Published on November 21st, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise Review
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise is a puzzle game, mixed with point-and-click mechanics, set with a spy theme. The iPhone and iPad game is developed by Yak & co, and was released on the iOS App Store on the 29th of October, 2015.
Story-wise, it is exactly something you would find out of an old spy movie. You’re tasked with hunting down an individual with the name of Ruby La Rouge, who just so happens to not be particularly nice, since she blows up a boat within the first couple of minutes. From then on, it’s your job to get and infiltrate her home to bring her in. As lovely as it would be to just walk in there and come and get her, things are never that simple in a spy-thriller, so the only way you’re going to succeed is by getting past all those puzzles she has set up for you.
Those puzzles you’ll be set to solve don’t come one after another, nor are they all solvable from the offset. Thanks to the point-and-click nature of the game, you will also be made to get and explore around Ruby La Rouge’s estate, in the hopes that you’ll find new items to make use of, or clues to help you solve puzzles later on down the line. Exploration is a key part to the iPhone game, and if you’re not up for it, then this isn’t the puzzle game for you.
Aesthetically, the iPad game looks gorgeous. Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise just seems to have such a vibrant pallet in terms of colors, and more or less everything you come across will be bright, colorful, and a delight to look at, no matter where you go in the game.
Controls aren’t too special when it comes to Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, since it can literally be boiled down to, “tap this; tap that.” Controls may seem simple, but they work and they work well. There is absolutely no reason for them to be over-complicated at all, so the developer’s choice to keep things simple is one that’s in their favour I believe.
Instead of spending much time on the controls, the developer have instead chosen to focus their time on something a lot more important in a game of this design, and that’s the puzzles. Puzzles are obviously a vital dynamic in this iPhone game. Each and every puzzle you will come across will be a unique task for you to solve, using whatever tools and clues you’ve picked up during your time in the game.
Not every puzzle requires you to have access to a specific item, but the further into the game you get; the more likely you are to find puzzles that require a certain item to progress. When you do finally advance, the game makes it feel satisfying. The puzzles in question are both fun to solve, and challenging, all at the same time. These puzzles will end up tickling your brain to get it working, and when you finally make use of it to solve one of those puzzles that you’ve been stuck on for a little bit, the satisfaction is a welcome feeling.
Speaking of puzzles you could be stuck on, there is one feature I wouldn’t mind seeing in the iPad game, just to make things a little easier on people who aren’t necessarily the most hardcore puzzle gamers out there. That feature is the hint system; a system I don’t feel would be remiss in this game. At times, you’re bound to get stuck, there’s no two-ways about that, so the implementation of a system that could give you a couple of subtle hints, at least when you asked for one would be nice.
Now, in a point-and-click exploration game, where the main theme is to do with spy thrillers, you might be assuming that it’s probably best to think like a spy, at least the type you would see in the movies. You know what? You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking like that at all. If anything, thinking like a spy will only help to get you to navigate around the place, discovering all the hidden mysteries that the house has held within it. If you’re someone who remembers the old classic of hiding a button on the inside of a vase that will reveal a secret, then this iPhone game could just be right up your alley.
Replay value in Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise may be somewhat low as once you’ve finished the iPad game and seen the ending, there isn’t any real reason to go back. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any multiple endings to try and go back on, and it seems a little redundant to go and do the same puzzles again, with the knowledge that you already know how to finish them.
Overall, Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise ($2.99) does a whole lot right when it comes to puzzle games. The puzzles themselves can be challenging, but they’re always fun to solve, as well as the fact that they are also satisfying to figure out. The spy-theme that the game has going for it is gorgeous and well done throughout the whole time you’re playing it. I do feel the game might benefit from a hint-system, just to help give the player that little extra nudge in the right direction, instead of being forced to look up the solution online, and then potentially spoiling a fair amount of the game for themselves. But as a whole package, it’s hard to not recommend this game, whether you’re a fan of puzzle games or not.
Summary: Although the iPhone and iPad game may lack in replay value, it more than makes up for the package as a whole. Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise has enjoyable gameplay, simple controls, challenging, but still fun puzzles, and overall gorgeous graphics, all wrapped up into one spy-themed adventure for iOS.