Buttonbasher Crew Review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

When several of the Buttonbasher writers found that they were playing the same game, they decided to try a new review format. The game is Professor Layton and the Curious Village for Nintendo DS.

Professor Layton is mix between Touch Detective, and a Mensa IQ test, with the art style  a mix of Triplets of Belleville and a Miyazaki Movie. Walking around the town of St. Mystere, you get to meet some truely unique characters (my personal favorite is Deke). You’re thrown into a puzzle pretty much every conversation. You see, St. Mystere’s main export is Puzzles!

The game lends itself well to those with a busy lifestyle as well. You can pop in, do a quick puzzle, save, and continue on with your day. Ranging from match puzzles to mathematics, these puzzles will entertain, and make you feel smart.

And really, who doesn’t want to feel smart?

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Layton truly appeals to everyone, as a matter of fact my grandmother has actually stolen my DS a few times, just to try and solve the next puzzle. That’s something new!

My only qualm with the game is the fact that after you have solved all the puzzles, there is nothing to bring you back except the weekly wi-fi puzzles, and those are bound to run dry at some point in the near future, although I earnestly hope they will tide me over until the sequel.

Speaking of the sequel, it looks fantastic. I’ve played the Japanese demo and it looks like the puzzles are fairly contextual this time around. It also features improved visuals and a rival puzzle solver for Layton to have a duel of wits with.

After enjoying such games as Hotel Dusk, Trace Memory and Phoenix Wright I felt right at home with Professor Layton. It’s definitely a great game to kick back, relax and just enjoy. At first, I never really considered the game to be in my radar. Then KLind told me about it, so I decided to check it out and see for myself. I was surprised that a game filled with puzzles and riddles could be so much fun. The story line made it even more intriguing.

But I think the most impressive thing about Professor Layton would be the established characters with unique personas. That reminds me: this game is loaded with production value. Cinematics and voiceovers make this game even more enjoyable, and with weekly downloadable puzzles/riddles, the game stays always fresh. The only problem I had with it was the difficulty curve with some puzzles. Some difficult ones do appear a bit early in the game, but the good thing is that we could always solve them later.

So in other words: Get it. NOW.

Watch the Professor Layton trailer


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