The first Professor Layton game arrived on Nintendo DS ten years ago (that makes me feel really old, by the way), a wonderful mix of inventive puzzles, beautiful artworks, and memorable storytelling.
The DS originals felt good enough to be part of Nintendo’s own esteemed franchise list, and its arrival on the iOS App Store will make many Apple fans very happy.
Appropriately for this new era of Layton games, we have a new hero, Katrielle Layton is the charismatic lead of this new mystery, a headstrong young detective, and daughter of the original hero. Accompanied by sassy talking dog Sherl and a naive earnest sidekick called appropriately Ernest, the trio are out and about in old London town solving mysteries to get their new detective agency off the ground.
There are puzzles everywhere in this world – you crack the case by talking to the cast of genuinely funny characters or tapping points of interest in the scene and solving the riddles that emerge. And don’t worry if you get stuck – there are hints to help you along the way and plenty of optional conundrums you can return to later.
There’s a great variety in the puzzles, which ask the players to think really, but what compels you onwards through the game is the terrific script. Level-5’s excellent team of writers has peppered puns and cheeky gags throughout the dialogue, and it’s a joy to read the back and forth between characters.
Plus it all looks so lovely. The Studio Ghibli-style characters and scenery are gorgeous to behold, and, rarely for me, I even stuck around for the cutscenes (you can skip them if you want).
Throw in the cheerfully hammy cockney voice acting and you’ve got a beautifully presented, ingenious narrative puzzle game which is absolutely worth the asking price. One of the best games out there for sure.
(GET) Layton’s Mystery Journey on the App Store.