You may know Telltale Games best for their 3D point-and-click adventures like Back to the Future, Monkey Island and others. However, their most original creation is the zany and hilarious Puzzle Agent series. Puzzle Agent 2 picks up where the first game’s story left off, and it brings you on an unforgettably weird and wild ride.
Puzzle Agent 2 has puzzle-solving FBI agent Nelson Tethers unofficially returning to Scoggins, Minnesota after the government closes the missing persons case from the first game. Eager to get to the bottom of what he started, Tethers sets off on a wacky adventure full of conspiracies and red garden gnomes known as the ‘Hidden People’. We won’t spoil the story, but it never fails to engage you with surprising twists. In the end, the Scoggins tale comes to what seems to be a satisfying ending, with room for another game in the future. If you never played the original, there is a recap to get you up to speed.
Can I interest you in a puzzle, monseigneur?
We especially loved the characters you meet throughout your journey. You’ll see an even split of new and old faces, each with a unique personality that is sure to make a lasting impression. Some of our favorite new cast members include the unintentionally provocative Korka Teterdottir and Jim Ingraham, a fellow FBI agent who looks up to Tethers for his puzzle expertise. Every line of dialogue in the game is voice-acted perfectly, making this a game that needs to be played with the sound on.
Puzzle mysteries are prone to throwing random puzzles at you without any pretext other than helping out a random passerby. For the most part, Puzzle Agent 2 strays from this formula and inserts story-driven puzzles where they fit naturally. However, there are only 33 puzzles, two of which are unlocked after finishing the story, and at least an equal amount of time is spent interviewing townsfolk. Even with just a few dozen puzzles, the quality narrative makes this approach work.
These gnomes must have gotten on Santa’s naughty list.
The story takes about four hours to complete, depending on how proficient of a puzzle solver you are. Once you finish it, though, there is practically no replay value. The two bonus puzzles, both of which involve moving a robot with console commands, leave something to be desired. Also somewhat disappointing is the unoriginal hint system, which has you picking up pieces of gum scattered around environments as hint currency. This has been done before in other puzzle mysteries like Professor Layton, and it’s beginning to feel old.
These downsides barely mar an otherwise golden experience that will leave you with fond memories of astronauts, garden gnomes, and lunacy. What else could you ask for?