The Professor of Puzzles
One of the most popular Japanese puzzle game series, the Professor Layton games combine puzzle-solving intermixed with exploration. Based on the sort of puzzle books that sold millions of copies in Japan, the games are more like time wasters for a road trip than action-packed adventures. Each to his own, I guess.
If you love this sort of thing, you'll love the next Professor Layton. And if you love Professor Hershel Layton, you know that he is one of the greatest puzzle-solvers in the world, making his home in London with live-in “apprentice” Luke Triton. In this installment, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, the professor and Luke follow the mysterious Jean Descole to the even more mysterious Casino City. The city itself was created by the Mask of Miracle, and Luke and the professor must uncover its secrets, one puzzle at a time.
- The bright colors pop -
The 3DS system for which it was developed boasts realistic, glasses-free 3D, which could be handy for three-dimensional puzzles and exploration of spaces beyond the standard set-piece environments for which the franchise is known. At the very least, the shiny glitz of Casino City will give the presentation found in previous titles a lift.
We’re certain the puzzles will be brainteasers. We’re also confident that ongoing support for the cart via the 3DS’s Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and more detailed, stereoscopic 3D visuals will keep the gameplay fresh. What we’re not sure about is whether the handheld’s other features such as multiple cameras and the accelerometer will be put to use as well.
- Puzzles will be enhanced by the stereoscopic 3D effect -
Five previous installments have shown the strength of the series' fan base, so with the addition of the three-dimensional puzzle-solving possibilities of the 3DS, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle should have no trouble doing well with old fans and perhaps grabbing some new ones along the way.
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