Telltale Games is known for their episodic adventure games, using well-known properties like Sam and Max, Monkey Island, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Walking Dead. Those are all quality series, but the games that have stuck with us the most are a bizarre combination of Fargo and Professor Layton: the mysterious Puzzle Agent series.
Puzzle Agent was a bit of a departure for Telltale, with original characters who hadn’t been seen in any other games or films. You play as a federal agent named Nelson Tethers, who works at the fictional US Department of Puzzle Research. When an accident shuts down the eraser factory in Scoggins, Minnesota, Agent Tethers is sent to investigate. While he interviews witnesses and searches for clues, you’re presented with a series of logic puzzles. With each one you complete, you’re given a rating, and you can trade a piece of chewing gum (found hidden in several locations) to buy a clue. Although the intriguing story didn’t really wrap up until part two, we were thoroughly impressed by Puzzle Agent’s unique blend of adventure gaming and puzzles, with excellent artwork from the creator of the comic Grickle.
Key Quote: “If the next Puzzle Agent game ties up these loose ends, Nelson Tethers could be the next great puzzle-solving mystery man. Lofty expectations aside, we found this garden gnome-filled adventure to be entertaining for a first installment.”
Puzzle Agent 2
In the second Puzzle Agent game, Nelson Tethers is once again called to Scoggins, but this time without the support of the US Department of Puzzle Research. His goal is to solve a missing persons case by revealing the true secret of Scoggins, which has to do with the gnomes who seem to have free run of the place at night. Like the original, Puzzle Agent 2 mixed adventure game dialogue and exploration with logic puzzles, but the story was much more complete. Puzzle Agent 2 also introduced several new characters, who we’re eager to see return someday.
Key Quote: “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.”
Tomorrow, we’ll cover the freemium games of Nimblebit, creators of Pocket Frogs, Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes, Nimble Quest, and more.
This article is part of a series about the best games on iOS, 2008-2013. You can read the rest here.