Puzzle Agent Review


Erasers. Erasers? Eraaaaaaaseeeers!

Welcome to a new installment of “Explain that Telltale Games Release!”. This time around we have a game that is easier to do a breakdown of: Nelson Tethers, Puzzle Agent. The name says it all: you’re an FBI agent (as in Federal Bureau of Investigation) named Nelson Tethers… and you solve puzzles for a living. You’re even an EXPERT puzzle solver, just to make it be extremely clear that when puzzles are the problem, there’s only ONE guy that can solve them. Think of this as a cross between a bit of Monkey Island and some Professor Layton sprinkled here and there and you’ll get the idea.

The important question now is… how do you play it? Well, you get Dualshock 3 controls which work to some point but I do miss the point and click DNA that got scrambled once the game was set for a trip from the P of the C and into the PSN catalog. You get used to it but Move support would have been nice since the puzzles would have been easier to solve due to a more natural input. You don’t move per-se as is the case with the Back to the Future Episodes or other point an click adventure games from Telltale. On the PS3 you hold R1 to see what can be interacted with on the screen and use the left analog stick to cycle through every option until you find one that interests you… and THEN you click X to have a closer look. You can highlight a dialog balloon, a puzzle piece, a magnifying glass or a squishy pink blob. First one is for talking to others, second one is for puzzles proper, third one is just for researching something and the last one will be explained later. Once inside a puzzle you must read the clues and info you’re given before diving head on into the wonderful world of puzzling and perplexing… puzzles!

Once you have your answer you must submit it and doing so places your selected solution inside an envelope that is sent to the Puzzle Research Department back at FBI headquarters for review. Once it enters the system, your tax dollars are put to work to determine if what has been presented is the correct answer. Failing to provide the right answer means you’ll have to re-evaluate the puzzle, send a new answer and spend even more money. Basically, puzzles is why the economy has been in such a slump lately. Second puzzle in the game will set the mood for the rest of the game and allow you to see what we’re dealing with: lots and lots of fun-fun dialog and games!

Stuck on a puzzle? Then I have the solution to your problems! Ok, it’s not the solution ITSELF, but it helps you out anyway. Ok, come close so no one else hears it. You ready? GUM! Blew your freaking mind, right? Gum soothes and relaxes Mr. Tethers which allows him to think better and move closer to a solution for the problem at hand. It will you from obtaining a trophy or two but if you’re reaaaaaaaaaaaally stuck you don’t have much of a choice… or do you? Where do you find this gum? Remember the squishy pink blobs? The ones that looked like chewed up… oh, oh. That’s just nasty!

Game is sorta like a pilot episode for a new series… or at least that was the initial intention. The design feels different and a bit separated from the Telltale “template”.. which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Puzzle Agent has done well enough for a sequel to be already in development… but not confirmed for PSN just yet. That’s why the game needs as many sales as possible to justify said future release and maybe another one to close this as a trilogy and not as a set of 5 episodes to a season as has been the case for the others.

Colorful cast of support characters that bring to life the snowy town of Scoogins and all of it’s mystic, mysterious and white (reaaaaally white) surroundings. Who is responsible for shutting down the Eraser Factory? Oh, yeah, forgot to mention it, huh? An Eraser Factory that was responsible for supplying erasers to the White House has been closed without an explanation so OF COURSE the FBI has to step in and investigate. That’s a totally plausible premise because the President MUST NOT be without his erasers or a crisis could be at hand!

Animation isn’t silky smooth but that’s in part due to the style chosen for this game, style taken out of the head of the creator and placed into our entertainment medium of choice. To me the jumpy animation is part of the game’s charm and helps set it apart from other releases set before us by Telltale Games. The distinctive artstyle is based on the work of Graham Annable, he of the Grickle series and a talented animator/cartoonist/writer/washer of persian decorative plates. If the game looks the way it looks, feels the way it feels, animates the way it animates and looks the way… did I say looks already? Anyway, you can watch this to better understand how well his work was applied to the game:

Want another dose of humor? Look no further! Or look below:

Whole game is 4-5 hours long if it’s your first time around the rodeo but Telltale Games veterans should be able to cut that down to about 2-3 hours tops. Again, let us not forget that if those 2-3 hours are filled with funny dialog, interesting game scenarios and a great artstyle then it definitely deserves your money (NOW!).

