February 15, 2018

Agent A

The spy-themed puzzle game for everyone

I made a promise to myself a couple of years back that I wouldn’t buy a new game until I’d finished (or given up on) the one I was currently playing.

For the most part, I’ve stuck to this approach and it’s kept my gaming backlog manageable. Every so often though, a game wanders into my awareness with such charm that I can’t help but try it immediately.

Agent A is one such game.

iOS: A Puzzling Platform

I don’t know what it is about the iPad, but I find that most of the games I play on it are puzzle games of some sort—Monument Valley, The Room series, and so on.

Particularly on the expansive 12.9” iPad Pro screen, the experience of settling down with a slow-paced puzzler is immersive and satisfying.

I Spy

Agent A is an episodic puzzle adventure, with animated story sequences tying it all together.

You begin outside a seaside home, tasked with finding a devious threat to your spy organization: Ruby La Rouge. Ruby is a pompous femme fatale, and her lair is hidden within the house.

Over the course of 5 episodes (the fourth of which was just recently released), you will pursue Ruby through the house, carefully collecting clues and using them to disarm traps and unlock more of the lair.

I appreciated the variety of puzzles on display here; everything from codes, to spatial awareness puzzles, to sequence-based tasks. Nothing felt unfair, and if you’re patient and perceptive you should be able to make steady progress.

I got stuck only a couple of times, and in each case was able to push through after leaving the game for the evening and coming at it with fresh eyes the following day.

In fact, I think it’s telling that there’s no hint mechanic; it doesn’t need one. The game’s puzzles never feel inscrutable, and the pacing is excellent.

Take Note

One mechanic that became increasingly important as the game progressed was the ability to access a sort of note-taking mode from the pause menu.

Using the Apple Pencil (or your finger) you can sketch out solutions to puzzles, take note of seemingly-important codes, or otherwise doodle your way toward a solution to the task at hand.

It’s an extremely useful mechanism.

Worth Playing

I wasn’t really looking for a new game, but Agent A has kept me entertained over the course of the past few evenings and I strongly recommend it to anyone who appreciates stylish, fun games with a strong theme and a good sense of humour (shout-out to Trevor! Trevor is the best).

A single $6.99USD purchase unlocks the whole game, including the 4 currently-available episodes and access to the upcoming 5th episode when it drops later this year.

I can’t wait.

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