Last year, we got a sleeper hit puzzle adventure game in the form of Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent. It was a great game with a very funny and entertaining story. Now, this year, we get our hands on the sequel, properly named, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent 2. Does it live up to the first installment? Let’s find out.
For those unfamiliar with Puzzle Agent, you play as Nelson Tethers, an FBI agent and the only member of the Puzzle Department of the Bureau. Nelson was sent to a small town in Minnesota to investigate a disappearance and the closure of a large eraser factory. What he discovers is a gigantic conspiracy full of cults; gnomes; and, of course, puzzles. Nelson just begins to unravel the mystery when he is sent back to D.C. Now, a few months later, in Puzzle Agent 2, he returns to the small Minnesota town to finally figure out what is going on.
The game is essentially, a puzzle solving game. Almost everything Nelson does revolves around solving a puzzle. This could be in the form of getting past a locked door, or helping out a witness with a puzzle so he can gather more information. The puzzles themselves range from simple brainteasers to full-on conundrums. Luckily, Nelson can concentrate better when he chews gum, which can be found around the environment. Chewing gum will give the player a puzzle hints. When submitting a puzzle, you will be graded on how many wrong answers you provided and how many hints you used. The grade doesn’t really affect the story or overall progression, but it’s there for the completionists.
The other part of the game play is travelling to areas on the map and speaking to witnesses and other characters. This is basically an adventure game that has puzzles in it. There is no interrogation or real game play mechanic involved during these parts. You’re basically watching a cut scene.
The story and characters are what really make the game shine. Much like in Puzzle Agent, Nelson and the other characters have their funny moments. The game gives off a dark tone at times, but always lightens up the mood with some good comedy. The story has its insane twists and turns, and you’re always guessing what will happen next.
The game will last you around 4 hours, depending on how much you do. Even after completing the game, you can go back and do puzzles again, or puzzles that you may have missed during the investigation. So, there is a little more for the puzzle enthusiasts. You can really tell Puzzle Agent 2 had a higher production budget than the first game. The animations and overall presentation of the game have a higher quality.
The only problem I had with the game is that certain puzzles are used multiple times throughout the game. Granted, the puzzles have different solutions, but it was the exact same type of puzzle. The only other problem I can see is the fact that if you haven’t played the first Puzzle Agent, you won’t really know what’s going on in Puzzle Agent 2. There’s a ton of continuity between the two games and the game assumes the player has played the first game.
Puzzle Agent 2 is a very enjoyable game. The puzzles will keep players on their toes, and the story is interesting and entertaining. The price is totally right and for what you get; it’s definitely worth the price. If you enjoy adventure games or puzzle games, you really should check this game out.
Review copy provided by publisher.