Okay, if you are like me and you have Dr. Kawashima and have had a brain age of twenty for the past six months. No matter what the doc throws at you know exactly what to do hence why your brain age still doesn't budge. Your brain still remains as sharp as Bowser's spikes & you have long tired of shouting words (sometimes rude) at Dr. Kawashima's head & getting a reaction, if so, then you too will find this little gem of a game very exciting indeed!! I found the Dr. Kawashima games to look a little too sterile, and look more like an extra dose of homework rather than a game; if you too felt like this then I recommend giving this a try.
Enter the wondrous mystery of Professor Layton And The Curious Village, a series of mind-bending logic puzzles wrapped up in a surprisingly & beautifully presented story that is full of memorable characters, twists & turns & sprinkled with a healthy dose of gorgeous charm & wit! As Hershel Layton arrives in the mere little hamlet of St. Mystere (with his young apprentice, Luke), the first thing you'll notice is the games unique look.
The story begins with Hershel determined to solve the mystery of a local inheritance dispute. The baron of the village, on Augustus Reinhold has passed away and has left his whole estate to whoever can find his hidden family treasure, the Golden Apple. As you might have guessed this task turns out to be far from straightforward, and the professor and his curiously accented sidekick have to solve a series of brainteasers barked out by the strange villagers encounter while you try and solve this equally unusual mystery...
In the beginning the puzzles don't seem to have any correlation with the story whatsoever & this is really annoying, but (trust me) the game is one step ahead of you. Firstly, it brushes aside such criticism by mocking itself for the way the riddles seem out of place. Secondly when you reach the end of the game, you'll realise that this isn't actually the case. A genuinely breath-snatching twist revels that the entire thing made sense all along. I am not lying when I say that it is up there with the all-time great surprises, and the game is almost worth playing for that jaw-dropping moment alone!
Yet the bulk of the game is in the logic problems, there are well over a hundred to solve (or attempt to solve, like me in the beginning). Most of these require lateral thinking rather than needing any mathematical knowledge- there are some that appear to involve trigonometry, however after a good look they are far simpler then they first appear. The key (believe it or not) is the clever wording of the question- you'll often find yourself missing a vital word in the text, which gives you a major clue! In short if you find yourself aimed at a sea of calculations, you've gone wrong! Most puzzles offer hints, the first a little nudge in the correct direction.
Overall I love & it is a surprise smash hit. This game is one of the best the Ds has to offer! Although some puzzles repeat each other it is the way the game mixes them up by throwing in visual mind-benders & then introducing screen-based challenges, where you have to manipulate shapes, or shift blocks to move a trapped ball to an exit, the list goes on, & so could I. I highly recommend it; it beats the two Dr. Kawashima's by a country mile!
+ Satisfying, yet tough puzzles *(Many are too difficult for a child)*.
+ Gorgeous art style.
+ Plenty of content.
+ Dazzling storyline.
- "7+" is a too low for the recommended age (Some puzzles would be just too challenging for anyone under 12)
Puzzles: 10/10 (Brilliantly thought out)
Storyline: 10/10 (Keep playing until the end)