The era of point & click games is near obsolete. But Thanks to the iPhone we've seen a revival of the gameplay take wide acceptance. The Secret of Monkey Island has seen itself come back in new form complete with voice over & 3D rendering. But what makes this game rightfully stand on its own is the creativity and ingenious approach of the people behind the game. Firstly you got Telltale games consisting of the original think tank from Lucas Arts who, over a decade and half, have given us games like Monkey island, Sam & Max series, Wallace & Gromit, Poker Night at the Inventory (a crossover poker game featuring their own mascots alongside Valve's Team Fortress 2), and the webcomic Penny Arcade.
In June 2010, Telltale announced that they had secured licenses with NBC Universal to develop two episodic series based on Back to the Future and Jurassic Park.
Further series based on licensed properties were announced in February 2011, including series based on the comic book series The Walking Dead and Fables in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment and a series based on the early King's Quest adventure games by Sierra On-Line.
Telltale as a developer follow the episodic game philosophy and are acknowledged by critics as the only who happen to be getting the formula right. So things are looking pretty sunny for them as is evident with the recent critical acclaim the Back to the Future games are garnering.
Coming back to their new IP Puzzle Agent, which is a collaboration with indie comic artist Graham Annabel. The game claims to be influenced heavily by the works of David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and the Coen brothers (most notably Fargo) and in my humble opinion, also the X-files. So if you ever thought movies like Mulholland drive, Eyes Wide Shut and The Big Lebowski should have been translated into games, well here's your twisted dark fantasy come true.
The game follows a linear adventure/puzzle format with humorous well drawn out cutscenes with spot-on voiceovers. Fans of the Professor Layton series should feel right at home for it seems to be a homage to Level5, whereas they opted for the quaint English countryside, Puzzle Agents treads on American soil around the town of Scoggins, Minnesota.
Agent Nelson Tethers plays the lead is a sole member of an obscure puzzle solving branch of the FBI. Nelson beautifully comes to life on your iPhone/iPad, he's a bumbling rookie who in appearance is lanky, pale and has bad motor skills. Tethers' persona is very reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau's (Pink Panther) in that he's both affable and provides many a laughs at his earnest approach to crime solving. Which is no easy feat to accomplish given all the heavy influences mentioned above.
Tethers is thrown into a mystery that challenges every ounce of his expertise, and possibly his very wits too. He must overcome brainteasers at every turn, including mazes, logic puzzles, riddles, secret societies, haunting sounds from the forest are all part of the overarching plot, add to that the mysterious gnomes.
There's everything to be found here for gamers or people who generally like funky comic book art, good mystery novel or puzzle adventures.
The game has so many layers and polished production it's hard to fathom why this game wasn't marketed for a Nintendo DS or a PSP. I guess it shows the wide appeal and install base of the Apple range. If you reckon the asking price of $4.99 is steep compared to the standard $99 cents your used to dishing out, then there is a lite version which comes free to users to experience this rich world of intrigue and artful story telling.
The game is not to be missed any account. So don't be a fool, play oldschool with a newschool flare.