PC Review: Puzzle Agent

Does Professor Layton have some new competition?

Puzzle Agent follows the story of Nelson Tethers from the FBI’s puzzle division; he is sent to the town of Scoogins, Minnesota to investigate the closure of the eraser factory but is met with difficulties including uncooperative people, gnomes and other strange things. This is the first time that Telltale has made a “pilot” episode, so this could very well be the first and last episode of Puzzle Agent, but will that be the case?

The game is made up of many puzzles that really get you to use your head, some are actually incredibly tough…but you can use 3 hints on each depending on how much gum you have, you can find it lying around most places and can replenish your stock easily enough. There are the puzzles that progress the story, but there are also a few side-puzzles that are there just for fun. These puzzles can vary from placing logs on a map so you end up at a specific point, jigsaws, rotating images to name a few.

The problem is that some of these types of puzzles tend to repeat through the episode, so you’ll be sick of rotating a bunch of pipes to go from one end to the other. That aside, the puzzles are enjoyable and frustrating at the same time…luckily you get unlimited attempts on each one, but you get rated for each puzzle you solve and the game even shows you how much each attempt costs the taxpayer, which is kinda amusing when you see how much it is!

The story itself is intriguing, but it leaves far too many unanswered questions for my liking. It ends just as it seems to get going and with it being a pilot episode, chances are that we may never know the truth if it doesn’t get a full season. It might have been better to have a complete story for the pilot and expand it if they did get a series, but alas we won’t find out for some time if they decide to make another episode. I personally hope they do, even though Nelson is hardly as memorable as Sam and Max or Professor Layton.

The visual style of the game is different to what you would expect from a game and feels just like a roughly drawn comic book, I actually was a bit mixed at first…but towards the end, the look began to grow on me. Voice-acting is strong for a pilot; it’s just a shame that we might not ever see any of the other characters again.

The Verdict

Puzzle Agent is a good pilot for a Telltale series. It has good puzzles and a ludicrous, yet intriguing plot. I just hope they get a season so that they may return to Scoggins and reveal what happens next instead of keeping us in limbo.