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Professor Layton and the Curious Village

aka: El Profesor Layton y la Villa Misteriosa, Il Professor Layton e il Paese dei Misteri, Layton Gyosuwa Isanghan Maeul, Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi, Professeur Layton et l'Etrange Village, Professor Layton und das Geheimnisvolle Dorf
Moby ID: 32910
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Description

After hearing about a strange inheritance dispute in the town of St. Mystere, Professor Layton and his young apprentice, Luke, travel there on behalf of Lady Dahlia, who has requested their presence to resolve the issue. However, it quickly becomes apparent that St. Mystere is quite strange... all the townsfolk seem to be obsessed with puzzles, and Baron Reinhold's fortune isn't the only secret that the town has hidden...

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a puzzle game which uses the works of Akira Tago, author of the Japanese series of Head Gymnastics books as its basis. As both Layton and Luke, players explore the town of St. Mystere screen by screen. Each screen contains puzzles, either hidden in the scenery or by talking to characters. Upon finding a puzzle, the screen changes and the player is presented with the puzzle itself: the description of the puzzle on the top screen, and the puzzle (as well as the place to input the answer) on the bottom screen. Some puzzles require simple calculation, some have a trick answer, while others are riddles. The selection of puzzles is quite varied. If the player gets stuck, they can purchase a hint with 'Hint Coins'. However, these are limited - more can be found hidden in the game world, but there a set number of coins in the entire game.

Professor Layton has a visual style similar to that of a watercolor painting. While most of the game does not have much animation, key story sequences are told in fully animated and voice acted scenes. The game also used Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to connect to the Internet and download additional puzzles for players to solve.

Spellings

  • γƒ¬γ‚€γƒˆγƒ³ζ•™ζŽˆγ¨δΈζ€θ­°γͺη”Ί - Japanese spelling
  • 레이튼 κ΅μˆ˜μ™€ μ΄μƒν•œ λ§ˆμ„ - Korean spelling

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

149 People (143 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Puzzle Master
Producer
Director
Character Design
Composer
Sound Director
Programming
Concept Art
Menu Design
Artwork
Sound Effects
Planning
Original Scenario
Scenario
Puzzle Creation
Puzzle Creation Assistance
Promotional Video Creation
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 105 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 44 ratings with 3 reviews)

Picarats for your brain

The Good
Nintendo DS is in some way focused in different games for people of any ages as well as Wii is. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is another game of those, featuring many different puzzles playable by anyone with a main interesting background story which is the biggest mystery in the whole game. If Nintendo continues providing this kind of games, soon we'll have a new generation of super humans.

The structure of the game is easy, you play with your stylus, walking around the streets of the village like a detective solving the mysteries of the main storyline, talking with the village's inhabitants and collecting information about the village and what happens there. Most of the characters that live in the village will challenge you with different puzzles, which have nothing to do with the main story. You can also find new puzzles by examining concrete things, for example, if you examine an empty bottle you'll have a puzzle with empty bottles or something related.

Most of the puzzles are difficult, but you have coins to get extra hints. You can collect those coins examining objects in the screen and you'll have three hints for each puzzle. Puzzles are really different and unique, including math problems or classic puzzles. Variety of the puzzles is one of the best points of the game.

Talking about technical aspects, graphics are original too, combining the Asian anime with the European feeling (I've noticed a french essence during the whole game) that really works. You have also cutscenes in which you can appreciate that combination clearer.

Besides the main story and the puzzles during your adventure, you'll get extra objects like furniture for your bedroom or parts for a mechanical dog. Once you've completed the mechanical dog he will help you finding coins in the stages. When you've completed one of those "side quests" like collecting all the things for your bedroom and place them as they should be you'll unlock new puzzles, in theory the hardest ones, to complete the experience of the game.

Any puzzle could be played at any time, which is something great for casual players that only want to play some puzzles or just try the game, without having to play the main story. There's also a place in the village where you can try again all the puzzles that you've not beaten.

The Bad
To start with, you can figure out what's happening (talking about the story) really soon... and you'll be right. The storyline is beautiful anyway, but more surprising parts should've been better.

