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Puzzle Agent 2

Befitting of a puzzle solving FBI agent, Nelson Tethers isn’t one for leaving any loose ends. Though he cracked his previous case, some things were left unresolved. Who are the Hidden People? Just what happened to the eraser factory foreman? And what logic could be applied in explaining the manner of his disappearance? Rather than kick back and chew gum on a sandy beach, Agent Tethers decides to allot his vacation time towards a return to the town of Scoggins.

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As Tethers rolls back into town, the familiar residents are surprised to see the agent’s sudden return, and not in a good way. Aside from the odd few who lend their assistance, Tethers is met with resistance at almost every turn. Something truly is amiss, again.

Like in the previous game, Nelson Tethers must solve a slew of puzzles in order to get around town while gathering clues to solve the case. Tethers still relies on chewing gum in order to focus, which garner puzzle hints. Despite Scoggins’ intention to outlaw gum to promote anti-littering, you can still collect ABC gum from various locations – thankfully none of them include a toilet or septic tank.

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As with the last installment, you engage in puzzles from either observing objects or during mid-conversation. The game will provide up to three hints, granted if you have enough chewing gum to exchange. You will be scored depending on the number of hints and attempts taken. Either way, the tax payer dollars will be going towards a “good” cause.

The puzzles, unfortunately, fall short of captivating. Almost all the puzzles lack any real challenge. Instead of teasing my frontal lobes, they caused me to reminisce about those “fun” bonus questions you get at the end of a test, or workbook exercises, back in grade school. The only times where a hint might be in order would be if the directions weigh heavily in ambiguity, and at times the first batch of hints follow the same trend of vagueness so you might have your scores blemished on occasion.

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The game fortunately is engaging with its illustrious narrative, cast, and its signature art and animation. The characters are garnished with solid vocals and an amusing script. All of this is enough to have you immersed in the mystery; maintaining your interest in how the story will play out. Sadly, Puzzle Agent 2 doesn’t conclude on a satisfying note. Although the ending is humorous, it doesn’t follow the typical mystery formula of retracing its steps; the usual method of exhibiting closure amongst the cast.

Due to its comical demeanor, childish puzzles, brief length, and its absence of violence and crude language, Puzzle Agent 2 would be best enjoyed by the adolescent demographic, or by those looking for pure casual fun. For the more seasoned puzzle fanatic, or those who would expect more from a name like ‘Puzzle Agent’, may do well to spend their ten bucks elsewhere.

6 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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