Point-and-click adventure games were coming in the early days of modern computer era. The first point-and-click game is the little-known Planet Mephius, published by T&E Soft only in Japan for the FM-7 computer in July 1983. Unsurprisingly though, the gameplay of point-and-click game is still the same, until now. It still uses the same interface, utilizing a cursor to interact with objects displayed on the screen.
From this classic gameplay in 1983, point-and-click has evolved himself a lot that we've faced a lot of legends in this genre. That's including Lucas Arts' Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Islands, and perhaps the most popular point-and-click game currently is Fireproof Studios, The Room.
Seeing how this game has evolved doesn't mean that point-and-click games has lost its appeal. With great story and puzzle, there are still a lot of potential in this genre.
Yak & co is one of those guys that sees this potential and their latest point-and-click game has shown a lot of potential for this genre. It is called Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise - The Premise
So the premise is, you are Agent A in this game. Agent A is a spy, of course as a spy, you are tasked with an impossible mission from HQ, from your boss, Chief Ermin D Skies. Your mission impossible is to inflitrate another spy's house called Ruby La Rouge. This Ruby La Rouge, has been targeting your fellow agents. As one of the most promising agent, you are believed to be the only one who can exploit Ruby La Rogue's hideout and catch her.
Something even worse was happened. After delivering your mission, Ruby La Rouge somehow successfully infiltrated a cruise where your chief is staying. What's the worst thing could happen when your enemies and your boss, staying on the same boat? Double Agent? Nope, she bombed the cruise, along with your boss. And the story continues.
This house of Ruby La Rogue, however, is not your ordinary house. As a spy, the number one priority in her house is of course its security. So once you've entered her house, you will be exposed to a lot of puzzles, and it starts not in front of her door, but even in her electricity generator.
After you're inside her house, you will be working to find what's hidden inside this hideout. But wait, Ruby La Rogue won't be standing still. So who knows what's waiting for you there. When you step on something easily, you can be sure that it won't be easy to get out of it.
Anyway, her house is really incredible though, you can imagine having a big, modern-ish house complete with a grand piano and a giant aquarium with shark inside it, wait for it, in a private island. Well I can't personally imagine it myself. Anyway, let's continue.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise - The Gameplay
In Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, you will play a lot of puzzles that's according to Yak & co, is a reminiscent to ‘The Room’ but with more of an emphasis on logical inventory based puzzles. Totally agree with this.
In this deadly house, you will be moving from one room to another, finding clues, items, keys, opening some secret doors, finding some secret panels, and many more. There are total 15 rooms to explore, 30 inventory based puzzles and 20 puzzle screens.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise uses first person point of view where you as Agent A, will be exploring from room to room. Since this is a point-and-click game, you will also use tap for interacting with objects here. You can also use two fingers tap to move back from your current state to your previous state.
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise - Things I Like
I've played this game several times now, and the second I play Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, I finally realized how Yak & co really pays attention to small details in creating a logical puzzle that works with spy theme. They simply don't just put puzzles together, they craft it carefully so that everything went smoothly.
I can actually tap everything from the moment I start the game. The nice thing is that, you can actually figure out so many things, but left out with how to solve it. This is why, just like the developer said, "it is puzzles that reward the player for being observant and taking mental notes (like a good agent would) as opposed to those kind of adventure/puzzle games where you feel like you’re just trying out random items until they work".
Here's some example, there is this one puzzle that you clearly need water to extinguish some fireplace. I've read this first on AppUnwrapper's review and have confirmed it myself. You can actually use not only one sources of water that the developer wants you to use, but any accessible source of water. Anything you think is right, is somehow right. You might not notice it first hand, but when you try it second hand and use another approach, there you will know the detail Yak & co really take care of.
I also love the UX of the game. The two fingers tap to move back to my previous state really gives smooth feeling, not just tapping back button that separate player from the game. Also I really love the facts that you don't have to double tap and zoom in to every thing that you need to interact with. In Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, you can just interact with objects even if you're in the normal state. You can actually zoom in first, then interact to get a more clear vision, nevertheless it really helps players a lot.
