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Puzzle Agent impressions!

posted by Jake on - last edited - Viewed by 2.9K users

PuzzAgent_puzzled_patron.jpgPuzzle Agent is here!

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What is the mystery of Scoggins?

What the heck is going on Scoggins, Minnesota? When White House inquiries to the Scoggins Eraser Co. are answered only with curious puzzles, the U.S. Department of Puzzle Investigation's Nelson Tethers is sent on the case.

As the government's sole Puzzle Agent, Tethers has his hands full: the strange case of Scoggins plunges him into a mystery that will challenge every ounce of his expertise, and possibly his very wits too. Tethers must overcome brainteasers at every turn, including mazes, logic puzzles and riddles. He soon realizes that these - along with the clinically pre-occupied townspeople, secret societies, and mysterious sounds from the forest - are intimately connected to the core conundrum. And what's with the gnomes?

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So you guys have been playing it a bit, I hope! What do you think? Let's talk Puzzle agent!

296 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • So far I'm enjoying the game immensely. I don't think it's on the same level as Professor Layton for the Nintendo DS, but it definitely has a lot of promise.

    I haven't gotten to any repetition with puzzles yet, so my experience has been very positive thus far. The story line and animation sequences are fine and I haven't really seen any of the framerate issues some of you are seeing (maybe I'm missing it?).

    Regardless, I think the game stands on its own thus far and has been worth the $8.99 I paid on Steam for it. I'd definitely buy it again had I had to make the decision once more.

  • I started the game yesterday. I also ended it yesterday, after a few hours of constant puzzling. I enjoyed it quite a lot. I have possitive impressions on it, but of course I found some things that could be better.

    I liked the idea, it's very Layton, although it can't even try to beat Layton if we onlye care about puzzles. I liked the design and it's houmor. I know it's made on purppose and it's the style it's always had, but I think they could have polished a bit the faces, eyes, etc when the camera gets very close, because it gets really foggy, as if the framerate weren't good enough (I know the meant to do it that way).

    One thing about the game I didn't quite like was that there were some puzzles in which it wasn't so clear what you had to do, or how, such as the one of the menacing map, the hydraulic things on the ending, and a few more. Also, I found most of the puzzles pretty easy. (I loved the ones of the bugs, and the ones of the birds carrying gnomes, as well as the ones of logic thinking such as the dinner of the people with food faces)

    Of course, it's a nice game, and I hope to see another episode someday!

  • @Kaldire said: was the game even made for widescreen? if not why use it? just disable it..


    I'm not using my native resolution, because it's way too slow. That was my point. But it's a shame that I can't, because the graphics don't seem that special, and earlier Telltale Games worked fine if I turned the graphics setting to 3.

    i personally see no need in wide screen for gaming.. now for movies thats a whole different ball of wax..


    You do realize that the entire game is in 16:9 widescreen right? ;) Apparently Telltale disagrees with you.

  • Just finished it... really enjoyed the original style and the general mood of the game.
    Many of the puzzles were great too, but the ones at the end were far too easy!

    Those snap puzzles fail completely as has been pointed out many times by others but other than that, the other puzzles are good.

    I love the puzzles where you are given clues and have to pick the right person/fish/whatever... wish there were more of those.

    I also liked the bug and bird puzzles, I was glad to see there were more of those (optional I guess? I finished them right away so I don't know).

    Also, there were two sports puzzles after I had finished the game that were left unsolved... I finished those too but after I had finished the game.
    Is it possible to find this puzzle within the game itself?

  • @Kaldire said: i personally see no need in wide screen for gaming.. now for movies thats a whole different ball of wax..
    ...
    im saying1680x1050 is not a standard game coding resolution.. just the first few you mentioned...

    What the hell is a "standard game coding resolution"? Better yet, why do you feel the need to limit the resolutions and aspect ratios to a select few? We are no longer in the age of emerging discrete graphics. The VESA standard did not get finalized just last month. Many people these days have widescreen LCD monitors that run at much higher resolutions than those of the days when 800x600 was cutting-edge (And by that I mean "All that was available"). These days there is a multitude of resolutions and aspect ratios available, and I don't believe there's any excuse for releasing a game that cannot run at any resolution and aspect ratio thrown at it.

