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In similar Maxis titles, player actions, such as placing buildings, are completed instantaneously and totally anonymously. This makes SimIsle somewhat unique in the Sim world because it is played through the use of intermediary agents who are both hired and paid by the player. Collectively, the agents, who have varying skills and profiles, will carry out all of the players actions in the simulation and will take varying amounts of time to complete each project.

The agents are managed through a special building that appears on every map known simply as the Agent HQ (although it can be renamed). Each isle comes with a number of pre-selected agents and others can be hired using the Agent HQ facility. Additionally, agents on the payroll can be fired or trained while they are stationed at the Agent HQ. Each agent usually has two skills (such as Construction, Flora and Forestry, Local Culture, or even Criminal Contacts) that allows him or her to take on certain assignments. In some situations, an assignment requires more than one skill; if a single agent doesn't have all the necessary talents two or more agents can be used to finish the task. It's not possible to train the agents in new skills but they can be trained to increase the effectiveness of the skills they already have.

An agent's skill set also determines where the agent is allowed to move on the map. All agents can move to existing facilities and settlements but others are not allowed to move onto undeveloped tiles. For example, agents with the construction skill are allowed to move most anywhere on the map so that they can start new building projects. Agents with the "Exploration" skill are allowed to move onto jungle squares and may discover hidden objects in doing so. Trying to move an agent to a location he is not eligible for simply results in an error message to that effect.

In one scenario in particular (and even rarely in others) it is possible to find a hidden agent who is a cartoon super hero named Captain Sprout. There is a side story to the game involving Captain Sprout and his battle with his arch-nemesis. Captain Sprout is unique in that he has 6 skills (where the standard agent only has 2) and his starting skill level in each is 99 (where all the other agents start at 50 but can be trained higher).