Title:

  • TeenAgent

Genre:

  • Graphic Adventure

Developer:

  • Metropolis Software House

Publisher:

  • Union Logic

Release Date:

  • 1995

System(s):

  • Windows

Box Art Credit:

  • Wikipedia

Systems Used:

  • DOS, Amiga

If I Gave Ratings:

  • Maybe 3 and a half

On Wikipedia:

TeenAgent is a bit of a strange game. Profiled on Hardcore Gaming 101 (which is how I first came across it), the game is an adventure game, not unlike the old Lucasfilm/LucasArts SCUMM games. The only difference is it didn't come from Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts, Sierra, or any other mainstream point-and-click adventure publisher. It was released in Poland for Amiga and MS-DOS, and when it came out on CD-ROM with a full audio track, that was released in Polish, too.

Where you start. (Picture: HG101.net)

Somehow the original game was translated to English and released in the United States and Canada as shareware for DOS (Amiga was essentially dead in the States by this time), with dreadful (but obscure) box art. This was stock box art for a variety of other shareware games, but you can see why I didn't publish this at the top of the page, right?

Despite the thing being Polish, it's supposed to be set in America, and could be believed as such (though it could easily be set in Europe somewhere). The writing is fine thanks to a decent translation, though there's some noticeable errors: the North American release featured the game in English for the first time, and the translation is pretty good, except the errors in translation are pretty obvious, including "Don't touch this door" where a "Don't touch that door" would be more appropriate (I didn't get the exact quote, you'd have to play it for yourself), "crates" where they meant "grates", and of course, using the British "mum" instead of "mom".

Nice try. Maybe if the bricks were white...

The plot as follows basically has some security guards delivering gold to a bank when it mysteriously disappears before their eyes. A top secret government agency which deals in these types of unexplained phenomena hires a fortune teller to pick out a random name from a phonebook, and that person turns out to be a teenager named Mark Hopper. The puzzles themselves are somewhat obtuse: in the second task of the first chapter (basically a ninth of the game), you have to get a password from the captain who tied himself to a chair. Even though you can amass such things like a shovel, a Swiss Army knife, and a grenade, the correct solution lies in using all those things (except the grenade, that comes a bit later) to tempt him with a magazine. However, it tends to go with other adventure games and makes sense only because it's funny and not because you have to think exactly the way the developers think, and forgiving too: this isn't the old Sierra/Dynamix "make one wrong step and you're screwed/dead" games, either, so that's nice too. Tied with the weak DOS graphics that were dated even by the early 1990s, an odd mouse control scheme (but fairly standard for DOS adventure games), and the music, which is upbeat but becomes grating VERY quickly, the game is far from perfect. The saving grace, of course, is that TeenAgent is free, one of the few old games which is legally free (as opposed to abandonware). CD Projekt, creators of GOG.com, purchased the original developer (Metropolis Software) shortly before launching GOG, and re-released it in early 2009 as a freeware game.

February 10 2012

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