    Let's take a moment to compare how Telltale's games scale to different resolutions versus Popcap's games: Telltale's games (S&M, SBCG4AP, W&G, ToMI, PA) all have the ability to run at whatever resolutions the videocard and monitor will support, including different aspect ratios. The on-screen elements will move and scale to fit the display. You get the option to play at your display's native resolution (I'm assuming an LCD panel here) with absolutely no stretching or distortion. Now, Popcap's games don't give you any of those options. You just get 'windowed' or 'fullscreen'. If you select fullscreen (And you didn't turn on scaling in your video card's config, or your video card doesn't support it), then you'll end up with a horribly blurry 640x480 or 800x600 image. If you have a widescreen display, then not only will the image be blurred from the scaling, but it'll also be stretched/distorted horizontally.

    In short, you may not see a need for widescreen gaming, but that doesn't mean that game developers should be inconsiderate of the available technology.

  • @Armakuni said: Also, there were two sports puzzles after I had finished the game that were left unsolved... I finished those too but after I had finished the game. Is it possible to find this puzzle within the game itself?


    Yes, you can find these by clicking on the window of the shop to the right (outside of) the hotel.

    One thing that I found really strange, finishing this game, was that the weirdo in the hotel ("mind always thinking... thinking about puzzles!") ended up playing no role whatsoever.... he doesn't even give you any more puzzles after the beginning. What's that all about? I expected to see a lot more of him!

  • Due to work i haven´t had much time to play this game, managed to reach the Erasor Factory so far. But i´ll spend more time on this one for sure, really digging the art style and the mood. I hope we´ll see a whole Puzzle Agent season, yes i do. :)

  • My two cents on Nelson Tethers.

    Presentation: as always, two thumbs up. A polished, stylish 2D adventure with a clear interface and some great music. Irresistible.

    Story: tense, scary and compelling, but it does leave too many loose threads. There's a frozen corpse in the middle of the forest - why does no investigation take place? What happens to the Sheriff, Bjorn and Glori? I like the abrupt, mysterious ending, but there's something unrealistic in the almost complete lack of curiosity - or professional sense of duty - in Nelson and his department. Anyway, Scoggins is indeed a fascinating setting, and the insecure but resolute Nelson Tethers has already proven himself a great main character.

    Gameplay: my main complaint. Too linear, too flat, too straightforward. For the first time with a Telltale Game I've had the impression of watching a TV show more than playing an actual game - and there's absolutely no praise in this. Why have you abandoned the three-quests-for-chapter formula, which worked so well? Tethers has to get three wheels in order to gain access to the factory: why can't he look for them in whatever order he wants? There's always one single - obvious - thing to do next, and absolutely nothing else.
    An option would have been leaving more facultative puzzles scattered throughout the map, instead of cramming all of them in one single room (the Diner). Anyway, the problem remains: due to the almost complete lack of facultative interactivity and non-linear gameplay, we never feel like we're actually conducting the investigation - we're just watching a story unfold on its own, and solving puzzles in the meanwhile. Very far from what Telltale has accostumed us to.

    Puzzles: fun and balanced, for the most part. I've had a good time solving the vast majority of them - but some were simply too unrealistic or inconsistent to fit well in the overall tone and atmosphere. I've written what I think of them in the dedicated thread.

    Dialogue: loved its style - dry, humorous, suggestive and disturbing. But more options would have been appreciated during the later stages of the game.

    Verdict: a promising start, but Telltale can do much, much more. Bring on Puzzle Agent, sure, but only when you feel confident enough to create a good, deep, story-based puzzle game, and not a simple Layton clone.

  • @Zomantic said: ...
    Verdict: a promising start, but Telltale can do much, much more. Bring on Puzzle Agent, sure, but only when you feel confident enough to create a good, deep, story-based puzzle game, and not a simple Layton clone.

    To be fair, Telltale has always said, or implied, that this was to be a puzzle game, not an adventure game like their other titles, that exploration would not be part of the gameplay, that progression would be mostly linear, that some puzzles would be non-contextual. And I'm okay with that, personally.

    But something in the way you said what you said makes me wonder that it might be worth considering a re-think of the gameplay. Because, you're right, they're not really playing to their strengths and it shows in that more than a few reviews say the gameplay is a Layton clone that's not as good as Layton. On the other hand, they clearly have a hit in the story, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive on the story (except for complaints about the ending, but I think those become irrelevant if they do a complete series).

    If they're happy with the sales of the pilot, they could easily just make marginal improvements in the puzzles to address specific criticisms and crank out a series. But I think I'd rather they spent a little more time to make sure they're building the best gameplay they can into the first-rate story.

  • @Zomantic said: An option would have been leaving more facultative puzzles scattered throughout the map, instead of cramming all of them in one single room (the Diner).


    I think there are six (three bugs, three birds) optional puzzles in the diner, and two (handegg) outside. But yeah, a little more scattering would've been nice.

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