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Professor Layton and The Lost Future is the third game in a charming series of puzzle games for the DS but the first one that I have had the pleasure of playing through. The game could best be described as a point and click adventure in which you take control of an intrepid gentleman and his teenage sidekick Luke, who are struggling to uncover the mystery behind a letter from the future. It all started after the 2 witnessed an explosion at a time travel experiment gone wrong and received a letter from someone claiming to be Luke 10 years in the future. However this is far simpler to play than the average point and click as there are generally no hidden objects to hoard. Instead your intrepid gentleman is a professor in puzzle-ology and so the only thing you'll be collecting will be the puzzles that are scattered throughout the environment. The format is simple. Controlling both Layton and Luke you will wonder in between a picturesque London town and its sinister future counterpart. Along the way you will encounter plenty of interesting characters who spend all of their lives designing puzzles for you to share with them. These puzzles range from mathematical problems, visual/spacial tricks, logic teasers and a wealth of other puzzles. These puzzles range from the simple to the decidedly dastardly, and you will have to think outside the box in order to solve most of them. To be fair the pace throughout the game is always very laid back. Any puzzles you encounter can be exited and returned too later, but ultimately you will need to solve enough of them to see the story proceed. It's worth taking your time too as each puzzle that you get wrong will reduce the number of points you get for solving the puzzle later, and you'll need a full set of points in order to unlock some of the games extra features. These can range from character bios to some exceedingly difficult extra puzzles, so it's worth going for full scores. Thankfully the game does come packed to the gills with findable 'hint coins' that can help you to adjust your thinking on some of the harder puzzles, and using these does not reduce your score at all. Although you will run out if you use them all the time!!! Truthfully that is about all there is too the game. It is in no way a fast paced game, but it's cleverly designed brain teasers will get the brain matter flowing and work as a pleasurable way to while away a few hours. Graphically speaking I was pleasantly surprised by the quality on display. Most of the game is made up of intricately drawn static backdrops with characters sitting on top. However as the story develops it does so through a series of stunning anime cut scenes that hinted at far higher production values than one would have suspected. The sound however is where the game really draws you in. Beautifully selected pieces of music intersperse the background scenes, while puzzle tunes mix it up between the sedate lullabies of a logic puzzle, to the adventurous chorus that thunders through the games Tetris inspired visual/spacial creations. It really does give each and every puzzle a unique feel and made the entire 12 hour experience a joy to play. Unfortunately I feel compelled to express my disappointment with some of the games extra content. Packaged with the game are a series of downloadable puzzles that should boost the games lifespan. In actuality these puzzles are stored on the game already and you just download the free code needed to play them. Alas, since this is an original DS game it will only connect to your Wi-Fi if you tend to leave your Wi-Fi unsecured. Since there is no charge for these puzzles, and they were already programmed onto the cartridge before release, I fail to see why Nintendo bothered to lock them and prevent anyone without the required Wi-Fi from enjoying them. This is a very minor gripe however in an otherwise fantastic game. So in conclusion who should buy this game? Needless to say the Call of Duty crowd need not apply. However if you are the type of person to sit on a train doing crosswords/logic puzzles then you'll find that the dastardly brain teasers of The Lost Future will enthrall you from beginning to end.
