Puzzle Agent 2 Review

Game: Puzzle Agent 2
Publisher: Telltale Games

Puzzle Agent 2 from Telltale Games brings us back to Scoggins, Minnesota to delve into the unresolved secrets of the first installment. The FBI’s sole agent in charge of the US Department of Puzzle Research, Nelson Tethers, has decided there’s a puzzle left unsolved.

Graham Annable returns with his sketch-art animation and folk-lore hidden people. The animation and story board are a good bit of the selling point for the Puzzle Agent series, with Graham’s ability to pack emotion into a fairly low-detail form of art. The art’s fun, unpretentious, and surprisingly engaging.

Audio in the game sets the mood nicely, complementing the gameplay and settings without being overbearing. Voice acting is on par with anything I’ve watched. The best complement I can pay any game not about music is that I don’t remember the soundtrack, only recalling that it was good.

And that’s the case here.

Too many titles wedge in music that undercuts the gameplay rather than underscoring it because someone “did music” or they’re trying to get an extra sales angle in.

Puzzles in Puzzle Agent 2 are slightly easier than in the first game. Some of the aspects that could make solving puzzles irritating have been altered. I really didn’t find them hard, more along the lines of a brain-teaser or Saturday newspaper puzzle than MENSA material.

There are also abundant hints available if riddles are a bit too challenging. Or if you don’t have knowledge of a particular subject.

Coming in at about 4 hours of playtime, Puzzle Agent 2 is a bit longer than an episode but shorter than a traditional long-format game. Which is about right for a ~10$ pricetag.

I liked the game. It was fun all the way through. With the sketch animation style, puzzles, and clean content Puzzle Agent 2 delivers.

Footnote: you should play Puzzle Agent first, since Puzzle Agent 2 is somewhat of another episode. It’s not going to hurt to start on the second chapter, but why would you want to?

On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode One from PA

I had to pick it up. There really wasn’t a way around it, what with the game being available out the gate for Linux.

And it’s good! I’ve been playing Penny Arcade’s “On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Ep1 for the past few hours (since I finished working) and it’s fun. Initially there was a bit of a hiccup loading the game but once I gave it a few tries it started up.

Another quible is that it eats massive amounts of CPU time on the x86_64 Debian release that I run on the laptop. Even so, the performance is okay once the game is going. Just don’t expect the system to be doing much else. Might be a x86_64 specific or Debian edgy specific problem, dunno.

Gameplay is similar to an updated Monkie Island or Zak McKracken. The engine is fairly novel, and delivers the story in a fun and simple manner. Don’t expect to be facing an incredibly tough stat building RPG.. the combat progression so far is fun, but it doesn’t get in the way of plot progression or the storyline.

And what a storyline! It’s got well spliced comic scenes liberally sprinkled throughout with pointed over-the-top humor that’s made Penny Arcade famous.

Rendering the PA crowd in 3D really seems to have payed off as well. The style captures quite a bit of Gabe’s feel for the pen with rounded lines and a realistic/cartoony presentation.

Check out the demo from the Greenhouse and grab a copy if you like it. For 20$ on any platform, it’s quite a bargain.

Penny Arcade Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Screenshot 1Rain Slic Precipice of Darkness 2Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Opening Screen