Professor Layton and The Curious Village Review
Puzzles are amazing and always please, impressive art style
Some gimmicks get recycled quick
Companies have realized something with the DS: Brain Training and Adventure games sell. Whether it's brushing up on division with Brain Age or hunting down clues with the stylus in games like Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Phoenix Wright, the DS proves to be a great home for these types of games.
Luckily, Level-5 had the idea to mix the genres together, creating an unforgettable experience and, quite possibly, one of the best games for your DS.
Professor Layton stars professor Layton, a genius with a knack for puzzles, and his apprentice Luke. The pair of puzzle solvers are asked to investigate an ancient mystery at the town of St. Mystere. The mystery revolves around a hidden "Golden Apple" left by the late Baron Reinhold that is said to lead to hidden treasure. Naturally, the Reinhold family is interested in finding the "golden Apple" and requests that Layton and Luke find it.
Now, take what I've told you, and just tuck it away in the back of your mind. Because you won't care about the storyline at all. Really, the plot is just a way to help transition between the game's main points: Riddles.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is all about riddles. You see, the townspeople of St. Mystere are addicted to riddles. They just can't get enough of them. And the only way to progress through Professor Layton is to solve as many riddles as possible. In fact, it's the only way anyone will ever talk to you in Layton.
"Do you know anything about the murder?"
"Murder? Say, that reminds me of a riddle!"
"Have you seen a black dog run by?"
"No, but while you're here, help me solve this riddle."
"Do you have any..."
"ZOMG help me solve this riddle that's been keeping me up all night"
Yes, it's silly but it works. It doesn't really matter how you find the riddles, so long as you can easily get them in a way that isn't completely random.
I'm happy to say that no matter which one you're solving, all 120+ riddles in Professor Layton are enjoyable and satisfying. While some might make you think they're impossible, others won't require too much effort to solve. And don't worry about difficulty. The order in which the puzzles are set up is perfect, with easier puzzles in between the harder ones. Of course, if you find a riddle is just too difficult for now, you can choose to solve it later, with no real penalties.
Before I end my review, I need to mention the overall presentation. The game's amazing hand-drawn backgrounds make you feel like you're really in St. Mystere, and while the music may grow repetitive, it helps add to the town's mystery and somewhat dark tone.
Overall, Professor Layton is a gem. Its puzzles always entertain, and you'll grow to love the small little town of St. Mystere. Once it's over, you'll be sad to see it go, though new puzzles are released every week via Nintendo Wifi Connection. Here's hoping the next Layton is just as amazing.