I have often seen the Professor Layton games for the Nintendo DS for a few years now (the series has been running since 2008) and thought they look intriguing as I love a good puzzle. However, I never had a DS from this point so kept trying to find alternatives on the Android market but to no avail. My wife wanted a DS and these games for Christmas so I had a go at this particular Professor Layton game myself and I must say it is very addictive. Background The game starts with Professor Layton and his young apprentice Luke witnessing a demonstration of a time machine by Dr Stahngun. The Prime Minister Bill Hawks is present as this is a big event, he is uneasy about helping the Dr. demonstrate the machine but then gives in. However, after an explosion both the Prime Minister and scientist disappear in mysterious circumstance. The Professor and Luke then receive a letter from Luke of the future and so begins the adventure to discover the mystery of the Lost Future . . . How To Play I presume that followers of the game pick up quite easily where they have left of with navigational functions etc. I am new to Professor Layton games and there is an instructional manual in the box for help and also the characters you come across along the adventure give little hints and tips to help maximise play. The game relies on the stylus to tap areas of the screen to discover coins, secret puzzles, talk to characters etc. The only time I have had to use a button is the start button to skip some of the long storyline parts, I just want to get to the puzzles! Both screens are used in this game with the upper screen showing wither a map of where you need to go throughout the game or alternative room images when in interactions. The touch pad screen is how you move through the streets by clicking a shoe which brings up arrows, also you touch areas to release coins, communicate and find mystery puzzle areas. I always tap everywhere to make sure I do not miss a hint coin or sneaky extra puzzle; the hint coins allow you to uncover hints whilst playing the puzzles if you become stuck (resist the temptation to use Google!). Within the game there are over 165 puzzles and you don't find them in chronological order (I found this out when thinking I had missed some but the missed numbers started appearing). There are a variety of puzzle types from shapes to logic to maths and choice. You are given a clue on the top screen and use the bottom to choose the answer (ensure you use the memo to its full advantage as it really helps with working out). The puzzles have varying difficulties which is demonstrated in the way of Picarats earned, the higher the Picarat value the harder the puzzles in theory, however, it depends on your skills as I find some of the 40 Picarat puzzles quite easy. Some puzzles take seconds and others minutes; if you find one too difficult it can be visited later and gets stored by the flower (something you will discover along the way) so don't worry if you need to go back. If you were to get the answer wrong the Picarat value decreases on the next turn, although it seems like Picarats are useless they do unlock bonus content and I have heard that they earn a prize at the end but I am not quite there yet. There are also mini games to be collected in Professor Layton's briefcase at the top right of the touch screen. There is the picture book where you collect stickers on your travels and inserting them in the book in the correct place will open the next book etc until all three are collected. The toy car requires courses to be created to collect identified objects and reach the goal. The parrot who travels with Luke and is sent on delivery missions for particular characters you meet, this is achieved by placing ropes strategically in the course under time limits. I think they are included to give a break from the main story, however, they are called mini games but certainly are not easy (except for the picture books). My Findings Originally my game of favour was Grandia on the PS1 which was a role play game following a particular story to aid gameplay and this satisfies my need! However, I love puzzles and this serves this fix aswell. The trick to keeping Professor Layton games interesting are the multiple mysteries uncovered throughout from only one original scenario. There are about 10 mysteries in total but once you have found them all it doesn't stop there, they then have to be solved all the while you are answering puzzles. I am not a fan of a lot of the dialogue and this can be skipped by tapping quickly or pressing the start button as I love to get on with the trivia. However, if you like the dialogue there is plenty to watch and read as the story unfolds. The mysteries can always be revisited in the professor's briefcase and there is a recap at each load up (although the recap annoys me a little). The animation is quite good although retains some retro Japanese 2D quality of older games and consoles. However, do not expect all flashy HD, 3D images you find on Xboxs and PS3s nowadays. Audio is the usual cheesy background accordion music and special effect sounds however I turn these off and play without, I have never been a fan of games music. I highly recommend this game even after 5 hours of it, I can't believe I went so long without a DS! I think this is suitable for most ages upward of about 15 (small children may find it difficult but families could complete together). I found this for £16.99 on Amazon with Christmas eve delivery and it was brand new. (Review can also be seen on Ciao under the name FrostBit)
The Professor Layton games provide something a bit different from the usual RPG games as it combines a good and gripping story line with tons of puzzles. I think the game provides a good base for children to get into puzzles due to the interesting nature of the game but is also a fun game for adults who enjoy puzzles. In this Professor Layton game you receive a letter from Future Luke who claims that there is an Evil Layton in the future and the duo go on a quest to the future to work out the mystery and once again save the day. One thing that has always struck me about the Professor Layton games is how much you get gripped into the story line and the individual character personalities and this game is no exception and is my favourite of all of the Professor Layton games so far. The puzzles vary in difficulty from ridiculously easy to very hard which I feel keeps the game more interesting, you also collect hint coins by tapping objects and buildings in different areas and you can use these to help you with puzzles if you get stuck, there are 4 hints per puzzle and I've found you have to be careful with the coins as to not run out of them making the game even more challenging. Some puzzles have to be completed to move on to the next section of the game but some you can pass on and they get sent to Granny's Shack to complete at a later time . Alongside the main game you have several mini games which you collect as you advance in the story. These include a sticker book where you have to work out the order of various stickers to complete stories and a model car game where you have to work out the best routes to collect all of the bonus items in the levels. These give you another element to the game and have provided me with lots of entertainment.
