So I’ve got my golden top hat in the game, which means I’ve solved enough puzzles in this puzzle-tastic game to get the end of the story. Yay!
But curse you Puzzle 067…curse you! Dastardly hard, grrr. (Read on for my mini review)
The game revolves around puzzles – simple ones, to lateral thinking ones, to god-knows-what ones I guessed correctly on my first try (hey, they were hard, don’t look at me like that!).
I’m not a puzzle master, but they were not too difficult. I’ve been playing, according to the save file, for around 14 hours, and have done the majority of the puzzles. Some are hidden which I’ve still not found, but it’s a worthwhile amount of time and good for trips certainly!
The puzzles did range from 5-second-easy to 10-minute-hard, it does depend on if you’ve heard some of them before or not, and some do trick you rather heavily. You can get maximum points on a first guess, about 10% points knocked off for a second guess, and for further guesses, around 20% of the points knocked off (there is no absolute failure). The points lead to more advanced puzzles/unlocked things at the end of the game it seems (such as a music room, and character portfolios). You also find random hint coins that can buy you hints for puzzles to help – I used around 10 or so, and was left with a good 50 at the end, but it obviously varies. The first hint is rarely worthwhile, so usually you pay 3 per puzzle for the 3 hints if you get really stuck.
I won’t detail the story much – but it’s a neat little mystery, entirely linear of course, but fun and easy to play along with or just ignore since you can skip all the text if you so wish – the mini cutscenes are pretty good though, and it has a good mixture of humour in it too. There is some collecting “quests” as well, which simply need you to find the puzzles (which are easily missed since you have to search each area in some detail to get them, and I’ve still not found them all!).
At the end of the main story, further advanced puzzles are unlocked from the collecting quests, and they certainly are a lot harder.
The voice acting deserves a mention – Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke are voiced during some cutscenes, and when completing puzzles. Luke’s “cockney” voice is atrociously annoying, but Professor Layton’s smooth accent is fine – it’s a big contrast. The music is also quite repetitive, and playing without sound is not a problem – all of the puzzles are visual based.
Recommended to pickup if you enjoy any kind of puzzle I think – and doesn’t require long bursts of play so useful for travelling or for 5 minutes of time! Now, if I only could solve that blasted Puzzle 067 and find the rest, I could finish it entirely!