Telltale Autumn Sale

Puzzle Agent impressions!

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Comments

  • edited June 2010
    Do you mean "Hot Hawks"? It's pretty easy to prove that there's only one solution to that given the stated rules. I had trouble that it sometimes connected lines I didn't want it to in a way that was difficult to see.

    I must say I'm pretty disappointed. The art and sound were great but I thought the writing was pretty lacklustre by Telltale's standards (not the story, just the individual dialogue lines - as though the writers found themselves at a loss writing in a sparse style where every line doesn't have to be exposition, a hint or a joke.) Also there were a fair few typos, which just looks shoddy.

    The puzzles were largely uninspiring, although I liked the bug ones - a nice variation on Shikaku.

    And some of the puzzle instructions were terrible. I was shocked when I saw the number of playtesters listed in the credits: if you're going to punish people for experimenting with your puzzle (which is understandable in a format where many answers are multiple choice) then your instructions have to be crystal clear, so people have a reasonable chance of getting them first time. We should be told that every square needs an arrow in it, or that the elevators are going to move simultaneously etc.

    I'd happily play more episodes, but they need to be a lot less rough around the edges.
  • edited June 2010
    Finished the game, mixed feelings, I so much want to love this game to bits, but there are a few negatives. Negatives that can easily be improved in future episodes, though! I'll just put everything ins spoiler tags to make things easier for me.
    Pros:
    + The art is fantastic
    + Main storyline rocks and had me interested
    + Gameplay elements are spot on
    + Love the creepiness of it all
    + The characters are interesting and natural (albeit especially Nelson is too bland, check out cons)
    + Love, love, love the voice acting! So much better than most other telltale episodes!
    + Enjoyed the difficulty level of many of the puzzles

    Cons (I only list the ones that really matter to me):
    - The characters are a bit bland. I don't want over the top, but Nelson has really no personality. On one hand he is afraid of the hidden people, on the other hand he is really brave. On one hand he loves the adventure, on the other hand he likes the safety of his office. You can't quite put your finger on what kind of a person Nelson is. The sheriff, the innkeeper and bjorn are the three best characters in the game.
    - The ending could use a bit (a lot) more polish. For example Nelson could've been given a smalle team and ordered to set up temporary office at Scoggins to investigate the events further. Then the final scene where you can access unfinished puzzles could be at this new office.
    - This was a big negative to me: The puzzles with puzzle pieces (especially the furnace puzzle at the end and the dinner plate puzzle) quite simply suck. Bigtime. All you do is shuffle around pieces and hope for them to stick together. No skill involved but still very tedious, difficult and time consuming. In general there were perhaps too many of these kind of traditional assembling puzzles, but that's understandable for an episodic game - the puzzles can be improved upon.
    - Problems with some puzzles made the game seem unpolished:
    1) the chair puzzle at the diner, I assembled the correct image perfectly upside down, but it rejected my answer. Had to turn it around
    2) the moment of clarity (soundwave) puzzle didn't explain that the soundwave won't pass through an empty slot, so my first solution didn't work

    Thats it for the most important parts. I hope this series gets continued and improved upon. There's a lot of potential!
  • edited June 2010
    Actually it was rule #4 of the hydraulic lift puzzle - "A lift will stop moving once it reaches its goal" (although that should probably say "A goal" to not give the false impression that the lifts have to stay in order, which some people have been confused about.)

    I think the problem is that the rules are on a separate page, which makes them difficult to remember.
  • edited June 2010
    richmcd wrote: »
    Do you mean "Hot Hawks"? It's pretty easy to prove that there's only one solution to that given the stated rules. I had trouble that it sometimes connected lines I didn't want it to in a way that was difficult to see.

    Actually you're quite right, I just had a quick look and somehow I had skipped the part where it says the lines can't be crossed.
  • edited June 2010
    richmcd wrote: »
    Actually it was rule #4 of the hydraulic lift puzzle - "A lift will stop moving once it reaches its goal" (although that should probably say "A goal" to not give the false impression that the lifts have to stay in order, which some people have been confused about.)