Personally i'm a big fan of the Layton games mainly because they combine two of my favourite things, a good story and puzzles. So when i saw this for £10 in a Game station sale i just had to have it. Layton and his inquisitive apprentice Like return in yet another mysterious adventure. Having received a letter from the acclaimed 'Future Luke' the puzzle solving duo embark in a journey through time in order to prevent a dreadful future from coming to pass- one where Layton becomes a dreadful crime lord! Starting at the university in which Layton teaches and moving on to the classic red double decker bus to travel to places like the Clock shop which has a time machine and China town where evil Layton had his top secret lair, the artwork and graphics of this Layton game doesn't disappoint, along with the various mini films that make the storyline of this game much more prominent- not unlike it's predecessors. What stands out most to me about this game's story lines is that we gain a lot of character insight, particularly regarding Layton and Don Paolo's shared past. The intricate plot and various settings make this simple point and tap game so much more. But along with the story we have the amazing puzzles. With a lot more variation in it's 165 puzzle types than it's predecessors this Layton game is a lot more involving to the player than it's previous counterparts, to the point where you can actually believe you are helping the plot move forward by solving these puzzles, something that wasn't quite as dominant in the previous games. Of course like all the Layton games the puzzles vary in difficulty- which is the appeal of them i guess. Personally i'm not a big fan of the sliding block puzzles and was very pleased to see that there weren't as many of these in this game than the previous ones. Along with the main story games you also have three mini challenges that can be found in Professor Layton's brief case, of which i find the Toy Car and Parrot games incredibly challenging but still fun. The sticker book game was surprisingly easy, though finding where to collect the stickers wasn't. For each of these mini games you unlock either levels, challenges or stickers during the main gameplay- something that can probe quite taxing as some of these levels were hidden in places that weren't part of the main puzzle games and took me ages to find- i'm a bit of a completionist you see. Along with this the music behind the game is as such you realise when you're in the past you have a certain type of music, the future another, and in Evil Layton's lair another. These are just a few examples of the nysic being used to show a change in setting and a change in tension to the game, and it's beautifully done in my opinion, though i wouldn't casually listen to the soundtrack while i was on the bus. All in all this is another Layton success that i would highly recommend to anyone with a DS. You will lose all track of time and get lost in the plot along with enjoying all these lovely puzzles. The main story line will take on average 30 hours to play, then approximately another 20 hours to find and solve all the other puzzles and mini games, this is one that's well worth your time and money.
