A vast variety of challenging puzzles, excellent visuals, and a good story make this one of the best games on the DS.
The_Deepblue wrote this review on .
Professor Layton is no detective, and he reminds other characters throughout the story of this. He is simply a gentleman who enjoys helping people solve puzzles. He's quite the puzzle whiz, and his puzzle solving skills come in handy in an investigation taking place in the village of St. Mystere. In the impressive animated opening cut-scene, Layton and his student Luke, are travelling to St. Mystere upon the request of a widow whose wealthy husband had just passed away. His will states that "Whomever finds the golden apple will receive my inheritance." Layton and Luke are off to solve the mystery of the golden apple.
St. Mystere is a quiet little town filled with nice villagers who love to try and crack puzzles. When you tap on a character to speak with them, they almost always ask the Professor to crack a puzzle for them. There are a great variety of puzzles that require critical thinking. Some puzzles are extremely difficult, and when an easy puzzle comes along, it can seem almost deceptive and fishy, potentially causing the player to overlook the obvious solution. Some puzzles are mathematical, some are picture puzzles, riddles, optical illusions, and some require the player to move and arrange objects in order to find the solution.
Every puzzle has 3 hints which can be bought with coins that the player finds throughout the village, by tapping on random objects such as barrels, trash cans, boxes, bags, bushes, etc. The hint system really comes in handy when you're faced with a particularly tricky puzzle. There are only so many coins to be obtained in the game, with over 130 puzzles to solve. It's important to put the coins to good use. Aside from the puzzles that the village people ask Layton to crack, hidden puzzles are also distributed throughout the game. They're usually found when the player randomly taps specific objects or areas on the screen. Luke is the one who does the hidden puzzles. All of the puzzles are solved with the use of the touch screen. The puzzle usually asks the player to circle an answer, write in an answer, or interact with objects. Usually with riddles and mathematical puzzles, the gamer is able to scribble on the bottom screen if it helps them to find a solution.
Exploring the village of St. Mystere, meeting the village folk, and slowly unraveling an interesting mystery in the game's story, makes "Professor Layton & The Curious Village" more spectacular than your typical puzzle game. The music in "The Curious Village" is actually quite good. It's a light mixture of accordion, glockenspiel, and piano. The only annoyance with the music is that there is not many tracks in the game. Usually there are only several tracks playing throughout the game. So while the small amount of music you do hear is alright, it gets repetitive. "Professor Layton" hits a bullseye in the places that count, though. The game offers a wide variety with its puzzles, a great story, cast of characters, excellent cut-scenes, visuals, and un-lockables, all fit for the gamer who loves a good brain teasing challenge. "The Curious Village" is one of the strongest titles for the Nintendo DS.