grilledcheez's Puzzle Agent (PC) review

Your Mission: Open that Eraser Factory

Nelson Tether's: Puzzle Agent is another point and click adventure game from developer Telltale Games. This time around, the emphasis is placed on solving puzzles at every turn not unlike the popular Professor Layton series of games. Where Puzzle Agent sets itself apart is its unique art style, excellent characters, and simply being a charming and witty adventure game in an era of big budget juggernauts.

The art style in Nelson Tether's has the appearance of being completely hand drawn. The characters have "wiggly" lines for outlines and each scene uses a deliberate frame by frame style for movement. This art style helps set the light hearted tone the game ambitiously goes after and helps to reinforce it at times the player may find themselves perplexed. Simply put, I always appreciate games that push the boundaries of what their specific genre is.

As I mentioned earlier, this game is almost entirely driven by tone and subtle humor. Your mission as "Puzzle Agent" is to find out why the eraser factory in Scoggins has closed and prevented the West Wing from getting new erasers! Throughout your journey, you'll encounter the nasally sheriff, a loner who has birds deliver packages, a couple of bug collectors, and a large woman who serves hot dish (whatever that is). Although the best part of the game are the numerous awkward moments that are results of interactions between characters. If only more games created such fantastic worlds with well thought out characters!

But when all is said and done, this is ultimately a puzzle game (puzzle adventure game). Unfortunately, the puzzle variety is quite limited (maybe 5-6 types of puzzle spread across a total of around 30). The puzzles themselves are often unclear until at least one attempt is made (notice I said unclear) as a result of the art style or simply poor design. The ones that work are definitely enjoyable, although a little on the easy side of the spectrum.

The game is also rather short (running at around 4 hours), but considering the now $5 price tag, you can't exactly go wrong with this beautiful and funny game. I would highly recommend this to any pc gamer with a day to kill!

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