Level-5's Professor Layton and the Curious Village delighted critics and players alike when it appeared back in late 2008. The game combined mind-bending puzzles with an intriguing murder mystery storyline and sumptuous graphics into a highly successful Nintendo DS title. As previously reported, Curious Village came in at number seven on ELSPA's top ten for all game formats list in the first half of 2009.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Nintendo announced a sequel was in the works and has finally confirmed a European release date of September 25 for Professor Layton and Pandora's Box. The puzzlefest has been dubbed Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box in North America and is due out one month earlier than Europe on August 23.
According to the Mario Factory, Pandora's Box reunites renowned puzzle-solver Professor Layton with his trusty sidekick, Luke, as they "set out on a voyage of discovery to uncover the mysteries surrounding the suspicious death of Professor Layton's mentor, Dr Schrader." It appears the duo has discovered a ticket for the Molentary Express train next to Schrader's body and thus "begins their adventure travelling from the big city on the luxury train into the unknown."
In addition to 150 new brainteasers, riddles, and logic puzzles--30 more than the original--Pandora's Box includes three new minigames: Camera, Hamster, and Tea Set puzzles. Camera lets players collect parts to form a camera to take photos of crime scenes, and Hamster requires logic to help your portly pet hamster lose some weight. Meanwhile, Tea Set requires mixing three ingredients to create palatable concoctions.
Returning from Curious Village are downloadable bonus puzzles to keep players occupied once they finish the main quest. According to Nintendo, "a new puzzle will also be available each week for a limited period of time after the game launches." Meanwhile a code from Curious Village will allow existing fans to unlock an exclusive puzzle.