This is something that clearly left out of my radar when I play. However this interview with Mark White is really spotted on. In the game, you will never get a chance to see what Agent A looks like; not even his/her voices. It means that he/she is designed genderless, meaning you can assume that you, no matter your gender are, can be the Agent A.
From the interview:
The idea to make Agent A genderless came early on when I was mapping out the target audience. I thought it might be nice to avoid showing the look of Agent A so that regardless of whether you are female or male, you can really get into the role of playing a secret agent. It wasn’t that I’d seen another game do it, it was just something I felt would allow people to feel more like a spy. Agent A still has a bit of a personality though, you can see it come across in the dialogue during the gameplay! Mark White Well of course, I always have a feeling for games with beautiful graphics and background music. And Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise clearly nails them both. With 1960s retro feel illustrative style, it feels like the game is brought into the future from the past. It has this toony feeling with colorful poly graphics that really feels satisfying. Check this GIF to see this illustration.
If you think the graphics are amazing, please check the man behind all of this illustration.
I don't have any grudge playing Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise. All the puzzle placements are spotted on, everything is there for a reason, the graphics are beautiful, and those extra details, just there to prove the quality of this product. If you value puzzles with great production value, you really need to play Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, full stop.
Tips and Tricks (Spoiler Alert!)
So if you read this article because you're stucked up at something in Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, let me help you ease your pain and finish up this beautiful game. However, if you don't want to be spoiled, please stop at this line and download the game using the button :) Don't tell me I didn't remind you!
There are three missions available in Agent A, so I'm putting some shortcut for you to travel through time:
Outside of the Door
So in this area, there are two puzzles to begin with. The first one is the key beneath the vase. Then, use this key to open up the secret panel. With this secret panel, try to tap the button in sequence until you get all the green button correct. Then come inside the house.
Entrance Room & Secret Panel
There's an obvious vase there waiting to be tapped and you will have the secret control panel. Don't forget to tap everything and you will get the crank handle here. If you happen to press on the weird red and blue buttons, just press all the blue buttons first, then the red buttons, do it again until something happen. Since, there's nothing more we can do now, let's move out.
Living Room & Ruby La Rogue, Fireplace
This is where you trapped by her. Like always tap everything, and you will encounter an old safe when you tap the picture over the fireplace. Make sure all the dots are in a line with the triangle. You can't do anything here, so let's leave this one.
Living Room & Coffee Table
When you tap the coffee table, you will get a four buttons. Try to find the right sequence and you will have a small triangle. Nothing can be done here, so don't forget we have this small triangle and we'll back to it soon.
Living Room - Upstairs
When you go upstair, you will find this grand piano and a really nice sofa. When you tap around, you will find some weird green blipping panel. Again, note this and we will go back to it again. Then, try to tap on the desk lamp and you will make it fall. Then, on the large cupboard, you will find a magnet between books. Since there's nothing more that you can do in this living room and upstairs, let's go back to the entrance room.
Entrance Room & Aquarium
When you tap around, you will somehow get to the aquarium and find a silver key there. Time to use your magnet now. Try to direct the key into the pipe and take the key out of it. Nothing left here and let's move upstairs.
Entrance Room & Plant Shape Sequence
Notice that there are four plants here before we go upstairs. This is a hint that we will use in no time. (BOTTOM, ALMOST TOP, ALMOST BOTTOM, TOP)
Entrance - Upstairs
We're locked! But no worry. We have the silver key to open it. Use it and you will have the private room of Ruby La Rogue.
Private Room - Small Drawer
Let's go tap around, and when you tap the drawer beneath the weird looking buffalo, you will have a wedge piece. Now let's try to go to the right room first.
Private Room - Shower Room - Sink and Mirror
Everytime you've arrived in a room, don't forget to tap around. Tap on the sink and the mirror on top of it, and you will have another wedge piece. On the left side still in the mirror, there's a switch to it. Try to switch it on. You will have a hidden security room now and you will get the telescope.
Shower Room - Security Room
Tap the screen and you will be meeting this Russian spy again. Nothing worth seeing currently so let's switch it back to shower room mode again.
