Are you a puzzle fan?

I never played the first Puzzle Agent. I’m really not sure why; the hand-drawn art style, Professor Layton-style puzzles, and humorous dialogue should all be right up my alley, but for whatever reason, I missed out. After seeing Puzzle Agent2 at the Telltale Games booth today, though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to rectify this mistake as soon as possible so I can be ready to go by the time the sequel comes out.

Puzzle Agent 2 resembles a typical adventure game, but as I mentioned above, it’s more Professor Layton than Sam & Max. As Agent Nelson Tethers, an FBI agent in the obscure Puzzle Research Division, you must tie up the loose ends in the case that the Puzzle Agent just can’t seem to let die. Sure, the FBI has closed it, and it’s technically a success-but something’s not right. People are disappearing, strange gnome creatures are showing up, and Nelson knows that he must return to Scoggins, Minnesota, giving the game a tongue-in-cheek Fargo tone.

While I didn’t see too much of the game’s plot unfold beyond the basic premise, I watched the completion of a fairly simple puzzle, which gave me a general idea of the types of brain-teasers contained in Puzzle Agent 2. After inputting your answer (presumably after careful thought, consideration, and deductive reasoning), the puzzle is sent off to the FBI, where the nation’s tax dollars go to work letting you know whether your answer is right or wrong. Completing these without using hints or getting an incorrect answer will earn bonuses, though it wasn’t explained whether these will benefit gameplay or are just for bragging rights. For completionists, there are two different endings, which should give Puzzle Agent 2 a little bit of replay value.

With a promise of walking that fine line between challenging and frustrating without falling on the wrong side of it, Puzzle Agent 2 is definitely an intriguing title that I will be happy to spend more time with. The downloadable game is nearly complete and should be ready for release at the end of this month, and Telltale is even running a sale on the original game this week, so there’s really no excuse not to jump into the world of Nelson Tethers, Puzzle Research Division.

Puzzle Agent 2 will be out on June 30 for the PC, Mac, and iOS, with a PSN version coming later in the year.

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