Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate an enemy spy’s secret hideout to catch her and put her to justice. This is the premise of Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, a game by Yak & Co that originally came out a few years ago as a mobile game. It won several awards including Apple’s Best of 2015 and the 2016 Australian Game Developer Awards Game of the Year. With such accomplishments, it’s a no-brainer why Yak & Co would port the game over to the major consoles as well as Steam.
Originally released as a five-episode game when it came out for mobiles, Agent A is an escape-room type of puzzle game where you play as Agent A himself tasked by his boss to track down an enemy spy named Ruby La Rouge. While doing reconnaissance, he witnesses Ruby take down his boss by causing an explosion on the cruise ship his boss is on. Bent on revenge, he follows her to her house with a postmodern architecture design. What he doesn’t realize is that this is actually Ruby’s lair filled with traps and secrets.
Essentially, in Agent A, you will be progressing through the game by going into each room, revealing things to unlock (or break) by finding the right type of item or puzzles to complete. The puzzles aren’t too terribly hard (and to be candid, for a three-year-old game, there are comprehensive walkthroughs online if you’re struggling). Some do involve paying attention to details, but the game prompts you to do so with Agent A’s dialogue (e.g., “This is an unusual pattern yada yada yada.”) when you interact with them.
The craziness of Agent A is navigating through the rooms. In the first chapter, you probably will encounter around 15 rooms/scenes. All of those rooms will always have something that you have to do in order to progress the story, and that usually involves obtaining something from another room. Traversing through 15 or so areas isn’t too bad; I guess it’s a staple of these type of escape-room puzzle games. I just felt like I had to backtrack a lot when I obtained something and trying to figure out where this something belongs in these rooms. Expect this is in all five chapters, by the way.
Agent A is a short game. You can complete the game in about five hours (two to three if you’re following a guide and trying for that gold trophy and platinum). Sadly, the game’s replayability value isn’t too great. Starting a new game changing some puzzles a little bit (e.g., a different code or a different pattern to remember), and that’s basically it.
In all, Agent A is a solid puzzle game. Especially if you’re into escape room types of puzzle. However, with its really low replayability value and being essentially a three-year-old game, I would definitely wait for the game to go on sale for the PS4 before going out to buy it. If you can’t wait, just buy it for your phone or tablet; that’s probably the price I would wait for it to go on sale before I would buy it for the console version.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise
Catch the Reprehensible Ruby La Rouge
+Good spy story
+Puzzles are the right difficulty
-Heavy on backtracking through all the rooms
-Very low replayability value