Now, let's try to turn the water from the shower on, and surprisingly you will have a clock shape coming out from the fog. Remember the clock shape and let's move out back to the private room and try the left side room now.
Private Room - Working Room & Gramophone
We're in the working room and you will be seeing a gramophone with screwdriver. Take the record beside the gramophone and now use your crank handle right away. Don't forget to put the record in the gramophone too. Now use it until the screwdriver stucked out and grab it.
Working Room & Clock
Still on the working room, there's a clock there, go tap it. Remember the clock shape from the shower room? Try to duplicate it here. You will be getting the diamond.
Working Room & Working Table
The working table is showing the blueprint of the ship that she destroyed. There are two photos and one of it is your boss, but what is this symbol? Take note of it. There's a note and a phone, but as for the phone, nothing can be done yet. Let's get back to private room and go upstairs
Private Room - Upstairs - Bedroom
Inside the bedroom there're more things to do here. The cupboard near the bed is the place where you can put all the wedge pieces inside. We're still a long way to go before completing this one. Tap on the picture on the top of your bed and you will find a color sequence. Take note on this too because it means something. (RED, WHITE, ORANGE, BLUE, YELLOW) Let's go upstairs again.
Bedroom - Upstairs
There is this viewing room for pleasure and you can do something here as well. Let's tap everything out. On the egg chair you will have the wedge piece again, on the coffee table beside the egg chair you will have a square yellow cube hindered by a plant vase.
Viewing Room - Plant Sequence
Remember the plant sequence before we went upstairs in the entrance room? Let's make the use of it now. You will get another pieces and a stand. Use the telescope for it! But it still misess a lens. Let's go back and unlock ourself first.
Living Room - Lock Panel
Let's go back to the living room and deactivate the alarm. Use the screwdriver to open up some panel. Then, use the diamond to alter the laser. There you go! You've unlocked yourself up. Let's go outside.
Backside of the House - Poolside
Well we have another puzzle here. Anyway, let's tap around first. There's a glass beside the lounge chair and when you tap it again, you will have another wedge pieces. Tapping out and you will see a pool filter that you can do nothing yet. However, you can use this water to fill your glass, so do it.
Poolside - Downstairs - Stone Doorway
From this poolside, let's go downstairs and see what we have there. Another door and it closed again. Tap, tap, and tap. You will see a huge plant in fron of you and you will get a letterbox keycard that will be useful later.
Tapping again on the left side and you will get something like water pipe. Try to turn that one and you will break it, but it's okay, afterall it's not your house. Don't forget to take the handle though. This flowing water connects with something. Tapping around again, you will see some water sprouts that can't do anything yet. Some indent and some mysterious thing. Nothing can be done here, so let's get back.
Living Room - Fireplace
Don't forget that we now have a glass of water that can be use to kill the fire in the fireplace. Get the missing piece and put it right away to its place. This puzzle is easy, make sure every feet connects each other and you will have it done. A new panel comes up and we don't know anything yet, so let's move out.
Entrance Room - Secret Panel
Let's try to put the yellow square cube to the empty spot that we've left. You will have a color sequence. Remember the one at the bedroom? It's RED, WHITE, ORANGE, BLUE, YELLOW. Let's go! Another wedge piece again.
Outside the House - Power Generator
Let's get outside the house and go to the power generator. It's on the right side of the house, the place when we first started. Now let's try to fix the water off. Go to the red pipe and put the valve handle on it. Try to turn off the water. You can also look to the generator, but nothing will happen right now, so let's move out.
Once the water dried, in the stone doorway, tap on sprouted water and you will find a switch on it. Press it on and you will have a CCTV and another panel with wedge piece. Don't you think you've seen this view somewhere? Let's move!
Shower Room - Security Room
At the security room, you can see from the footage the fingerprint for the key. Let's head back to it and finish this puzzle first. Once you finish, the stone door will be opened.
Stone Doorway - Garage
We're actually still far from finish actually. So let's tap around in this garage. You will have a plunger on the right side of the room. A cork from a bucket. Another cork and oil can from the cupboard inside the table. Then when you tap and tap there's a some sort of circuit that isn't working.
