Puzzle Agent 2
|Puzzle Agent 2|
|Release||June 30, 2011|
Like the first game, the game structure resembles a linear adventure game - the player doesn't have an inventory, but can traverse into dialog trees with other characters. Some items or choices of dialog result in puzzles to be solved, although in some cases the puzzle has no consequence in the game's progress. The types of puzzles vary from jigsaw through maths to logic puzzles. Each of them has a basic short description about the objective of the puzzle, while some have a basic set of rules and conditions that help the player deduce the solution. The player can request three hints for each puzzle, and each hint costs the player a piece of chewing gum - gum is on shortage in the town, as the hotel clerk explains, but Nelson can collect pieces of used gum he finds at each location. The puzzles don't automatically approve the players solution, even if the player provides the correct answer - Nelson must send the answer back to HQ where it is either approved or rejected. If the solution is approved, the player is given a score depending on how many hints he used and how many failed attempts he had (the latter is represented in taxpayer dollars), and an optional further explanation is provided on how the puzzle can be solved.
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While on vacation, Tethers appears to be disturbed by the unresolved Scoggins case, noting that the FBI appears to be trying to cover it up. Deciding to go on an unofficial investigation, Tethers leaves his colleague and admirer Jim Ingraham to look after his files before heading back to Scoggins.
Upon arrival, Tethers attempts to check in at Valda's Inn, the local hotel, but receives some hostility from Martha Garret, the owner, who attempts to push him into leaving. Tethers eventually manages to rent out a room, but experiences a dream at night in which he is visited by an astronaut, just like his dream before he first went to Scoggins, this time leaving a note on the floor. Also like the previous dream, Tethers wakes up to find that he was dreaming, but the note on the floor is still there, reading "Isaac Davner does not exist" on one side while having a puzzle on the other side. The puzzle consists of the names of a number of unknown people, arranged into a jumbled order, prompting Tethers to find out more about the names mentioned so that he can solve it.
Outside the hotel, Tethers learns from Darryl Boutin, a resident previously seen in the Moose Ear Diner, that the names in the puzzle refer to past residents who have mysteriously disappeared into Sasimy Woods across the past several years, one of them being Darryl's brother, Darrel. Tethers travels to the local campsite, the Wallows, to meet with Alfred Versteckt, an anthropologist whose student, Will Medlock, is also mentioned in the puzzle. Alfred, who is not native to Scoggins and is therefore quickly deemed by Tethers as being "helpful", believes that the disappearances may be related to Scoggins' folklore, namely the Hidden People. Tethers next heads to the Moose Ear Diner to meet with Sheriff Bahg, and requests access to his files on the 'missing persons' cases, but Bahg, as hostile as ever, quickly denies him. However, Glori Davner, despite previously attempting to kill Tethers, offers to distract Bahg while Tethers breaks into his office if he will promise to find her husband, Isaac. Glori claims that Isaac was being "troubled" by something, and the Brotherhood of Scoggins, led by Bjorn, had offered to take him in and help him. However, they had then locked him away in the eraser factory and given him to the Hidden People, simply telling Glori that he had been "chosen" when she questioned them. As there has been no news on Isaac's whereabouts since he was stolen away into the woods after Tethers found him, Glori has become distrustful of the Brotherhood, now believing that they are behind the many disappearances.
Tethers sneaks into Bahg's office and is able to retrieve the Missing Persons files, despite being caught in the act by Bahg. Using the files, Tethers is able to complete the puzzle on the note, which then leads him to Melkorka Teterdottir, or 'Korka' for short, a puzzle-obsessed woman not unlike himself. Korka explains that she had posted the note under his door at night in an attempt to summon him, as she wishes to partner with him to solve the case. Korka herself has made a remarkable discovery concerning Isaac: his true identity is Ed Davis, a test pilot who had apparently been killed after his craft crashed into Sasimy Woods. Korka believes that the alias of Davner was forged so that Ed Davis could be declared dead, but he is actually residing in the woods as a serial killer, and is therefore responsible for the disappearances. Having become obsessed with taking down Isaac after her lover, Halldor Magnusson, had disappeared many years ago, Korka has devoted her recent years to tracking him, and now wishes to use Tethers to hunt him. Korka sends Tethers out into Sasimy Woods to find Isaac.
In the woods, Tethers finds no sign of Isaac but instead finds Edvard, a member of the Brotherhood, sneaking around. Tethers follows him through the woods, but loses him and tumbles down a slope. Beneath a tree at the base of the slope, Tethers discovers the crumpled body of an astronaut, but before he can look closer, a group of Hidden People spook him and he flees, eventually ending up back at Korka's house. However, Korka quickly dismisses his findings as nonsense, believing that the Hidden People are nothing more than an urban myth. With no other leads, Tethers heads to the Brotherhood lodge to directly interrogate Bjorn, but finds that he too appears to be troubled by the disappearances, and is innocent. Bjorn reveals that the Brotherhood itself has been shrinking as its members have been vanishing into Sasimy Woods. Edvard, who Tethers had seen in the woods, had been searching for Skjoldr, another Brotherhood member who had gone missing not long ago. Bjorn also states that the Hidden People have been "angered" by something nearby, which may have something to do with their "choosing" of Isaac. Begging Tethers to find the missing people and restore the Brotherhood, Bjorn directs Tethers to the cabin of Olav Welhaven, another past member who was one of Bjorn's best friends.