This is the third Professor Layton game released for the Nintendo DS in 2010 and after being glued to the first two I couldn't wait to try this one out and it did not disappoint. Outside of Europe and Australia this game is also known as Professor Layton And The Unwound Future so if you are buying online it is the same thing. Price - This came is available on Amazon at the moment from around £7 used and £13 new. I think my mum paid about £45 when it was first released but it has actually been worth it because I think everyone we know has borrowed it at some stage. The game is available in most game shops and high street stores and can be picked up at great prices second hand. The age rating on this is 7+, I haven't actually come across a 7 year old who has played this but would be interested to know from people who have children who have played it how they got along. To me I think this seems a little young as some of the puzzles are pretty tricky. On the plus side it would be a good game to play together with a child as they can do the easier puzzles and still enjoy the storyline. The game itself is similar to the first two, it consists of over 160 puzzles which you find in various locations throughout the game along with some side games. Hint coins can also be found throughout the game by tapping on windows, bushes and chimneys and things, for each puzzle you can get up to 3 hints and a super hint. The puzzles vary so they do not get boring there are a range of puzzles including mathematic problems, mazes, finding shapes, jigsaw types and many more so there really is something for everyone and you never get bored of doing the same type of puzzle over and over. Most of the puzzles can be left if you are having difficulty and you can revisit them later to figure them out when you have more hint coins or just a refreshed brain! There are a few that must be completed to open doors to proceed but these shouldn't be too much trouble. For completing each puzzle a certain amount of Picarats is rewarded, if you get the puzzle wrong you still get these they are just reduced a little. The more simple puzzles reward you with around 10 to 20 picarats going all the way up to 70 or 80 for the real toughies. At the end of the game these picarats can be used to unlock bonus features. There are three mini games in this game. The first is a sticker book, you can pick up the stickers after completing certain puzzles and must decide where to stick them. The second involves a pet parrot which you get to name, you must strategically place ropes for your parrot to jump on to help him get from one place to another. The final game is a toy car, in this you need to place tiles in the correct place to complete a track for the car. The basic storyline is that some people go missing after a malfunction with a time machine and it is up to Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke to try and figure out what has happened, this involves travelling forward and backwards through time to meet different people in different locations. Some of the characters you may recognise from the previous Layton games and many of them are new and interesting characters. The storyline is interesting although I am a bit impatient and find some of the cut scenes a little lengthy and a lot of talking in between certain scenes but it wouldn't take anything away from the game as if you're impatient like me you can just tap frantically on the screen to skip some of them. It is not a game you could complete in a couple of days unless you are constantly on it or cheating :) I have played it more than once as the first time I didn't find some puzzles or couldn't find all the hints to complete others. It is a lengthy and enjoyable game which I think makes it good value for money. I still have never completed every puzzle in one single game but it's irritating the life out of me so I will probably play it over and over until it is all done! I would rate this 4/5.
The games in the Professor Layton series simply make having a DS worthwhile. Engaging, entertaining, and often mind boggling, they are pleasure to play. Since the release of the first Professor Layton game in 2008, I have been a firm fan of the Layton games, and so when the third instalment, 'Professor Layton and the Lost Future', was released last year, it took little persuasion for me to add it to my collection. ----------- Storyline ----------- The notorious Professor Layton, and his apprentice, Luke, are present at a public demonstration of a time machine built by the scientist, Dr. Stahngun. Among the guests is the Prime Minister, Bill Hawks, who is invited to the stage by Dr. Stahngun to help demonstrate the machine. After initial resistance, Hawks accepts the invitation, only to disappear, along with Dr. Stahngun, when the demonstration gets out of hand. Some time after this disastrous event, Layton and Luke receive a mysterious letter from someone claiming to be the Luke of the future. They are told to visit a back street clock shop in which another time machine exists. They must travel through this time machine in order to meet the Luke of the future, and stop the evil villain that the future Professor Layton has become... ------------- Gameplay ------------- If you've played any of the other Professor Layton games, then the gameplay will be very familiar, and easy to pick up. If not, there is no disadvantage to new players, as there is a brief tutorial at the beginning of the game. The game is essentially controlled entirely through the stylus, and is a point and click game, in which you navigate your way through the streets of London, solving puzzles and mysteries along the way. The two screens of the DS are utilised well, with the upper screen acting as a larger, overall map, demonstrating where you need to be travelling, while the touch screen acts as the immediate street view, navigable by clicking a shoe in the bottom right corner of the screen, which brings up various directional arrows. Through the touch screen, you can also interact with people on the street, in shops, and also click objects on the screen in order to uncover puzzles. Some puzzles will be hidden in more obvious locations than others, and it is worth clicking pretty much everywhere on every individual street view in order to uncover all the puzzles. By doing so, you will also uncover hint coins, which can be exchanged for clues if you are struggling with a puzzle. There are a vast amount