Want to get this game? Then you can:

Buy a $20 PSN Card!

Buy a $50 PSN Card!

Buy Puzzle Agent itself!

Review

ProsCons
Adventure games are here to stay!
Great dialog and voice acting.
Interesting and different artstyle
Some puzzles repeat 2-3 times
Rating
85%

Published by Telltale Games
Developed by Telltale Games

Cost – $9.99

Available on PSN

Disclaimer

- Game was completed before writing this review.
- All trophies obtained.
- Total amount of time played: 3 hours.
- This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Puzzle Agent provided by Telltale Games.


Written by: EdEN - Owner / PR / Editor-In-Chief


  1. #1 by GeneticMania on June 16th, 2011 [ 1450 Points ]

    I don’t understand

    Also, this is on the PSN store right?

  2. #2 by Oly on June 16th, 2011 [ 132140 Points ]

    Great review Eden..

    GeneticMania: I don’t understandAlso, this is on the PSN store right?  

    Don’t understand what? And yes, you can get it directly from the PSN Store.

  3. #3 by GeneticMania on June 16th, 2011 [ 1450 Points ]

    @Oly: Don’t understand why they would try to sell this. Of course people will buy anything these days.

  4. #4 by Oly on June 16th, 2011 [ 132140 Points ]

    GeneticMania:

    @Oly: Don’t understand why they would try to sell this. Of course people will buy anything these days.  

    ^

    lol.. the game is actually fun and funny

  5. #5 by Kane112 on June 16th, 2011 [ 34187 Points ]

    haha great review seems like a fun game

  6. #6 by Baba0Booey on June 17th, 2011 [ 5938 Points ]

    I loved thos videos you posted……the smartest dog in the world is the best….and that poor kitty….

    great review!!

  7. #7 by EdEN on June 17th, 2011 [ 139781 Points ]

    @BabaOBooey: Glad you liked both the review and the videos! You can spend a lot of time watchiing all the videos posted by Annable over at youtube and you should definitely get one of his books.

    @GeneticMania: Some people like adventure games… some don’t. Game isn’t for everyone but at least give it a try before saying it’s not worth a release.

  8. #8 by Pedro on June 20th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    I liked the “submit you answer” part of the game, a bit different from what we’re accustomed with.

    The only complaint I have about new “point and click” games on the PS3 is they’re (obviously) not point and click anymore. That “hold R to see what you can interact with” makes the game 50% easier. I can’t remember how many times I used to get stuck in these games just because I wasn’t paying attention to the environment and forgot to pick something up, sure it’s a bit frustrating, but it’s part of the game!

    Great review as usual Eden!

  9. #9 by EdEN on June 20th, 2011 [ 139781 Points ]

    @Pedro: Yeah, it’s basically been the complain I’ve had will all of Telltale Games releases on PSN. Move support would have made these truly point and click and is the reason why they stat true to form on their Wii (by way of Wiiware or retail) counterparts.

    And having to backtrack for 10 minutes because you forgot to pick up a white paper clip that was laying on a snow covered white floor while white paper shreds are falling from the sky is something you learn to NOT forget by your second point and click game hahaha.

  10. #10 by The_Nmac on June 25th, 2011 [ 47113 Points ]

    Are there any changes from the PC version? I liked it on PC however if there are no changes then probably will not get.

    Your right about the move support. That would be perfect for tell tales games. Hopefully it will get added.

  11. #11 by EdEN on June 27th, 2011 [ 139781 Points ]

    @The_Nmac: Nope, no changes from the PC version other than the control method outlined on the review.

    Hopefully we get Move support for the next batch of games (Jurassic Park and Walking Dead being the next ones up for release).


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