    I think the problem is that the rules are on a separate page, which makes them difficult to remember.

    Alright, then scrap that example. Weird that I was able to omit that rule.
  • edited June 2010
    I agree with Linque, the "put the pieces together" puzzles were really bad. For one they are way too cluttered because in most cases the workspace is too small. When I tried moving the pieces just to be able to see every piece, they start sticking together, and before I know it half of the puzzle is solved, by accident. The furnace puzzle particularly annoying because when trying to select a small piece it would always select the pieces behind it.

    Also many of the instructions in the puzzles were a bit too vague, forcing me to guess what the game actually wants me to do, instead of allowing me to produce a logical answer based on the stated rules.
  • edited July 2010
    Definitely captures the look and feel of a grickle toon or comic.... I would love to see more from this world... maybe a proper Grickle Adventure game...
  • edited July 2010
    browen wrote: »
    Also many of the instructions in the puzzles were a bit too vague, forcing me to guess what the game actually wants me to do, instead of allowing me to produce a logical answer based on the stated rules.

    I don't know about "many". There were a few that could have used an extra rule for clarity, but not a whole bunch, and certainly not as many as it seemed from first glance. I personally liked that some of the puzzles *seemed* like they didn't give you enough information, but then you realize that they completely did.
  • edited July 2010
    I was loving the game so much, right up until it ended. Please don't leave me hanging for too long and make this a full season. It was great.

    I really enjoyed the story, its a masterpiece. The art work, characters and voices are excellent. The puzzles are decent too, I was stumped a couple of times but thoroughly enjoyed the game from start to.... um...... finish?
  • edited July 2010
    Fantastic game!

    Most of the puzzles were the perfect difficulty, although I had to pull out pen and paper a few times, and with the clothesline crows I swear I had the right answer at first, but it told me I was incorrect, leading to a few "what the heck" moments.

    I know that in some puzzles the rules could have been a bit more explained, but it's not the end of the world. The 100% perfectionists are grumping about it, but trial and error are part of adventure gaming for me.

    I play on 1920x1080 and I would love to see the graphics tightened up a bit, specifically in places where there are close ups on characters, otherwise looked great. I love the art style, and the creeeeeeepy moments were certainly creeeeeepy.

    Can't wait for more of these. (although I'm sure I'll have to :))

    One teeny tiny request: don't release games so late in the evening! (10pm CST here) I was thiiiiiiis close to bed, and BOOM: PUZZLE AGENT. Stayed up an extra 3 hours because of your artistry! Damn you! I have an MA thesis to write! You know your games are like crack!

    <3 you, Telltale.


    edit: Oh, and I thought the tiered hint system was great. Also I'm not positive, but I think the hints for the 3rd "bug puzzle" were displaying the hints for the 2nd bug puzzle accidentally, because I am certain the patterns it suggested were no where to be seen.
  • edited July 2010
    Thanks to Telltale for putting out such a neat game! I played the Professor Layton games for the DS, and I feel that it more than adequately prepared me to play this game well.

    Some people have already said this, but there were some puzzles that were poorly worded (arm wrestling and fish, namely) And I also noticed a few spelling errors (Teethers? You missed out on a funny joke by having it written wrong and pronounced by the voice actor correctly.)

    I appreciated the go-here-next bar at the top of the screen most of the time, but it was irritating that you had to follow the instructions right then and couldn't go to a different area. (You WILL ride the snow-mobile)

    I started out playing Sam and Max and Monkey Island. It's cool to deviate from these very funny games in such a profound way. Puzzle Agent retains all the quirkiness of other Telltale titles while scaring me silly. I hope I don't have dreams of pointy red hats... The character design and music lend themselves superbly to the telling of the story.

    I hope I can return to Scoggins and get some answers in a future game, and also hear the strangely Sarah Palin-esque voice of the hotel clerk.