of puzzles (over 165, in case you're wondering) to solve during the game, and if you are a fan of logic problems, then this game will be right up your street. Types of puzzles range from multiple choice answer questions, to arranging certain shapes in a confined space, to figuring out a certain combination within a puzzle to reveal its answer etc. There is a Memo Pad which you can access when solving a puzzle, and this becomes particularly useful for testing solutions before entering a final answer. Puzzles range in difficulty, and so while some will be solved in mere seconds, others may take you a frustratingly long time to get your head around. The difficulty of puzzles are denoted, as with the other Layton games, by Picarats. These are essentially points which can be earned by completing a puzzle. The harder the puzzle, the greater the Picarat value. However, for each wrong answer entered (up to the third wrong answer), Picarats are deducted, and upon completion of the puzzle, you will receive less than the full amount. Although useful for perceiving the difficulty of a puzzle, Picarats serve no real purpose during the game. They can, however, be used for unlocking bonus content accessible through the main menu. Aside from the main puzzles to be solved throughout the game, there are also mini games which can be accessed through Layton's briefcase, which appears in the top right hand corner of the screen. These include: - Toy Car: navigating a toy car along a specific course, using limited manoeuvres - Parrot: designing a rope course for your parrot so that he can deliver items to certain people - Picture Book: collecting stickers in the main story line to create picture story books These mini games may seem trivial from my description, but I find the Parrot game, in particular, can be ridiculously difficult to complete. They all give a variation away from the main story line and game, and can be a welcome challenge if you are itching to solve a puzzle without waiting for one to appear in the main story line. -------------- My opinion -------------- Oh, where to begin. The Professor Layton games are simply fantastic for a multitude of reasons, and I think it will come as no surprise to you that this game gets a full 5* from me. The beauty of the Professor Layton games is that story line is very much integral to game play, and this is no different in The Lost Future. The story line is so in depth, and has so many layers, that even if you think you can predict the solution to all the mysteries the main storyline presents you with, you're going to be wrong, as there'll be some unsuspecting twist you just won't have seen coming. This game tricked me on multiple occasions, not only in the way that it managed to deceive me as to which way the storyline was going, but also as to when it finishes. There were multiple points where I thought 'Aha! This is the end!', only to find another mystery uncovered, and off I went again in search of the next solution. The good thing about the main storyline is that you can invest as much or as little into it as you like. If you're keen to just get on with the puzzles, then you can pretty much skip past a lot of the dialogue from characters by continually clicking the screen. However, if you're interested in the story line, there is a lot to take in. As such, the Layton games always give a recap of events when you resume your game, after loading your save file. Additionally, you can remind yourself of the 'mysteries' by accessing them through Layton's suitcase, or indeed access Layton's journal for a more in depth reminder of the story. What I particularly liked about The Lost Future was that there was a return of some old familiar characters from former games, like Scotland Yard's Inspector Chelmey, who always seems to be one step behind Layton, as well as the return of Don Paolo, master of disguises and supposed nemesis of Layton. Particularly insightful to The Lost Future storyline was the glimpse given into Layton's past. We learn how and why Don Paolo decided to become Layton's nemesis, and that Layton was once in love. These little touches are a nice touch to followers of the Layton series, as they feel somewhat more personal, and give an extra depth into some of the characters' traits. As with the other Layton games, The Lost Future did not disappoint in terms of animated video sequences, and the Layton games still remain the best use of DS potential I have witnessed in terms of animated story telling. Although only 2D cartoons, the animations in the game are exceptionally well done, and the artwork is completely unique to Layton, giving it an edge that no other series has on the DS. I also adore the quality of voice acting in sequences that are relatively important, but are not animated. These are very well done, as the voice actors truly capture the characters they are playing, and add a level of interest and depth to the games. On the subject of audio, the music remains pretty much in line with past Layton games. The familiar accordion returns for the main parts of the game, while the delicate, dreamy like puzzle music from past games also finds its way into The Lost Future. Although I am fond of the music, I did find at times that I had to switch it off, particularly if I was concentrating on a harder puzzle. However, for the most part, the audio adds to the overall experience of the game, with sound effects relating to the story line as it unfolds. If I had one criticism of the game, it might be that the main storyline does get a little over the top, especially as the game goes on. However, you do not play these games to get a perspective of reality, and the crazier the story, the better, right? The elaborate and unbelievable story is essentially part of the fun of playing. There is little more to say on the matter as far as I'm concerned, apart from: GO AND BUY THIS GAME IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY. To own a DS and not own a Layton game is nothing short of a crime, and I thoroughly recommend The Lost Future to anyone. I would, however, say that the puzzles may be difficult for small children. As a 20 year old, I struggle with some of the more cryptic ones, and can see younger audiences struggling to complete the game. However, for those of you who love puzzles, it will be one of the best £24.99 purchases (Blockbuster.co.uk) you've ever made, and you could pick it up for even cheaper if you got it second hand...
