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246 of 252 people found the following review helpful
No matter how the game's cover may look to you, make no mistake that Professor Layton and the Curious Village is one of the best original puzzle games you'll play on the DS yet. A combination of adventure storytelling and traditional puzzle gaming, Professor Layton never fails to entertain while providing some challenging puzzles. The game revolves around said Professor Layton traveling to a small village with his young assistant Luke. Both of whom are on a search for something called The Golden Apple. To search the town, you move from one area to another by tapping the touch screen, and along the way, you can discover hidden puzzles, hint coins, and secrets, as well as interacting with the townspeople and solving more puzzles. The game's graphics are incredibly charming, and the FMV sequences are very well done to boot. The best part about Professor Layton and the Curious Village is that once you do beat the game and unlock the game's 120 plus puzzles, you can download weekly puzzles for absolutely free! The only real flaw of Professor Layton and the Curious Village is that the game's music is repetitive and even kind of annoying, but you can always turn the volume of the DS down, which you might want to do. That aside, don't let the box art fool you into thinking that this is a game just for kids. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is an absolute must own for every puzzle loving DS owner.
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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2008
This game is challenging and a lot of fun. The storyline is interesting and easy to follow, but for me it's all about the puzzles. The brainteasers in the game are form Puzzle Master Akira Tago, a retired professor from Chiba University, who wrote "Head Gymnastics." Many of them are classics and they will bring back instant memories of your early education. Some puzzles are pretty tough and hint coins can be found to help with these. Remember, many of the puzzles need to be solved before you can advance to the next part of the story; use your hint coins wisely.

(Small Spoiler: The hint coins are scattered throughout the village. Click everywhere, you'll uncover them.)

Pros:

- The touch screen/stylus controls are simple and easy to learn.
- You can save your progress at any time.
- Animated scenes and voice acting are very good.
- Your "Puzzle Index" keeps track of all the puzzles you've solved. You can even tag your favorites in your "Picks" section.
- You can download more puzzles from WFC every week.

Cons:

- I've needed a pen and paper a few times when the puzzles were a bit more challenging and there wasn't enough room on the DS screen for notes.
- Only the animated scenes are "fully voiced". During game-play, all the conversations are text/subtitles. No biggie really as it doesn't detract from the experience.

More to come later; I gotta get back to playing. :)
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83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2008
Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village is basically a series of logic puzzles wrapped around a lighthearted mystery. The story portions and basic point-and-click adventure aspects keep things moving along, but the real meat here is the puzzle selection (there are 130 in total, although not all are necessary to finish the game).

Many of the puzzles are difficult, but none are "cheap" - like a great Zelda dungeon, you always know the solution to your problem is in reach. No time limits are imposed, so you can play around and try to tease out the answer for as long as you like. I'm keeping a pad and paper next to me at all times to sketch out ideas and diagrams (and occasionally some light math). If you love that sort of thing, grab this game as soon as you can.

The Professor has a nice pedigree - the game was developed by Level 5, who have been behind some great epic RPGs: Dragon Quest VII (and the upcoming IX), Rogue Galaxy, the Dark Cloud series, and the upcoming PS3 title White Knight Story. They're one of my favorite developers, and it's great to see them branching out into something like this.

Between the constant and varied "quest" puzzles, the larger meta-puzzles, and some nice surprises thrown in along the way, there's plenty here to keep you occupied. Even better, new downloadable puzzles will be made available regularly. Add a charming art style and a great soundtrack (think whimsical French street music), and you've got an early contender for the DS game of the year.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
I love most of this game -- the story, the translation, the music and voice acting, the artwork, the fact that if you can read and hold the stylus, you can play it. If I love it, why do I only give it an overall 3 stars? Because the puzzles themselves are deeply unbalanced.

The game has a difficulty-rating system (called picarats) which purports to tell you how hard the various puzzles are, ranging from 10/90 to 90/90. There's also a hint-coin system, where you collect coins with which you can purchase hints. Unfortunately, both systems are broken.

The puzzles gives you instructions, then when you break down and buy the first hint, it either A) restates the instructions or B) gives you a suggestion that is either singularly unhelpful or something that you've already tried. (Example: Puzzle Sez: Three people have placed identical umbrellas in an umbrella-stand. What's the probability that one of them will grab an umbrella that isn't theirs? First Hint: You don't have to do any complicated math to figure this out! Er, excuse me? How is that a hint!?) The second and third hints are not usually much better, though they have a higher rate of helpfulness to lack thereof.

The other problem with the game is that the puzzles do not start out easy and increase in difficulty as you get closer to the end. They're randomly sprinkled throughout the town of St. Mystere, and if you get stuck on one you may not be able to advance the story. (Fortunately, there's at least one excellent walkthrough at GameFAQs.com -- it's the only reason I beat the game.)

To be fair, the rating of the difficulty of puzzles is probably one of the harder things to do -- being a very visual person with an emphasis on kinesthetics, I have a better time with puzzles that can be solved by drawing pictures or moving pieces. Logic puzzles, on the other hand, I hate hate hate with a burning passion.

