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Game Review – Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Posted on 21 September 2009 by nicolespag

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.

screen-layton-luke

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.

7 Comments For This Post

  1. Mary Varn Says:

    I agree, love the game. Every now and then a puzzle that seems to have two or more answers really frustrates me, but most of them are really well done and challenging. Also wanted to say – the animation isn’t just a little anime. It’s completely anime, that is, animated in Japan. I believe the animation studio if Production IG. There’s even a Professor Layton animated movie coming out in Japan in 2010! Hope we’ll have access to it.

  2. Mashiem Says:

    I’ve played about halfway through it and find it to be a most enjoyable game. As written here, if you’ve played the original you know exactly what you’ll get here.

    If you like games where you have to think instead of just pushing buttons as a test of your reaction you’ll most likely love the Layton games.
    Top marks all over. The only negative is that I’ll have to wait at LEAST a year for the third game once I’ve finished this one.

  3. randysmolly Says:

    Thanks for the comment Mashiem! If there are other games you are curious about and would like for us to review, just drop us a note!

  4. nicolespag Says:

    So I just tried this game out today, I found myself getting impatient with each scene and wishing I could get to the puzzles faster. The crime scene also annoyed me, since I read the hint as ‘you find this item in paris’ instead of what it actually said ‘you find this item in pairs’! I think I spent 10 minutes looking for wine, cheese or the Eiffel tower LOL!

  5. Mashiem Says:

    That is probably the one weak part of the game: Obtouse wordings.

    I answered wrong several time in The Curious Village becase I had misread a passage of the puzzle and thus drawn the wrong conclusions. That’s not a big failing of the game though, since it’s all clear if you just take the time to really UNDERSTAND what’s being said before starting.

    As for games to review, I’d love to hear what you think about Scribblenauts. I’ve tried it myself for just a little while and I’m not sure if I like it well enough to buy it or not.
    I’d also love to hear about Aion and CrimeCraft if any of you ever decide to try these titles.
    Or WOW. Can never have too much WOW. I’ve played it for 4 years now and I’m nowhere near sick of it yet. ^_^

  6. Gypsygirl Says:

    This game sounds like so much fun! Don’t tell me I have to go out and get a DS now too! Haha!

  7. randysmolly Says:

    Mashiem, I am playing both Scribblenauts and Aion right now. I will review Scribblenauts soon, but I wanted to get into Aion a little more. First look is beautiful though.

    Never heard of CrimeCraft, will have to look this one up! Thanks!!

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