This is Professor Layton and the Lost Future. Its the third game in the series. I got this for Christmas and it had me hooked for weeks until I 'finally' completed it. Ive not played the other two in the series but now I'm dying to play them. This game is a story with lots of puzzles involved. Over 150. Usually what Ive noticed with DS games you seem to complete them quite quick, what I liked about this one was it wasnt over quickly. I took hours to finally finish. The story on the game got me really addicted, its a good story to say its a game. There are a wide range of puzzles. Some are really hard. But I guess this makes the game more fun otherwise it'd be too easy. When I bought this it was £30 but now its around £24. Which is a good price to say the old ones are still around the price of this one. The game is probably more suitable for older teenages or adults as it aint exactly easy. I really love this game and think anyone who enjoys puzzles should buy this.
Professor Layton has very quickly become popular in the Nintendo DS franchise and for good reasons too, mainly in my opinion was to boost sales as the DS lacked "good" games. In the "Lost Future/Unwound Future" we see Luke and the Professor on a case involving a letter apparently sent from Luke 10 years in the future. Layton is quick to investigate this case picking up puzzles along the way. This game focuses a bit more on Layton's past, mainly telling the story of his girlfriend Claire who died some years ago because of an experiment with a Time Machine that were horribly wrong. It then comes together that the experiment was briefly a success however her molecules weren't stabilized in the present day thus she was forced to return to her own time and died in the explosion. The parts that I didn't particularly like about this game is that it has a lot of similarities to the other games in terms of sadness - there's always going to be a very sad and emotional part, it's a bit of a cliche. I also didn't like the fact that not only Layton was in love with Claire but his two rivals Don Paolo and Dimitri were in love with her - love triangles are definitely a cliche. The fact that Claire wasn't stabilized in the present day wasn't really thought out thoroughly and they could have made that a lot better in story sense. Finally I would like to say this game is certainly a must buy, I am a big fan of Professor Layton. If you can stand some of the cliches and odd moments then go for it otherwise it might not be at all use to you. I am now waiting for the UK release of Layton and the Specter's Flute and also Layton and the Mask of Miracle so I still have at least another two games to look forward to in the future.