So if you like, or are not bothered by, randomly-difficult puzzle and not-so-helpful hints, then this game is for you. If you'd rather play something that's less-frustrating, you may wish to look elsewhere.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
My ten year old son couldn't stop looking over my shoulder while I played this game (non-stop for over a week, now). It's more challenging for him, but his math program at school has a brain-teaser assignment for every Friday and and least two of the puzzles in the game were ones that he had already done as homework.

One good thing to know is that you don't have to solve ALL the problems in order to progress through the game, so in most cases you can bypass one you are really stuck on, and come back to resolve them later.

I "finished" the game and will let my son start from the beginning, but one of the things that will keep me from trading this one in now that I'm done is that every week I can download a new puzzle via wi-fi from Nintendo, so we'll be doing puzzles for quite a while. Excellent game, highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
How is it that the graphical presentation in a game on the Nintendo DS can be better than the graphical presentation on a high powered console? The answer is given by this game which artfully depicts the inhabitants and locale of St. Mystere, a fictitious city in Europe. Clearly, there are two parts to creating great graphics. Part one is simply the horsepower behind the graphics. Part two is best described by terms from the art world such as quality of composition and the overall attention to the feel of the presentation. As the DS is not known for being the most powerful of hand held consoles, and the graphics in Professor Layton and the Curious Village are clearly superior to most games I have played, I argue that the second part is the most important. The graphics for this game are simple but artfully done. Nowhere does the presentation veer from the feel established for the game by the opening animation. Also, the arrangement of characters, objects, and houses on the screen is flawless. I wish that, instead focusing on the rendering of yet more polygons per frame, game designers would pay more attention to aspects of composition and the creation of a feel for their subject matter. That said, the game play and story are a lot of fun too. The game play revolves around simple exploration and a lot of puzzle solving. Although there is a hint system, the puzzles are sometimes quite challenging. Solving them definitely requires some thinking and herein lies the fun of the game. If you don't like puzzles you will probably not like this game. The story is also very interesting. I was drawn in from the beginning and found myself motivated to solve puzzles as fast as I could just to see what would happen next. I said above that if you don't like puzzles you will not like this game, but if you have never tried a puzzle game before and want to try one for yourself, I highly recommend giving this one a try. The quality of the story and graphical presentation will motivate you to give even the most difficult of puzzles that extra spurt of effort needed to them.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2008
A wonderful game! I agree with those who say this would be too hard for younger kids. The puzzles are quite tough. (But then I'm an old fart of 40 who wasn't all that great with logic puzzles as a kid) Hint coins? I need them desperately. Scrap paper? I use a lot. But the story is told with such charm that I keep going. It's a true "just one more before I turn it off" game. The art direction, with its old-timey look is wonderful. (It reminds me of the Tintin books, and I suspect Luke's blue sweater is a direct homage.)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2008
Professory Layton is a bad game. I skipped a shower on Saturday, failed to do my laundry, cook meals (hot pockets aren't that bad actually) and didn't want to leave the house. My back hurt from spending days on the couch, I slept poorly and I took a long lunch yesterday to keep playing!!!!

This game is addicting. I bought in on Friday night and by Sunday afternoon I completed it. I was up all night until 3 am on Sunday morning, slept a few hours and wittled away my afternoon on the couch.

Although, I am still trying to locate 3 of the puzzles within the game. I clocked close to 13 hours on this stupid thing within the first 48 hours of owning it. I do admit, several of the puzzles did require pen and paper. The 33,333 was the most difficult for me. But many of the puzzles just require you to read it carefully to understand it and the answers are sort of a "DUH!" once you "get it."

The story is aptly termed "a light hearted mystery." It's fun, interesting, creative, easy to follow, but most of all challenging and intriguing.

I highly recommend this game and if you want to wait about another week, I'll be selling mine. jennw84@gmail.com

Save your dough and don't buy Brain Age, this is a lot better!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
Professer Layton and the Curious Village was one of the best video games I have ever played. I am 11 and found the brainteasers interesting, entertaining, and sometimes challenging. Even when the game is done, it is still fun to go back and do the puzzles again and again. Even the plot was exciting and confusing, but came together at the end. The ending was awesome, and rounded out the game well. The little mini-accomplishments that opened up secrets were tough, but in a good way. I have friends that also love this game, and they are 11, too. The puzzles were made perfectly for kids my age, and probably kids a little older and a little younger than me, too. This is my favorite game ever, and I encourage anyone who likes to do puzzles to buy this game, and I assure you, you will love it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2008
Don't get me wrong! I love this game but I don't know how younger kids will respond to it. A lot of the puzzles are very challenging even for me and I'm 28 :) I just wanted to let parents know that they might expect complaining from kids because the puzzles may be just too difficult for them. One thing that is great about this game is that it has all of the completed puzzles in a list for you to go back and replay. After I'm done with a few of them I have my husband try his hand at them. It's very cool to see how differently our brains work. Some puzzles that I find are difficult for me are really easy for him and vice versa. I have also absolutely needed some paper to write out some of the puzzles. Definitely a fun game but not really "E" for everyone.
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