It may not be quite the original IP Telltale fans have been clamouring for, but today's news is perhaps the next best thing, as the company has officially unveiled production of a new "puzzling adventure with a twist" called Puzzle Agent.
Designed in collaboration with Grickle cartoonist Graham Annable, the new game casts players in the role of Nelson Tethers, the one and only agent in the FBI's Department of Puzzle Investigation. The eraser factory that supplies the White House with all of its erasers has suddenly ceased its output, and the only response to inquiries is a series of cryptic puzzles. That makes it a job for the puzzle agent, so it's up to Tethers to visit Scoggins, Minnesota to contend not only with "clinically pre-occupied townspeople, secret societies, and mysterious sounds from the forest", but also a variety of "brainteasers that include mazes, puzzles, logic and riddles" in order to figure out what's going on.
Described as a combination of "generous doses of Nordic folklore, and an X-Files style mystery along with major influences of Professor-Layton inspired puzzling, David Lynch, the Coen brothers and a dash of Stanley Kubrick" (and gnomes!), Puzzle Agent represents the debut of a new initiative from Telltale called the Pilot Program. The goal of the program is to "introduce new video game concepts, content and play designs that can then be migrated to the company's episodic gaming model."
For now only the single "pilot" episode of Puzzle Agent has been confirmed for PC, Mac, WiiWare, plus the iPhone and iPad. The PC and Mac versions can already be pre-ordered directly from the official website, though unlike Telltale's regular episodic season series, no disc version will be made available. The only differences between versions will be control adjustments for the different platforms, and Telltale aims to release all versions as closely together as possible, beginning in June.