Exploring Professor Layton’s Mysterious Village

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Something I got a chance to try out, but not really get that far into is Level 5’s DS game, Layton Kyouju no Fushigi na Machi (Professor Layton’s Mysterious Village). The game’s most striking feature is its presentation which looks like vintage French cartoons (Tintin comes to mind). The beginning of the game shows a short movie clip with Professor Layton and his student Luke getting into a car. While they are in the car the player pushes the text forward by pressing the A button, but the background still moves which creates the illusion of being in a movie. The intro sequence is fully voiced, but later on Professor Layton switches into just text.

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Gameplay wise Professor Layton is one part adventure game and one part Brain Age. All of the puzzles are logic puzzles that use the touch screen. Before you play a puzzle you are told the maximum amount of points you can earn by completing it and how many points you earn if you solve it now. If you make a mistake, like choose the wrong answer you get a second chance to do the puzzle, but the amount of points you earn goes down. An alternative is to use a hint, which takes 1 point to help you solve a puzzle instead of risking a wrong answer. After you solve a puzzle correctly you’re given an explanation on why the answer you picked was the correct one. As you can see in the clip, Professor Layton is not import friendly at all. The story and puzzle instructions are in Japanese so you may want to hold off importing it unless you have a good grasp of the language.

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