To call Agon a point-and-click game is to grossly overstate the amount of clicking. For a very long time, the game involves nothing more than exhausting dialogue trees of the characters you meet. Although the puzzles you’ll eventually reach are decent enough, the swamp of extremely middle-class dialogue you have to trudge through makes it feel more like a book than a game.
Worse still, the dialogue sounds like it’s delivered slowly by the over-keen members of a theater group for simpletons, and you don’t get a whiff of a puzzle until you’ve listened to in excess of an hour of this eye-glazing chat. If it’s designed to make you care for the characters, it’s a terrible mistake - we spent long minutes actively willing them to explode.
Agon makes a vague stab at aping Myst, by confining your exploration to a series of jump points. However, where Myst lets you know with intuitive visual clues where you might be expected to go, Agon leaves you to scour a 360° panorama for something - anything - that changes your cursor.
Sometimes it seems deliberately mocking. To whittle the branches of a dialogue tree to one option feels like the main achievement in Agon. And for that option to be the tree-exploding question, “Can I ask some more questions?” - well, to continue the arboreal metaphor, that famous scene in Evil Dead springs to mind, because that’s what playing Agon is like: getting fingered by a tree.
Mar 14, 2008
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