Video Game Puzzle Agent (PC) (2010)

Puzzle Agent (PC) (2010)


Relevant Links:
Puzzle Agent (Steam Store Page)
Puzzle Agent (Telltale Games Website)
Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent (Wikipedia.org)
Puzzle Agent (PC) (MetaCritic.com)

20120310: [20151126 Edit]
I knew I would like this game, because it's game description reminded me of Professor Layton and the Curious Village (NDS) (2007). Unfortunately, I haven't played anything on my Nintendo DS for a while (at most 3 times in the past 3 years), and so I haven't gotten around to playing any other games in the Professor Layton series.


Tip/Remark: Half the battle on some puzzles is figuring out what the question is asking. Otherwise, I got through most puzzles as quickly as with the average puzzle in Professor Layton or Toki Tori (PC) (2010).

Note: Apparently hint gum respawns randomly. This, however, was unimportant to me because I didn't ever use one.

Note: Some puzzles can be done with little thought by simply getting the pieces to click into place.

Having created this post at 5:52PM ET and finished the game at 10:18PM ET, I completed the game in about 4.5 hours.


However, I'd estimate that using previous knowledge of the puzzles and skipping all the story, one could finish the game in less than half an hour.

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ All the dialogue comes with voice-over
+ Great theme

Neutral:
~ Relatively linear gameplay (the game makes it clear where you're supposed to go)


Cons:
- Lacks the ability to take notes.

Comparison:
One benefit to Professor Layton and the Curious Village was the ability to take notes directly in the game with the stylus. I would recommend keeping a pen and paper handy, or some other place to keep notes (like a blog).

Further comparing the two, I found the game initially didn't have the same mysterious atmosphere that Professor Layton had. This did, however, begin to change as the story progress (I first noted this change with the Lodge + Sheriff).


Finally, Puzzle Agent seemed to repeat various puzzle ideas compare to Professor Layton. While this was welcomed when the puzzles became harder, it was bland when the puzzles were just as simple as the first time I encountered them.

Notes:
. Arm Wrestling Redux: the wrestling puzzle was a little tough until I figured that it was an elimination match: A vs. B, C vs. D and winners from the first two rounds play against each other.
. Wrangling Watchmen: Bernie didn't work last, but he worked 8 hours. Neither did Iggy, and he started at 6. Then Bernie must have worked after Iggy.


Pop couldn't have worked before Iggy either. Thus Al worked for the first six hours before Iggy. Iggy worked for 24-(6+8+3)=7 hours. So from 6AM to 1PM. Then Bernie from 1PM to 9PM. So it was at 8PM.
. Menacing Map: The rules failed to clearly define a valid path. Eventually I assumed it meant that no possible path would lead to a gnome. This ended up being the puzzle's intent.
. Lol, that moment during the furnace puzzle was alarming.
. A Quorum of Crows:
A B C D E; BA-2, DA-1, EA-1, BC-2, CB-1, DB-2, BD-1, EB-1, CD-1, DC-1, EC-1, ED-1; DBA, DBC; EDBA, CDBA, EDBC; ECDBA -1 -1 -2 -2; Total of 5.


. Locksmithing Learner: Lol, reassembling the pieces.
. Frantic Fish: oops, I got this puzzle wrong. Despite knowing the correct fish, I accidentally thought I just had to pick the right line.
. Hydraulic Headache: it wasn't clear if the lifts would only lock if they were in 1, 2, 3 or not. Apparently they don't have to be and will lock into place once reaching a target.

Steam: 4.6 hours

20151127:
Today I replayed Puzzle Agent and I felt like I was more impressed with the game than before. I was, however, quite surprised by the ending.


Notes:
. Wrangling Watchmen: Iggy must have worked at 6AM, because if he worked at 6PM and was relieved, there'd be no one to replace him (his shift has to be at least four hours long, leaving at most a two-hour shift). Then neither Bernie nor Pop can work before Iggy, so Al takes the first shift. (During my previous play I concluded "Bernie didn't work last." Perhaps that's because he refers to the "last shift.")
. Frantic Fish: #3 of Frantic Fish is crucial. Each fish only can have the next in the chain in its stomach.

Steam: 3.5 hours (8.1 hours total)

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