Your mission (should you choose to accept) is to infiltrate enemy spy Ruby La Rouge’s secret hideaway and put a stop to her evil plans! You play as Agent A in this stylish secret agent world full of retro futuristic contraptions, hidden gizmos, gadgets and clever logic based puzzles. But do be warned… Ruby La Rouge is no spy to be taken lightly! Explore a labyrinth of perplexing puzzles in this quirky game of cat and mouse that’ll have you wondering whether you’re the cat… or the mouse!!
Time Played: 4 hours
Console: Computer / Nintendo Switch
Recommended For: Undercover Secret Agents
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise could not be highly recommended enough by friends in the escape room world! After seeing no less than 4 threads on my social media talking about how much fun this point and click adventure is, then spotting it on sale over Christmas – I had to indulge!
Considering the sale price was under £5 (reduced from £15 on Steam), it’s worth every penny and more. You get at least 4 hours worth of gameplay, beautiful graphics, excellent puzzles and solid comedy to boot. Even at full price, it’s a very accessible and enjoyable game that deserves all the awards it has one (and it has won quite a few, let me tell you!).
As the title suggests, you play the role of Agent A of the C- I mean, MIA. Your arch nemesis, the dastardly super-criminal Ruby La Rouge has devised a series of traps and obstacles to slow you down as she makes (yet another) escape from your clutches. Starting with… Locking you inside her home! Let me begin by saying, no building in the entire history of architecture is as fortified as this mountaintop apartment and no security system as complex. But why not, the evil organisation HAVOC are a cut above the rest in the criminal underworld.
Your role is essentially to find and capture Ruby La Rouge. She won’t make it easy for you, no way.
Over the 5 chapters of Agent A, you’ll find yourself playing cat and mouse with Ruby across various interior and exterior locations around the secret lair. The keys (mind you, they aren’t always ‘keys’) to cracking open new doors or safes are scattered and each hidden behind even more intricate layers of security. Buttons will transform rooms from relaxed living spaces into high tech command centres. Plant pots and vases will hide secrets when interacted with in the correct way. Don’t get me started on the pets either. If I have to run up and down stairs feeding any more fish to that bird I’ll scream… But I diverge!
Agent A is overall so much fun. For sure, in a lot of the point-and-click genre there is a bit of back and forth. Agent A is no different – you’ll have access to the whole house at all times and sometimes you’ll find yourself clicking back and forth between rooms looking for things you missed. But any temporary frustration is outweighed by the joy of puzzles.
I congratulate any game which features puzzles I’ve not seen before, and Agent A is packed with them. There’s nothing too difficult mind, which is why I’m sure I whizzed through this game in 4 hours (so a little under an hour per chapter). Most of the puzzles require you to find an item and then use that item in a logical way. For example, a magnet might be useful to access a metal item you can’t reach behind glass, a crowbar to shift a heavy object and so on. Scattered throughout the game are what I’ll describe as “mini-games” too: puzzles where you have to move, slide, or otherwise interact with a puzzle in an exciting way! A lot of these are hacking based (hey! It’s a secret agent game, what do you expect), but some really fun mechanics that make it an overall stand out experience.
The final thing worth mentioning, and full stars to the artists on this game, is how beautiful it looks and feels. In particular, each location in the game has such a gorgeous colour scheme and lighting effect. If Ruby thinks being locked in this house is a punishment, she’s got it wrong. It’s such a pleasant virtual world to be in, I think I’ll just stay!
Overall, a joy to play and I can’t recommend it enough for a fantastic intro to how wonderful the world of videogame escape rooms can be. Agents, good luck!
Agent A can be played on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox or Mobile Devices. You can find more on their website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.