewed) gum lying around town. By using a piece, Tethers reveals one of three puzzle clues. Three pieces, three clues. That third clue in some cases is literally a picture of how to solve the puzzle. But each chewing-gum clue used and each incorrect guess lowers the final grade gamers get on each individual puzzle, so the grading incentive is to attempt to solve the puzzle without using any clues and correctly solving it the first time.

Full of surprises and crazy conspiracies Bigfoot breeding? Lunacy weapon? Fake moon landings? Aliens among us? Puzzle Agent 2 contains a decent story along with a unique art presentation and plenty of mind-taxing puzzles to twist the second tale of Tethers into a title sure to entertain and challenge casual puzzle gaming aficionados.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(August 22, 2011)

 

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