Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Clever point-and-tap adventure Puzzle Agent 2 is sidetracked by sloth

by Dan Kricke

Puzzle Agent 2 is a decently animated detective adventure filled with a variety of fun puzzles to solve. And it’s a shame how many people won’t get to experience it because it is so excruciatingly slow.

The first few times I opened Puzzle Agent 2 I thought it was broken or downloaded incorrectly. I sat staring at a black screen with a puzzle piece that flashed across the screen here and there for what felt like several minutes. Finally, when the game screen came on, the game moved just as slowly.

Each time you have to tap a button on the screen to either enter the answer to a puzzle or look at your detective notes, you wait for an unreasonable amount of time. It’s reminiscent of playing games on the original Playstation when load times to accomplish even the slightest of tasks were enormous.

And again, that’s too bad because the puzzles in Puzzle Agent 2 are fun, and created with a good amount of variety. There are puzzles where you guess the next number in a sequence, puzzles where you have to correctly line up pictures and others that are a bit more difficult to describe. It’s a well-crafted game. And the detective story would be compelling if it didn’t feel so slow in dispensing information. After a while, I was clicking past all of the dialogue anyway because I just wanted to get to the next puzzle.

I appreciate Puzzle Agent 2’s attempt to take a point-and-click style adventure game and bring it over to the iPhone, warts and all, but this just won’t fly in 2011. Pointing and tapping to move a story along is fine, but improvements need to be made to how fluid the gameplay feels on an iPhone. Puzzle Agent 2 hasn’t made those improvements, so what could be a great adventure is merely passable.

Download the free Appolicious iPhone app