Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

aka: El Profesor Layton y el Futuro Perdido, Il Professor Layton e il Futuro Perduto, Layton Kyouju to Saigo no Jikan Ryokou, Professeur Layton et le Destin Perdu, Professor Layton and the Lost Future, Professor Layton en de Verloren Toekomst, Professor Layton und die Verlorene Zukunft
Moby ID: 47849
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Professor Layton and his assistant Luke attend the unveiling of a new invention called a time machine. The Prime Minister of London is volunteered as a test subject, but the machine explodes and there is no trace of him. With the Prime Minister missing, London is in chaos! Shortly after these events, the puzzle-solving pair receive a letter, which has apparently been sent by Luke's future self, stating that London is in serious trouble. The Professor and Luke follow the directions in the letter, which leads them to their most exciting adventure yet...

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is the third installment in the Professor Layton series. As with the previous games in the series, players explore game scenes by tapping on areas of interest with the stylus. Doing so can cause Layton and Luke to examine objects, talk to characters, finding hint coins (which can be spent on hints for difficult puzzles) and most importantly, discover puzzles that can be solved. Puzzles range from math, to logic, to riddles to sliding block puzzles, as well as many more different types. There are also "secret" areas in scenes which, when tapped, may leave a puff of dust or a rustle of leaves. Repeatedly tapping on these areas reveals a hidden secret, such as a bonus hint coin, or even a hidden, more difficult puzzle.

New to Unwound Future is the addition of the 'Super Hint'. While as with the previous games, you can spend a hint coin to unlock up to three hints, there is also another option. Once these three hints have been exhausted, for the price of two hint coins, you can unlock a more detailed 'Super Hint' as a last resort. There are also three new minigames incorporated into the game. In the Picture Book game, you must place the correct stickers in the right spots to make a story that makes sense. In the Toy Car game, you must place tiles which navigate a toy car around the board, collect all the objects, and then reach the goal. Finally, in the Parrot game, you must tie ropes onto pegs to help your parrot deliver parcels to people who have requested them.

Spellings

  • レイトン教授と最後の時間旅行 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

248 People (235 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)

Animations and music is great, story and puzzles not so good.

The Good
The illustrations, characters, animations and music are great. Especially the soundtrack is very cool. The title theme and puzzle theme are more or less the same as the in previous games, but there are many new tracks as well.

The game is well presented and the menus are easy to navigate, it works in the same way as in "Curious Village" and "Pandora's Box" which is good.

The autosave feature works seamlessly and when you continue a saved game it shows "the story so far" with a few illustrations and key elements of the story. Typically you'll play the game spread out over a few days (or even weeks) so these short recaps are a nice touch.

The Bad
I thought the puzzles were a little too easy and also there wasn't as much variation in puzzles as in the earlier games. Most of the puzzles are multiple choice or answer input, where there is one still image and a short story with clues, and all you have to do is circle or type in the right anwser.

There are parrot delivery and toy car puzzles which are more interactive but they are not part of the story puzzles. You find these puzzles throughout the story mode and they are relegated as mini games available in the trunk menu. Also, when you want to try a solution in the toy car puzzles it switches from grid view to an isometric view. The isometric view and animation looks nice but this switching back and forth slows down the pace of the game.

The story builds up nicely at first but about two-thirds into the game it just gets too ridiculous, even compared to the stories in "Curious Village" and "Pandora's Box". I personally thought it jumps the shark here.

The Bottom Line
Average puzzles and an unconvincing story, I'd recommend "Curious Village" or "Pandora's Box" instead.

Nintendo DS · by BdR (7206) · 2015

Layton and Luke strike back, but they miss

The Good
For a ridiculous story that it was, the presentation was not so bad, and the anime style cinematics (with occasional 3D elements) are quite a few, more as you draw near toward the closure and they seem anything but simple, which is nice. Even though the story presents various range of conflicts and emotions, it is all being resolved through the puzzles. It never gets old how Layton and Luke can find a hidden puzzle in the grass or wherever. They're gentlemen, and true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved.

Puzzles come in abundance and dialogs seem to be the side effect here, only to move the story a little bit further until the next puzzle. Mainly being a puzzle game, Professor Layton series are certainly among the finest and most fun to solve, each presenting an illustrious puzzles with hints and a way of collecting coins to pay for the hints. Having a top-layer to draw or calculate your own solution is a nice touch even though it is not necessary for majority of the puzzles.

There are a couple new mini-games now, such as the parrot game and car game, both which add some time to gameplay, and can be fun, especially the car game, but neither of them seem to offer multiple solutions to reach the goal which would've been slightly more fun to undertake.

So far I've only played one more Layton game, and while it was even more fun, it felt kind of quickly over. Unwound Future on the other hand turned out pretty long-winded for which I clocked over 20 hours of gameplay.

The Bad
After you finish the game and find out the entire story, all those people you met along the way seem very unlikely to have been there. It's actually downright ludicrous. While the story can get more emotional as you draw near the end, it is equally ridiculous and the lack of an actual happy ending for pretty much anyone is not so suitable for a game that sort of feels childish at heart.

In comparison with the immediate prequel, both setting and puzzles are mediocre at best. Many puzzles lack the proper description (and I don't refer to trick puzzles) and many are variations on the same one, such as trying to find a way out of a maze or pushing some buttons or rotating reflective mirrors and such. But in general, puzzles are not as fun as they were in the prequel.

While it is nice to have unlockable soundtrack and all, many tracks are downright taken from the older game version (if not, it is way too similar). Okay, main theme can be understood, even if there is no variation in instruments, but puzzle solving BGM, town exploring BGM, they all feel the same (it's been a while since I've played the prequel, but I am pretty confident most of the gameplay BGM didn't change). They should've followed the steps of Capcom's Ace Attorney series and at least renew all the tracks with each new game release.

The Bottom Line
If you can look past the story and the setting, this game will give you over 150 mediocre puzzles with additional mini-games, plethora cinematics and occasional voice-over. It's not a game that will require your utmost attention or become addictive while playing, but will do its share to keep you sleepless nights or long travels a bit more interesting.

Nintendo DS · by MAT (240185) · 2012

Trivia

Regional differences

The Japanese version of the game features a different version of the parrot mini-game from the US version. Instead of placing ropes for the parrot to bounce off of in the US version, the Japanese version has a talking parrot mini-game which involved filling in the blanks when having conversations with certain characters.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2010 – #3 Best DS Game of the Year

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Alaka, jaXen, jsbrigo, samsam12, Patrick Bregger, Marcel Bandowski, Flapco, Sam Panis.

Game added August 31, 2010. Last modified February 15, 2024.