Gold bullion is mysteriously disappearing from banks. Right before the eyes of onlookers it just ceases to exist. Security cameras record the event but reveal nothing of the perpetrator. Law enforcement agencies are baffled. Even the ultra secret national security agency, the RGB, have had no success in cracking this case.
Desperate times call for desperate measures so the chief of the RGB calls in a fortune teller for assistance. The fortune teller makes an intuitive stab at the local phone book to find a likely candidate to solve the case, and the name Mark Hopper is selected.
This is where you come in. Mark Hopper is a teenage male indistinguishable from the rest of the species right down to his baseball cap worn backwards. But something must have marked him out as the right person for the job otherwise why did the fortune teller pick him? Now Mark isn't stupid, despite his appearance, and rightly asks what's in it for him? The chief of the RGB points out that girls are attracted to secret agents and Mark's eyes light up. If he succeeds in cracking this case Mark will become a bona fide secret agent.
Teenagent is a third person perspective adventure game that may have had a limited commercial release in Europe but has been freely available for download since 1999 (thank you, Metropolis!). It is very much in the 'traditional' adventure vein with cartoon-style graphics, a point and click interface and inventory-based puzzles. The interface is very easy to use; left click to get a description, right click to use or operate. Left or right clicking will move Mark around but only right clicking will get him to walk to a new location. Your inventory appears when you move your cursor to the top of the screen. Pressing any of the function keys displays the options menu for saving, loading and quitting and you can also set text speed, walking speed etc.
The introduction leaves you in no doubt that Teenagent is a humorous adventure game and you will need to be imaginative to solve some of the wacky puzzles. Most are fairly logical within the context of the game but I must confess that a couple left me scratching my head as I failed to make the connection between a nut, an imitation apple and a pine cone. But that is sometimes part of the fun of this style of light-hearted game ... if you only want serious logic then don't play it. The first part involves a series of three 'tests' that you must pass to prove you are secret agent material, then the rest of the game revolves around you carrying out your mission. You won't believe how difficult it is to get into a guarded mansion as plan after plan comes unstuck. But never fear, 'love' will find a way.
Graphically, though the characters are 'blocky', Teenagent has aged quite well and the locations are generally bright, colourful and almost full screen. The music is inoffensive but perhaps too arcade-like to add anything much to the game. I turned it down to 'low'. And there are no voices in the downloadable version. All the text appears on screen in English and is easy to read.
The zipped download is just over 3 MB that extracts out to 14MB. It is a DOS game and I played it from a DOS prompt within Win 98 though I did need to free up some conventional memory before it would run. After that it behaved perfectly.
Teenagent is not a huge game, I played it in about six hours over two sessions, and it isn't a 'classic' but it is still entertaining enough, especially if you enjoy this style of gameplay as I do. Best of all it's free and you can find a link to a download site on the Quandary Free Fun page.
Copyright © Gordon Aplin 2004.
All rights reserved.
DOS, VGA card, Mouse, keyboard.