Tethers reaches Olav's cabin and finds that the man was a dedicated astropsychologist who had invented a complex formula linking lunacy to the phases of the Moon, most notably lunar eclipses. A set of tape recordings reveal that Olav had sent his research to NASA. Tethers realises that Olav's game-changing discovery, as well as his contact with NASA, must play an important role in the mysteries surrounding Scoggins, such as the astronaut body and the Hidden People, and revisits Korka to show her his findings. However, Korka is revealed to be an obsessive lunatic when Tethers discovers that she believes that the entire mystery revolves around the 'Kitimat Incident' - the rumoured discovery of a Sasquatch in Sasimy Woods.
Believing that Alfred is the only competent person in Scoggins, Tethers returns to the Wallows to show him his findings. Alfred appears to be amazed by Olav's research, noting that when placed besides his own research into the Hidden People, it will pinpoint the creatures' home. Alfred accompanies Tethers into the woods to look for the Hidden People, but before long he disappears; Tethers searches for him and stumbles across a campsite in a large clearing. The campsite appears to have been built around a crashed lunar lander, branded as the 'Hermes II', and is occupied by a pair of astronauts. Tethers spots the remains of a skier nearby, but before he can react, the astronauts grab hold of him and sedate him.
Tethers wakes up once again in Valda's Inn, but learns from a call from Ingraham that the FBI has discovered Tethers' findings involving the body of the astronaut, and a task force of Men in Black are en route to Scoggins. Tethers confronts FBI Director Jennings in the Moose Ear Diner and voices his concern that the astronauts in the woods have been murdering people, and are responsible for the disappearances, but Jennings simply warns him to back away from the case and leave Scoggins before he learns too much. Refusing to abandon the case, Tethers returns to the astronaut's body he discovered in the woods and finds that it is not really a body, but an empty suit. To his surprise, Isaac Davner appears behind him and reveals that the suit belonged to him. Isaac explains that, previously known as Ed Davis, he was in the team of astronauts who were sent to the Moon on the Hermes II mission, a secret operation in response to Olav Welhaven's research in which the team were ordered to plant a device called the 'Lunar Ray' on the surface. However, the mission had gone awry; a lunar eclipse had occurred before the team had reached the surface, causing the two astronauts on the outside of the craft to instantly go insane. With the Lunar Ray still attached to the lander, Isaac had piloted the craft back towards Earth, where it crashed into Sasimy Woods - directly on top of the Hidden People's home. The Lunar Ray had formed a barrier around the area which repelled the Hidden People, forcing them out of their habitat. Isaac had fled the crash site upon impact, running from the two insane astronauts, and had created the new identity of Isaac Davner in an attempt to forget the mission and start a new life. From there, he had settled down with Glori and begun a peaceful career as the eraser factory foreman, but the astronauts continued to haunt him in his dreams so he went to Bjorn for help. The Hidden People, who were aware that Isaac had been involved in the Hermes II mission, had "chosen" him so that Bjorn would hand him over, and they had whispered to him in an attempt to brainwash him into destroying the Ray. When Tethers had found him in the factory, and he had been dragged away into the woods, the Hidden People had actually taken him back to the lander, but he had been unable to stop the Ray and had fled back into the woods, where he has been hiding ever since.
Now understanding that the Hidden People are simply being disturbed by the Ray, Tethers agrees to assist Isaac in destroying it. The two head to the lander, but find that the Men in Black have got there first, although the insane astronauts have been apprehended. The agents take the pair back to the town, returning Tethers to Valda's Inn while presumably reuniting Isaac with Glori. Tethers receives another phone call from Ingraham, who has been studying Tethers' many recordings throughout his two visits to Scoggins. Ingraham points out that there is a strange melody in the background of Olav Welhaven's recording. Realising that Olav must have had direct contact with the Hidden People in order to reach his bizarre conclusion, Tethers deduces that the melody was used to summon the Hidden People to the cabin. Tethers heads back to the cabin and replays the recording, causing a large crowd of Hidden People to enter, one of them climbing onto a stool and whispering into Tethers' ear.
As a result of the whispers, Tethers experiences a strange illusion in which he contacts the Hidden People in space, apparently agreeing to assist them in destroying the Ray. When he snaps back into consciousness, he is already at the lander in his underwear, surrounded by agents. Tethers is able to sabotage the Ray, but it goes haywire and begins to zap the agents, turning them insane, Tethers is also hit by the ray and he goes insane as well. He then rushes away from the lander with the Ray, moving the barrier blocking the Hidden People away from the campsite and allowing them to return home. Tethers carries the Ray to Lake Svenz and attempts to throw it into the water, but the thick layer of ice on the surface prevents it from falling through. However, the Sasquatch which Korka had theorised about suddenly emerges from the trees near the lake and splits the ice, sinking the Ray to the bottom and finally ending its reign of lunacy over Scoggins.
Despite going against his orders from Director Jennings, Tethers is allowed to return to the FBI, although Ingraham is relocated as he had assisted Tethers despite still being on shifts. Tethers receives a postcard from Isaac and Glori, who have happily reunited and are on vacation in Bermuda. The game ends as Tethers questions their safety, clearly concerned about the Bermuda Triangle.
Puzzle Agent 2 was the first runner up for "Best Mobile Game" in the 1UP.com Best of E3 awards. It was also the first runner up for "Best iPhone/iPad Game" and the second runner up for "Best Puzzle Game" in the IGN Best of E3 awards.