Some puzzles doesn't need the use of coins, but you may use your coins if you get stocked up in one puzzle looking for help. Sometimes you just use one of them because the hint says "there are no hints for this puzzle" or something like that, but some puzzles have vague hints that doesn't help you at all.

Picarats aren't as important as they could be. Picarats are like points that you'll get once you've beaten a puzzle. If you've done it at the first attempt you'll get more of them, if you need more tries picarats will be reduced, bu they're not important because there's no use of them during the game, is just like a meter and nothing more, just to say "hey, I've beaten the game with all the available picarats".

The most part of the puzzles could be solved by logic, but some of them require basic arithmetic concepts, which is something that not all the people know. Anyway you can use your coins to get extra information, but if you've used your three coins and you still don't know what do you may have a big problem.

Music's good, but there's only one song during your adventure, really mystic and suitable with the game essence, relaxing and many other adjectives, but just one.

The biggest problem of the game is the one that any game like that could have, a bad explanation of the puzzles. It only happens in a few of them, but when it happens it's a problem that will angry you. What's worst, some of the puzzles may have alternative solutions, and the game only accept one of them. All those things happens just a few times, but...

Game's funny (at least until you get stocked up in one puzzle from hell), but once you've beaten it there's not much things to do because now you know how to solve every puzzle. The only thing that you may do is complete the extra puzzles unlockable or beat the puzzles that you didn't beat before, but there's nothing special in completing the game twice.

The Bottom Line
A nice game for all the people who loves puzzles and mysteries, and the worst game on Earth for those who prefer solving their puzzles shooting a shotgun. If you're in between, you'll enjoy a unique game with a beautiful design that will make you feel clever. The only danger in this game is smashing the cartridge down because you got stocked in one puzzle.

Nintendo DS · by NeoJ (398) · 2010

A simple introduction to one of the best selling Nintendo DS puzzle games of all time.

The Good
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first one in a puzzle game series that follows the story of our title character Professor Hershel Layton and his apprentice Luke Triton as they solve an inheritance dispute in the town of St. Mystere, what follows is a case with tons of mysteries to solve (hence the name St. Mystere) and a ton of puzzles to solve in between.

The style of play is an adventure/mystery game with puzzles placed throughout the game. I am not entirely positive if there are other games like this, but this is a game that uses the mechanic effectively. Some of the puzzles are required to move forward in the game, others can be found by looking hard enough in the world. This might have been the only way they could had done it, any other way wouldn't be as effective.

The story was also pretty fun too, but I don't want to give much away, even if your not planning to play it anytime soon. But I will say this, it won't be just an inheritance dispute you have to worry about, as the town and the Reinhold family has a few secrets to hide.

The two main characters, Hershel Layton and Luke Triton have their own quirks that people may enjoy. With Layton as the English gentleman who is always calm and collected, and Luke as the kid who sticks by the professor's side... albeit he could be way over his head once in a while.

The Bad
There are a few things with the game that would only tick off those who actually want to complete the game 100 percent.

Let's just simplify the completion progress like this: In order to complete the game, you have to complete all the puzzles, including the Layton's Challenges at the end of the game. How do we take on the challenges? We have to go to the bonus section and it will have its own place in said section. But wait! Most of the houses are locked! How do we get them open? Well, there are other things in the game such as collecting scraps of paper for a picture, finding parts for a robot and collecting furniture for the hotel rooms, and that can very well make you have to solve every puzzle in the main story to get everything. After you complete the side goals, then all the houses will be available. Just solve them, and THEN you complete the game.

That may seem like a very big nitpick, but for those people who like 100 percent completion, this game may become a chore after the main game is done.

I also have an issue with the picarats in the game, the only good thing that comes out of them is to unlock the other bonus features after the game is finished. It's like why should there be even this system to begin with?

Some people may also be annoyed that in some places, in order to progress, you are going to need to solve a certain amount of puzzles in order to progress forward, it usually doesn't matter, but when it does, it's a huge bother.

