Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is the 2nd offering from Level-5 for the Nintendo DS. The first game, The Curious Village, introduced us to the dapper Professor Layton and his spunky sidekick, Luke. This duo is a mystery seeking team that gets the job done by solving puzzles to unravel the tough tasks that face them. Along their journey, they meet a host of very interesting characters that charm their way into the game.
The Diabolical Box keeps the same unique art style as the original game. It is a mix of old-time feeling European cartoons mixed with a little anime. The cut scenes feel very rich and really add a sense of “cozy mystery” to the game.
The game play reminds me of the Penny Press and Dell variety puzzle magazines I used to pick up when I was younger that had everything from crosswords and find a word to logic puzzles. Unlike the other Nintendo DS “brain booster games”, Professor Layton mixes brain exercising with a wonderful and engaging story line and intriguing puzzles that will keep you hooked until you solve the mystery.
Once you solve the mystery, there are extra puzzles, as well as daily downloads, available via WiFi. There are some silly ways that Professor Layton will present the puzzles to you, like remembering a puzzle from his childhood when you click on a jug. However, these are far overshadowed by the quaintness of the art and story lines as well as the sheer number of different types of puzzles.
If you like puzzle games, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is a must buy, even if you haven’t played the previous game.