    Thanks again for an enjoyable experience!
  • edited July 2010
    Well I like the style, but one the second puzzle with the logs and such the puzzle is broken I guess? No logs or anything else appear on the grid... can't for the life of me understand what to do there.
  • edited July 2010
    Well I like the style, but one the second puzzle with the logs and such the puzzle is broken I guess? No logs or anything else appear on the grid... can't for the life of me understand what to do there.

    You can move the logs that are already placed. Is that what you mean? Or is there literally nothing?
  • edited July 2010
    You can move the logs that are already placed. Is that what you mean? Or is there literally nothing?

    There is nothing, I guess it is a glitch. There are no logs, no hotel, no snowmobile or lights, just a grid with trees.

    I'll try rebooting the game.
  • edited July 2010
    Well I could not leave the puzzle to save I guess, tried everything to stop talking to the old man. Eventually I just stopped the game with alt-f4... then of course it asks me to start a new game. I do, and then discover that the cut-scenes are not skippable and I have to sit through everything again?

    Way to go at making me never want to play this game again. Oh well.
  • edited July 2010
    Skippable cutscenes would've been nice.
  • edited July 2010
    One final note: Coming from Wisconsin, we love to poke fun at Minnesota's use of the words "Hot Dish" for Casserole. Although, in the long run, it probably makes a whole lot more sense.

    Dang, now I'm in the mood for Macaroni Bake or Cheeseburger Casserole (the one with tater tots on top...)

    The Midwest is fantastic.
  • edited July 2010
    It was almost perfect. And then the ending started playing. The ending was very, very disappointing. Unless it's setting it up for if the game actually gets made into a season
    with the first episode being him going back to search for Isaac without permission.
  • edited July 2010
    So far, I'm liking it. I'm liking the environment as well. I also think the puzzles are quite pleasant. I actually did get stumped, one time, already. Partially because I just didn't *see* the puzzle with the right perspective and shading. I guess, it probably would've solved itself if I copied it down on paper and actually filled it in without trying to mentally fill it in on the screen. Oddly enough, it would be one case where it would be more easily solved on a portable system.

    Otherwise, as another person said, it's nice to see some puzzles that (at first glance) look like they don't give you enough information, but you realize that they did.

    And though I've already played through the first two Professor Layton games, I've already seen a lot of puzzle types that I've never seen in either of them. (Most of them, actually.)

    Tethers is also a pretty likable guy, to me. You can almost see, in his mannerisms and know-how, that he's a guy who has some training in field work, but for some reasons he's been relegated to a nearly forgotten line of work in the FBI. He comes across as a guy who is aspiring for some higher office in the FBI, and yet he isn't incompetant. A good way to break away from the Hollywood movie stereotype.
  • edited July 2010

    I know that in some puzzles the rules could have been a bit more explained, but it's not the end of the world. The 100% perfectionists are grumping about it, but trial and error are part of adventure gaming for me.

    Trial and error in adventure games is fine, but this is a puzzle game which explicitly punishes you for experimenting by reducing your rank. If the scoring system encourages first time solutions then you should be able to solve the puzzles first time, without entering a trial solution to work out what the rules mean.

    Even if you enjoy that it still wouldn't excuse the puzzle with the maze to get to the lightbulb, where a totally missing rule means there are several alternate solutions.

    I agree that the easy jigsaws were a shame - allowing the pieces to be rotated would have reduced the problem of too much of it solving itself by accident.
  • edited July 2010
    I really didn't like how linear it was. The entire game you're told exactly where to go, what to do, and whom to talk to. You might as well just make the puzzles the only interactive part of the game and let everything else play out in cut scenes if you're just going to tell the player exactly what to do anyway. I really enjoyed figuring out all the the puzzles, but the rest of the game didn't feel enough like a game. I guess I probably would have enjoyed it more if it had both actual brainteaser puzzle puzzles as well as more traditional adventure game puzzles. For example, the cut scene where
    Nelson distracts the Sheriff with the crossword
    could have been made into an inventory-based puzzle that you had to figure out yourself.

