Professor Layton and the Curious Village DSi and DS Lite
DSi and DS Lite
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Released on 07/11/2008
Prepare to step into a mysterious and eccentric world when Professor Layton and the Curious Village arrives on the Nintendo DS . With over 130 logical and lateral thinking conundrums immersed in an engrossing and compelling storyline game, and additional puzzles available every week via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, players of all ages everywhere will be challenged to the limit as they search to unravel the hidden secrets of the village St. Mystere!
Taking control of two quirky and intriguing characters, Professor Layton and his sidekick Luke, whilst being guided by fully animated cut scenes, players must successfully decipher the numerous taxing puzzles that face them to reveal events and strands of the ever-mysterious storyline. Only when everything has been discovered, all mysteries resolved and the ultimate item – the Golden Apple – recovered, will the player have solved the mystery surrounding St. Mystere.
The professor, the puzzles, the plot twists...
'Brain Training with a plot' seems to be the enticing high-concept pitch behind this delightful DS puzzler. And indeed it's an idea Nintendo seems keen to promote, having taken over publishing duties for the game's European launch, some nine months after Professor Layton And The Curious Village arrived in the US.
In truth, that description is a bit of a misnomer, because Professor Layton And The Curious Village is all about logic puzzles; generally you'll be thinking laterally rather than mathematically. Indeed, if you find yourself scribbling down sums, you'll usually be on the wrong track, the game almost certainly having bamboozled you with its cleverly-worded brainteasers.
An illogical legacy
The plot to Professor Layton And The Curious Village circles around the eponymous prof and his young apprentice, Luke, whose presence is never really adequately explained. The duo must attempt to solve the mystery behind an inheritance dispute, sparked when the village's Baron Reinhold dies, leaving only a tantalising riddle in his wake.
The game pokes fun at itself, explaining away seemingly irrational behaviour with a rug-pull near the end of the plot that will leave most players reeling.
Initially, as Layton explores the hamlet of St. Mystere, it seems ludicrous that every character requires you to solve a puzzle before assisting you on your quest, but the game pokes fun at itself for doing this, and then explains away this seemingly irrational behaviour with a rug-pull near the end of the plot that will leave most players reeling. It's worth bumbling your way through Professor Layton And The Curious Village just for that.
But the major plot twist is not the only high spot in a story which perfectly accentuates the meat of the game - i.e. the puzzles - without ever becoming too intrusive. Animated cutscenes impress, but never outstay their welcome. The script is witty and succinct, and compels you to keep playing just to find out what enigma will come next.
Characters are likeable and memorable - particularly the professor, a charismatic chap with a hint of Sherlock Holmes about him. Even Luke's hilariously misguided Cockney accent just seems all the more charming in these surroundings, and the delightful art style adds a European flavour despite the game's Japanese anime origins. The music may be more of an acquired taste - the main accordion-based themes to Professor Layton And The Curious Village are catchy but admittedly a little repetitive.
Even if you don't take to the charming (and surprisingly dark) story, the puzzles will keep you enthralled.
Even if you don't take to the charming (and surprisingly dark) story, the puzzles littering Professor Layton And The Curious Village will keep you enthralled. While a couple are repeated twice or more before you reach the end, most are unique, and the majority will have you chewing your stylus for a while before you come up with an answer. Brilliantly, you're often allowed to scribble down your workings on the touchscreen, while a subtle and useful hints system provides assistance - at the cost of hint coins you pick up during your travels.
Moreover, there are a number of little bonus asides that will have you seeking out the riddles that aren't related to the plot. There's a jigsaw to complete, a mechanical dog to piece together, and furniture which can liven up Layton and Luke's rooms at the St. Mystere Inn. And these aren't just for show, either - completing them unlocks further puzzles. Fans of Professor Layton And The Curious Village will also be able to download special weekly riddles via Wi-Fi.
With over 130 puzzles to solve, Professor Layton And The Curious Village will likely spend a fair bit of time in your DS cart slot. Just keep your fingers crossed that we get the two sequels - already out in Japan - a little quicker next time.
- Delightful cartoon presentation.
- Fiendish puzzles are many and varied.
- Charming story with several twists.
- Occasional sticking points.
- The water pitcher riddles are irritating.
- An inevitable long wait for the sequel!
Nintendo's gone announcement crazy today: it seems that we're getting a new Professor Layton game this October.
According to the console giant, Professor Layton and the Lost Future will be hitting DSs on 22nd October in the UK. The third in the absolutely brilliant series, the game will come with 165 new brain-teasers, all wrapped up inside an exciting adventure story.
Apparently, the Professor's latest case kicks off when he receives a mysterious letter from his sidekick Luke, which appears to have come from ten years in the future. The letter warns that London is going to suffer a terrible calamity, and only Layton can save the day.
With more animated movies than the previous two games, the story promises unprecedented depth as you move around the London Underground and visit Chinatown. "Players will also be able to discover more about the Professor's mysterious past through flashbacks, as the story is revealed with full-motion animation sequences that will explain the secrets behind Professor Layton's lost lover and how he obtained his well-renowned hat," says the press release.
Book October off, we reckon - if you like puzzle games, you're going to be busy.
Time may be running out for Professor Layton, that puzzle-loving sleuth who has enchanted gamers on an annual basis since 2007. In a Japanese press presentation, developer Level 5 has announced it's working on another game in the series due for release on Nintendo 3DS next year.
Going by the rather unwieldy literal Japanese title of Professor Layton and the Legacy of Super Civilisation A, the plot for this game, the sixth in the series, apparently kicks off when someone contacts the professor claiming to have found a living mummy. Fans will be saddened to learn that the title, which will boast lots of new puzzles, is being described as "the final adventure" for the top-hatted hero.
Worry not, however, as the lengthy translation process means we've still got the Prof's fifth outing to look forward to. Just as Japan was revealing its plans for his final outing, Nintendo's European operation confirmed it'll be launching Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle in UK shops on October 26th, also for Nintendo 3DS.
Professor Layton and the Curious Vill… (07/11/2008)
The professor, the puzzles, the plot twists...
'Brain Training with a plot' seems to be the enti…
More Professor Layton due this October…"Final adventure" for Professor Layto… (30/08/2012)
Time may be running out for Professor Layton, that puzzle-loving sleuth who has enchanted gamers on an annual basis since 2007. In a Japanese press presentation, developer Level 5 has announced it's w…
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