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Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise Game Poster Image
Cheesy retro spy puzzler is a short but fun challenge.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

The game challenges players' problem solving, critical thinking, and observational skills with a series of different puzzles to solve in order to progress the story.

Positive Messages

The game follows the basic "good vs. evil" trope, with players trying to stop the "evil" spy from eliminating their fellow secret agents and stopping whatever other nefarious plans she may have.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters have their defined roles as heroes or villains. It's a fairly basic case of you, the player, being the good guy, stopping La Rouge and her villainous plans. There's not a lot of character development beyond that.

Ease of Play

The game is a point-and-click style adventure that's simple for players of any age to pick up and play. The challenge comes in searching for clues and solving puzzles to advance the story.

Violence

There are scenes of implied death and violence, such as La Rouge blowing up a boat loaded with passengers or seemingly attacking a woman on an elevator in the opening moments. But the violence is never graphic or explicit. Players can fall victim to La Rouge's traps, but simply restart and try again when they fail.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are occasionally shown smoking and drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise is a point-and-click spy adventure available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch consoles, as well as Windows and Mac OS-based computers. Players take on the role of a secret agent trying to infiltrate the lair of an evil super spy, discover her plans, and stop her from carrying them out. The game challenges players with a variety of different puzzles, some of which involve creative and critical thinking, while others test observation skills. While there's some implied violence, there's nothing explicit or graphic in how its presented. Parents should also be aware that characters are occasionally shown smoking and drinking.

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What's it about?

AGENT A: A PUZZLE IN DISGUISE is a point-and-click adventure that puts players in the role of a James Bond-style secret agent on a mission to infiltrate the hideout of the notorious super spy, Ruby La Rouge. La Rouge has been targeting members of your organization and systematically taking them out of the spy game one by one. After her latest attack seeming costs the life of your chief, you're the only agent left to uncover her grand villainous scheme and put a stop to it once and for all. To do so, you'll need to use all your spycraft skills to search La Rouge's lair for clue, bypass her security, and most importantly, escape with your life. Think you've got what it takes to save the world one more time, Agent A?

Is it any good?

If there's one thing learned from the adventures of James Bond and his ilk, it's that there's just something innately cool about being a secret agent. Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise gives players the chance to step into the role of one of these agents, captured in an elaborate trap and trying to make your escape armed with little more than witty banter, ingenuity, and of course, plenty of style. And style is one thing Agent A has plenty of. The game's artistic flair is bright, colorful, and fits perfectly with its '60s era spy theme. The presentation also helps to inject extra personality into the adventure even when your character is simply left to his or her own devices, which happens more often than not in this point-and-click adventure.

At its core, Agent A is, as the title suggests, a puzzle game. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome while making your escape from Ruby La Rouge's clutches, but nothing ever comes across as insurmountable. For every challenge in your way, a solution is usually somewhere within arm's reach. You might not be able to grab that key stuck in the bottom of an aquarium right now, but maybe that magnet you passed by in the other room could help. In fact, most of the game's puzzles are presented this way, with the pieces to the puzzle staring you right in the face. That doesn't make it easy, though, as you'll need to test your brainpower to put those pieces together in the right way. That's the important thing to remember here. Agent A is more about brains than brawn. And though the game runs a bit on the short side, without any real replay value, and its story begins to fall apart a bit at the end, Agent A is a lot of fun while it lasts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gaming and critical thinking skills. How can video games be used to help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills? How can those skills be adapted for use in the real world?

  • How important are things like art style and presentation in gaming? How do different types of gameplay compare, such as action shooters versus point-and-click mysteries? How do these different game styles appeal to different audiences?

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For kids who love spies

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