Puzzle Agent

ipad - Rating: 7/10
Puzzle Agent

This is one of the first games I bought for my new iPad tablet. Puzzle Agent is essentially a clone of Professor Layton from the Nintendo DS. Like that game, it is a collection of puzzles thinly veiled as a point-and-click adventure. Also, both games sport a unique art styles and interesting storylines. However, the puzzles, which I would consider the meat of this type of game, are pretty weak. With only one or two exceptions, they are just too easy. Too often the puzzles are literal jigsaw-type puzzles that stick themselves together making solving them just a matter of shaking the pieces around. The only times I got a puzzle wrong was when the instructions were unclear on important details and, even in those cases, I could guess my way through. In Layton, the puzzles challenge assumptions and really try to trick you. That said, the Fargo meets Twin Peaks story made the game worth the 99¢ I spent on it.

A lot of people are touting the iPhone and iOS as a Nintendo DS killer. This is a bunch of baloney. This type of point-and-click adventure suits the platform okay, but just about every other genre of game is mediocre at best on iOS. The touch screen and tilt controls are just plain bad compared to a d-pad or even the stylus. If Nintendo can make their DS make phone calls they would be untouchable.

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