    That said, I really enjoyed the story, the characters, the setting, the art, the music... pretty much everything else about the episode.
  • edited July 2010
    I really enjoyed the demo, the puzzles kept me thinking, and I only made 1 wrong submission.
  • edited July 2010
    Just finished the first 30 puzzles :) I started the game with no expectations at all. I haven't played any Layton-style game and had purchased Puzzle Agent first and foremost to get Sam & Max cheaper.

    Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I really like the atmosphere and characters. I don't mind them being a bit minimalistic - in fact they fit the Grickle world perfectly. Most puzzles seemed tricky at first, but I managed to solve most of them in 1 or 2 submissions. Except for the room number puzzle, which drove me crazy because I kept on trying to interpret the note as
    binary code
    .

    I encountered one glitch though: Just after I had
    escaped from the sinking fishing hut
    , I went back to the factory and looked at the
    lock
    to see if anything had changed. After the game switched back to the factory view, the snow mobile was gone! So I was stuck there.

    Fortunately, after quitting the game and reloading, the mobile was back where it belonged... so it's no game breaker.
  • edited July 2010
    The art was fantastic, and the Hidden People + the soundtrack were very creepy. I loved all of the accents, and the minimalism of the setting. I liked agent Tethers, but I wish his voice would become less upbeat throughout the game. He could be brave, but he seems a little oblivious right now unless he's in the act of encountering something strange. I think taking advantage of the linear storytelling in this way would be great.

    Some of the puzzles were too easy while also requiring too much time/mouse movement. (Food shuffling.) I loved the snowmobile puzzles, and the puzzle with people resembling food was just hysterical. But, I also wished for more mathematical puzzles...I may be alone in that request. (Mathematician, here.)

    I have been waiting for this game anxiously all month. I ordered it immediately because I love Grickle, and overall, I was very pleased.
  • edited July 2010
    I like the music in the main menue

    me too me too!!!
    Hope to see a full season

    yep, but I do not hope... I WANT A FULL SEASON! :) :)
  • edited July 2010
    julian wrote: »

    I encountered one glitch though: Just after I had
    escaped from the sinking fishing hut
    , I went back to the factory and looked at the
    lock
    to see if anything had changed. After the game switched back to the factory view, the snow mobile was gone! So I was stuck there.

    Fortunately, after quitting the game and reloading, the mobile was back where it belonged... so it's no game breaker.

    This same thing happened to me. I was just going to post about it. It is a little unnerving to encounter a glitch in a game that has no manual save. (Is that right?) Actually, I did not like this aspect of the game. Another interface issue: if you click on a finished puzzle's folder, you have to restart that puzzle before you can exit the folder. One time, I accidentally submitted the puzzle again, which ruined one of my scores! (Okay, so I should have seen how to "Quit" immediately, but still.)
  • edited July 2010
    I just remembered another thing I absolutely loved--the monkey scream. It was totally unexpected and made everything that much more Grickle-y.
  • edited July 2010
    Loved it. Want more!

    Please?
  • edited July 2010
    This same thing happened to me. I was just going to post about it. It is a little unnerving to encounter a glitch in a game that has no manual save. (Is that right?) Actually, I did not like this aspect of the game. Another interface issue: if you click on a finished puzzle's folder, you have to restart that puzzle before you can exit the folder. One time, I accidentally submitted the puzzle again, which ruined one of my scores! (Okay, so I should have seen how to "Quit" immediately, but still.)

    Same thing happened to me, and I agree with the puzzle folder thing. Should be able to exit without starting the puzzle.

    There's a lot of flaws in this pilot episode, but pretty much every flaw is something you can easily remedy in future episodes. I just really hope this series won't get cancelled.
  • edited July 2010
    Due to the bug(s) on german Macs i haven't seen a lot (solving two puzzles and went into the lobby) but what i've seen so far was looking really good. I wish there would be more games in such style as in my opinion it outclasses an ordinary 3D look.

