Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a wonderful family
puzzle game for the Nintendo DS. Appealing to youngsters and adults
alike, the game provides a gentle detective storyline as a backdrop
to a series of 135 brainteaser puzzles which will keep children
entertained for weeks. Crucially, the puzzles are perfectly pitched,
with a significant number achievable for children as young as
seven, providing hints and the facility to return to tough ones, as
well as encouraging children and parents to play together.
The Nintendo DS was built for puzzle games-- the DS is the perfect console that
you can carry around, allowing you to dip in and out of a game whenever
you have the time. This does mean that there are a lot of puzzle games
out there--and, truth of the matter is, a lot of them are less hit and more miss. Some take
the challenge too far with difficult puzzles or the need to keep
clicking around the screen for that exact pixel that will reveal a
secret. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the perfect
balance of puzzle game, mixing the need for storyline with a regular
stream of puzzles of various types. Crucially you can never get
stuck on one particular puzzle; you can move on, jumping back
whenever another solution strikes you, and hints are provided
throughout, at a cost of course.
The story is simple. Professor Layton, a kind of Sherlock Holmes
character, and his sidekick Luke have arrived at a village, renowned
for its love of puzzles. They quickly become embroiled in a murder
mystery. As the professor navigates around the village he talks to
various characters, each of whom invariably has a puzzle that needs
solving, either to assist them, or so that the Professor can prove
himself worthy of their help.
The key to the game is the puzzles, which are traditional
brainteaser type, many of which will be familiar, yet different
enough to require some thought, with the solution always
close. Some can be solved quickly, while others may take more effort
and minutes, or
require resorting to use of some hints, at the cost of a few game points.
The beauty of the puzzles is their appeal to all age ranges.
Children as young as seven will be able to solve a significant
number of the 135 puzzles available without help and will find the
whole experience really rewarding and perhaps even confidence-building. There are
plenty to keep grownups satisfyingly frustrated for weeks too.
In summary, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a wonderful
family game that is suitable for a wide range of gamers. Children
will find the game engaging and parents will find it something they
can play with their children, giving gentle hints, and they'll enjoy the
challenge along the way.
This is a "smart" game that draws children in with an intriguing
adventure story line--it's not just a collection of puzzles. The
puzzles are untimed, so that kids can work at their own pace. As
well, they're challenging but doable. To extend the life of the
product, additional content can be downloaded using the Nintendo
- Satisfyingly challenging
- Large amount of content for the price.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
for the Nintendo DS.
Reviewed: August 2009