The Bottom Line
Overall, this game is an enjoyable adventure/mystery game with lots of challenging puzzles. The story is easy to follow and you might even get a laugh or two from the characters in this game. There might be some issues with the game, but only if you are planning to go the extra mile. This is a fine introduction to how the Professor Layton series works, but there are other games in the series that will be better than the first one.

Nintendo DS · by TempoTones98 (248) · 2014

Nothing worse than a broken puzzle game.

The Good
The game has a very unique and interesting style that matches very well with the puzzle-solving theme. It's quite stylish and many of the buildings and people are designed to look like they are from the 40's. It's very pleasing to the eye to say the least.

Ehm... yeah, that's about all...

The Bad
As the title might suggest this game is awfully broken, it looked good when I started the game out, but very soon I started running into some stuff that was just wrong and reeked of poor play-testing. The most glaringly obvious of which was a puzzle with matches where I had to change an image by changing the positions of two matches. The first time the game punished me because apparently the wrong side was pointing up and the second time one match was apparently tilted slightly too far to one side. How do I know? Because after that I looked up a walkthrough and the images were the damn same!

In the good section I wanted to pull the most desperate card I can possibly use by saying: "Well at least it's a new IP!", but that would mean I'd acknowledge the fact there is actual creative thinking behind this game. Very early on I was faced with the ancient puzzle of the river and the chickens and the wolves, a puzzle I have only been asked to do like fifteen times since the new era started. There was also this broken puzzle where I saw the most poorly drawn map ever and they were talking about intersections, but I just couldn't figure out which of the shapes was supposed to be what. And just when I thought I had seen the worst they pulled the earlier mentioned matches puzzle, something as ancient as the invention it's based around. This, may I remind you, were the first ten minutes of the game.

The developers were also not aware of the difference between a puzzle and plain boring math. The fourth puzzle I ran into had me figuring out how often a digital 12-hour clock displays three or more of the same numbers per day. Dear, whoever the heck made these puzzles, I get crap like this two times a week in the form of school. I play puzzles to relax and face interesting challenges. There was also this puzzle (triggered by tapping on a completely random group of flowers in the background) where I had to calculate how much money some dude makes when he sows seeds on half a farmland as opposed to some other guy who plows twice as fast, but sows at a speed of 1/3. If you could follow that, congratulations and my apologies. If you made this puzzle, if you are throwing this at me then kindly fuck you.

The few puzzles that weren't rip-offs or just plain math were very easy to cheat, hell I didn't even need to put effort behind it. The punishment for failing is a decrease in points, something I couldn't care less about, so when faced with four different options I'd just go down all the options in order of whatever seemed logical. There were also puzzles you could keep restarting before submitting the answer, like one with weighs where one was not as heavy as the others and I had to figure out which with a limited amount of moves. I just kept throwing the same two weighs on the scale and kept resetting until one would come out different than the other, problem solved and full score.

The Bottom Line
I went into this game really hoping I would like it, but it didn't last more than 15 minutes before I put it down and decided there are a million things I'd rather do than playing this. I can forgive a game for starting out easy, but this was just downright silly.

Puzzles are either:

Broken or easy to break

Unoriginal math assignments

Variations are direct copies of overused puzzles

Too precise when it comes to answering

Compare this to Super Scribblenauts which had a very solid main mechanic and a lot of fun and interesting puzzles and contexts to back it up. It just makes it perplexing that it's Layton however that has the huge series, hell I had trouble finding out which game was the first to be released.

Since this review is based on but a fragment of the entire length of game you can take this review for what it's worth. The game was simply too flawed for me to continue playing. Definitely skip this one.

Nintendo DS · by Asinine (956) · 2012

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Professor Layton and the Curious Village appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Regional differences

The North American version features a few completely different puzzles from its European counterpart.

Awards

  • GAME British Academy Video Game Awards
    • 2009 - Best Handheld Game
  • GameSpy
    • 2008 – #10 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – Nintendo DS Game of the Year
    • 2008 – Nintendo DS Puzzle Game of the Year

Analytics

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ben K.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Alaka, griffon, Wizo, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, sgtcook, Grandy02, CrankyStorming, FatherJack.

Game added February 29, 2008. Last modified February 15, 2024.