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AGON: The Mysterious Codex (Windows)

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3.7
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Written by  :  Jeanne (75603)
Written on  :  Jul 15, 2007
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

A delightful adventure

The Good

Releasing in episodes is the newest trend in bring games to market. I can see why developers would want to release "download only" versions at first. For one thing, it lets them "test the waters" so to speak, seeing if their project is liked by the public. Another more basic reason is the ghastly expense of producing, publishing, and advertising a full-blown retail game, not to mention that every party involved must get a piece of the pie.

I can see why AGON finally made it on to store shelves. It is an entertaining game with many elements we adventure gamers like.

Professor Samuel Hunt, your character, is a quirky little fellow from England with a passion for historical antiquities. He doesn't quibble if he needs to travel abroad to find an object or pieces to a puzzle but, in fact, relishes the trip. That attitude of excitement is evident as his uniquely British personality, inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit unfold during conversations and cut-scenes. He is no Indiana Jones - but he's an interesting character nonetheless.

The story is still evolving (since more episodes are on the way), but so far it has kept my interest. Samuel finds one piece of a puzzle and a printed page from a book, and he is bound and determined to find the rest. So, off he goes in search of them. His first couple of locations are rather limited with only a few rooms and dwellings to explore and sparse people to talk to. But there are plenty of items to gather and some varied puzzles to solve, so I was kept busy enough.

The interface is pretty basic. Icons in the top right let you access the main menu, document files, and inventory. The game is played in 1st person perspective using the all-too-familiar point and click system - but there's a slight difference here. AGON incorporates "click-hold-drag" in its navigation scheme to turn or look around a scene. While that's not new, I don't think, I was unaware of it and got stuck right away trying to move around. Once I figured that out, however, everything went smoothly.

The graphics and music are really good. I never found a thing wrong with either and felt completely at home exploring all of the locations. Also, the voice acting is top-notch.

The inventory window drops down at the top of the page and doesn't interfere with the gameplay screen at all. Items have names and some combining of objects is possible and necessary.

I was worried that there would be a start and end to each episode and that the game wouldn't flow from one to the other nicely. That was not the case here. It played like one continuous game with chapters. Very nice indeed.

The Bad

There are only 8 game save slots, which limits the player. Loading a game is not possible from the beginning Main Menu. Only after you start a game can you find that option.

In Madagascar you need to travel through dense jungle foliage to get to a special place. Because much of it looks the same and there are no pathways, you can get very lost very fast. The sound puzzle they used to help you was tedious and tiresome - and the sounds weren't distinct enough. (I won't spoil it for you by telling you how that's done.)

The "board" games are bizarre, unlike anything I've ever seen before. Truly imaginative, yes, but also very frustrating. The instructions didn't help me very much either.

The Bottom Line

Is this game fun and worth playing? I'd say, absolutely yes. The price for the compilation with all 3 episodes is well worth it. Exploration, adventure puzzle solving and a nice story will keep you entertained.

Private Moon Studios did a good job with this release and I'm certainly looking forward to the continuation of Hunt's explorations.