Garage - Stone Doorway
The oil can, can be used for the rusty grate in the garage. Open it and take the wedge piece. Let's make use of the plunger, but before that, let's put the cork in the sprouted water so we can take the fish bone. Don't forget to turn on the water first because there would be no water flowing otherwise.
Shower Room - Sink
Now after the water runs again, go back to shower room and go to the sink. There, use the plumber at the sink and you will get a golden key. This golden key will be used for the coffee table in the living room.
Living Room - Coffee Table
After you've unlocked the next puzzle with your golden key, you just need to follow the direction of the yellow light and you will have it your way. A new wedge piece will be showing as well as another weird sign. So, since we now have three signs, we can go and break the puzzle on the outside of the house.
Outside House - Power Generator
On the power generator, use the letterbox keycard first. Then guess the symbol based on three signs that we've seen. The last one is you guess it :) You will have another wedge piece as well as new key. This key will leads us back to the garage again.
Before you go to the garage, make sure that you pick the fish bone on the sprouted water. Just tap on the only flowing water and you will have it.
Now use the key to open the toolbox. Another wedge piece coming out as well as the key to the power generator. Pick whatever that is inside the toolbox. Now let's go back to outside.
Outside of the Door
With the new lamp and hammer, you can actually do something with the blinky lamp. Just use the hammer to crush it and something will come out. Take it and change it back with the new bulb.
Use the key that you got from the toolbox. You will have a fuse that can be used in the garage again. Let's go back again to the garage.
Garage - Electricity Panel
Inside the garage, put the fuse you've just found into the missing socket. Then, try to connect the yellow panel. When you've done it, something will happen in the pool filter.
When you see the pool filter, a wedge piece is actually coming out. Take it. Now let's put all the wedges we have gathered inside the room as well as taking out the cat from the chair.
When you've put all the wedges, you will find a red ruby inside. Don't forget to shoo the cat away with your fish bone. There you will have the circular lens. Let's use it for the telescope.
Viewing Room - Telescope
Let's attached the lens into the telescope and use it. Now when you have it, you will see a number on the light tower '1771'. This must be the number from the secret panel above the fireplace. Let's head back to it. In the mean time, the yak's head is actually missing an eye piece, perhaps this ruby will suits it.
Private Room - Yak's Head
When the ruby is attached, it actually shows you a PIANOLA roll. This must be used for the Grand Piano upstair the living room. Let's go to the Living Room first.
Living Room - Secret Panel
Above the fireplace, let's crack the ice that's covering the panel. You have to do it very quickly, otherwise the ice will be covering the panel again. Even if the panel is broken, don't worry, as long as you know the number, you can guess it again. Let's put 1771 on it. There you will have another puzzle, make sure you connect all the triangle to finish it. Work from the largest circle first to the smallest. A finger print scanner is needed, which is why we need to go to the grand piano room first.
Living Room - Upstairs - Grand Piano
Let's attaching the PIANOLA roll first. Then try to repeat the sound of the piano. When you success a switch will be showing up. Turn on that switch and you will get a hacker device.
Living Room - Upstairs - Strange Pulsing Item
Now let's deal with this pulsing item. Use it for the blinking device inside the sofa. You will acquire detonator afterwards. Now let's use this hacker device back at the fingerprint scanner.
Living Room - Fingerprint Scanner - Poolside
Use the hacking device to hack the scanner. Try to aim the white number. Fail to do so and you will have to repeat again from the start. You will have the C4 explosion and a switch. Press the switch to disable the electricity pool and you left with the final task, going beneath the mirror door. Put the C4 and connect the phone into it. A number is showing '921981' and the only thing that we haven't touched yet is the old telephone in the working table. Let's go!
Once you've entered 921981 to the phone, you will be finished playing this game. Go back to the poolside and finish it your own. Hope you enjoy this review and walkthrough. If you do, please share it with your friends. Thank you!
At the telephone you can enter *69 and you will get YAKS love U words afterwards. This is the link that's said by the voice memo http://goo.gl/japqR0.