Apr 142014
 

Status: Finished except for one puzzle hiding somewhere. Most Intriguing Idea: Trying to integrate puzzles into the playing field. Best Design Decision: The map revamp, though it’s a mixed bag. Worst Design Decision: The horse, I mean seriously. Summary: The Professor Layton series has generally felt like it’s on a long, slow decline since Mysterious Village, and Miracle Mask does nothing to alter that impression. The series has never been particularly interested in refining its core mechanics, and even the execution has started to feel a little off. Miracle Mask had more errors in recognizing my written numbers than previous Layton [Read more...]

Sep 302010
 

Status: Complete Put this on your box: Walk with the Professor! Feel the burn! Most intriguing idea: Sorry, fresh out. Best design decision: The super hint for times when you just can’t figure out what the puzzle wants you to do. Worst design decision: The world is much too large and the subway doesn’t have nearly enough stops. Summary: The weakest aspect of the Professor Layton games has always been movement. I’ve almost never had any difficulty controlling the puzzles, but getting around has always been a tedious business. The earlier games in the series compensated for this by keeping [Read more...]

Sep 142009
 

Final Status: Story finished, most extra puzzles solved. Put this on your box: A gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved! Most intriguing idea: You don’t really need to make puzzles part of the story. You can just jam them in there any old way and people will still love it! Best design decision: Moving the setting around to make each chapter’s geography more varied. Worst design decision: The tea set, a boring game of trial-and-error that doesn’t fit the puzzle aesthetic or provide any entertainment. Summary: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box follows the same scheme as its predecessor — a [Read more...]

Feb 182008
 
I Love Layton

I have just finished playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village, a game I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone who has ever enjoyed thinking. The combination of straight-up puzzle solving and adventure game, charmingly presented in 2D, will leave you wanting more and wondering why nobody did this before. Brain game shovelware may well be doomed. The Professor puts that genre to shame and begs the question: “Why didn’t anyone do this before?” The premise of the game is simple enough—well-known puzzle-solver Professor Layton is summoned to a village to solve the riddle of a hidden inheritance. With his [Read more...]