    Oh and i had my problems picking up the tiles in the first puzzle, the selection wasn't this precise. The music sounded moody.
  • edited July 2010
    I did quite like this game, particularly the shady sheriff. Some of the puzzles appeared to have more than one solution (ones that come to mind are the last carrier birds one and the 3 dining couples one), which teed me off that I had to go change my answer to the specific one they wanted. The "rearrange this jumble to fit" were made too easy by lack of rotation and easy to accidentally snap into place. The voices, music, cinematics and art direction were all very fitting. I too had a problem when trying to leave the factory due to a missing snowmobile.

    What else pissed me off? Nothing, I'm glad to say. Except that I've finished it, already, in one afternoon. Now what do I do while waiting for Sam & Max 304?
  • edited July 2010
    I'm 14 puzzles into the game and I'm pleasantly surprised - the atmosphere's great, puzzles aren't too difficult, but one has to use pen and paper from time to time - just about the right amount of challenge.
    Great job Telltale and although I haven't seen the ending yet, I hope that Puzzle Agent gets a full season.
  • edited July 2010
    I do too. There needs to be more of these kinds of games. Professor Layton isn't enough to hold this kind of gaming, alone. At least with the Western Market as it takes *forever* between releases. So for me, the more the merrier.

    I have some ideas with what I may want to see in a season of this. Nothing mind-blowing from a (difficulty to produce, or changing style) perspective, but little tweaks and additions here and there. But I'll reserve those thoughts until after I finish the game. Still, I understand, as a pilot, this game wouldn't necessarily have a ton of puzzles until a more commitment-based sequel gets released. That, and the fact that it costs a third of what you'd pay for any DS game.
  • edited July 2010
    Puzzle agent to me is the best game Telltale has ever made, and probably the best puzzle game ever made. The only problem i had with it was that i completed it in less then a day. Telltale PLEASE make this into a series!
  • edited July 2010
    The Mixnmojo review is up now, here http://mixnmojo.com/news/Nelson-Tethers-Puzzle-Agent-reviewed

    Advance warning: it is reasonably critical.
  • edited July 2010
    My impressions so far are that this game is fantastic while waiting for the release of Layton 3 - and fantastic even if you don't plan on buying Layton. (which, of course, are much longer games and with some DLC puzzles, but that's to be expected).
  • edited July 2010
    Puzzle agent is now my favorite Telltale game.
    If it was longer it would be my favorite puzzle/adventure game ever.
  • edited July 2010
    I loved it! The art, music and voice acting were also top notch. Although perhaps the ending seemed too soon and sudden/abrupt. Still I guess that just means I was really drawn into it and want to see more. :D
  • edited July 2010
    The Mixnmojo review is up now, here http://mixnmojo.com/news/Nelson-Tethers-Puzzle-Agent-reviewed

    Advance warning: it is reasonably critical.

    Firm but fair, sir! It's clear you like this and want it to work and felt let down in some areas. Nothing you said was unjust.
  • edited July 2010
    I would just like to add that this game should be played with headphones on at night on a good screen to really soak in the atmosphere and tone of the game. I played the first half of this late at night and it actually managed to get to me a couple times.
    :spoil-o:
    That moment during the stovepipe puzzle where the gnome takes the piece away was fairly unnerving for me considering it was 4am and it happens during a puzzle where you feel the most secure and comfortable. Bastards.
    I played for a little bit this afternoon and it just wasn't the same. I'm going to wait until later this evening to wrap this one up.

    Oh, and kudos to the sound team on this one. The sound effects are fantastic(who doesn't love that satisfying crispy photo flash after successfully solving a puzzle?), and the ambient music/effects are perfect. This is why I recommend the headphones. Plus that diner song is beautiful and really helps set that eerie Twin Peaks feel in that particular setting. Soundtrack mp3 downloads please.
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