I have been fascinated by the Professor Layton games ever since the 1st one, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, followed up by Professor Layton and Pandora's Box. For those who enjoy games with lots of puzzles which actually last more than an hour than these are perfect. In this adventure Professor Layton and his trusty sidekick Luke team up again when Layton receives a letter from Luke in the future and requesting his help averting a terrible disaster. It seems to be connected to an event a week earlier when Layton and Luke attend an event when a fellow scientist tries to demonstrate a time machine with disastrous consequences. A visit to a clock shop leads them to a trip that seems to catapult them to a London of the future where nothing is quite what it seems. From this point Layton and Luke have to solve several mysteries and deter disaster as ever, surely the greatest cartoon crime fighting duo since Batman & Robin. The actual playing of the game is basically the same as the others. In various scenes you have to tap on characters, building, etc with the stylus. Doing so will either bring up a puzzle shown by a red exclamation mark, or a 'hint' coin. Occasionally you will see sparkles which indicate hidden puzzles. You also interact with the characters to get clues for your journey. Only with solving the puzzles are you going to get anywhere in the game, you will get to several areas that won't let you pass until you have done a certain number of puzzles. The puzzles are what make the game really interesting. There is a wide range: mathematical, analytical, pictorial and just plain fun! You'll get an idea of how difficult the puzzles are by the number of picarats it tells you can get. You'll need picarats to access certain hidden areas and bonuses, not just in this game but if you reply the other games you will find them there to. Some of these games are just mind-numbling difficult even after you've used up all the hints so I must admit I've resorted to the internet and walkthroughs more than once! Graphically the game is excellent, beautifully clear graphics means you can see all of the game perfectly. The characters, although, of course cartoonish are excellently drawn. It has lovely bright colours without being garish. The cut film sections are a little darker but still perfectly able to see. There's no drag or delay on the graphics at all. I never have the sound up as the tinkly music does eventually get on my nerves, but the voices of the characters and very clear and bright. They also fit perfectly with the character and their persona. Gameplay is, to me, the most important part of any game and with this game it's incredibly easy. Tap, tap, tap, tap, beware getting cramp in your fingers at the amount of time you spend tapping the screen. The story itself is funny and interesting with several twists and turns along the way. The characters you meet really set the story, most are quite funny, and not one is just there for the sake of it. The game itself takes hours to play which is brilliant! I'm sick of buying games that can be completed in a couple of hours wasting £15 of my hard earned cash. On the last count I was on 20 hours gameplay and still not finished. Even when you have there's 3 minigames which take up another few hours. And an even bigger bonus is that once you've completed the game you can go back to the other games and open up secret areas. I also liked the fact that if you have wireless you can download a daily puzzle so the game just keeps going. So this game looks thoroughly enjoyable right? It is, but it does drag sometimes, the cut scenes can drag and the dialogues are sometimes over-long with one sentence coming up at a time requiring another tap on the screen. In fact there can be way too much tap, tap, tapping on the screen. Several times I've not even bothered reading or listening to some of the cut scenes as they don't really add anything to the game and you know you just need to keep tapping. This is definitely a worthy addition to the group of the Professor Layton games. Pity there's no release for the 4th game entitled 'Professor Layton and The Diabolical Flute' which is already out in Japan. Without a doubt the best games on the DS, suitable for adults and older children unless you have a young genius in the family!
**Introduction** Having already played the other games in the Professor Layton series of mysteries for the Nintendo DS I was eager to get my hands on the latest instalment; "The Lost Future" and duly added the game to my Christmas list last year. Christmas Day arrived and amongst my presents from my wife the game was included so eagerly I set upon another journey with the Top-Hatted gentlemanly professor and his trusty side kick Luke and attempted to discover the secrets the game had to offer and what the future would be like in the remarkable games inimitable style... **Basics** The familiar trademarks established in the earlier games are all still here, the animation is beautifully presented with clear graphics and sound along with some wonderfully animated cut sequences which serve as a plot narration. As is the case with every Professor Layton release you follow him, Luke and the people they meet on their way as they try to unearth the secrets established in the story. In this case the action surrounds the disappearance of the British Prime Minister and an apparent link to an invention of what appears to be a time travelling machine, you are set various missions which you have to complete to progress through the game and at every step of the way you are presented with puzzles from characters that you meet. As usual you have to solve the puzzles to gain access to information and by piecing together the information you learn you end up discovering all the secrets the game has in store. The game is a point and tap adventure game and you control the characters by means of your DS stylus. You are presented with various maps along the way with directions of where you must go to complete the chapters which make up the game as a whole and at the end of each segment you are able to save your progress. There is always the risk with games of this nature that they become too focused on creating a style rather than concentrating on the substance of the game but happily "The Lost Future" is another strong example of just how good these games can be if that balance is got right. That doesn't mean the game is perfect though and as I will cover later in this review I didn't get the usual sense of urgency to complete the chapters as I have done with other instalments in the Professor Layton series, I don't know if that was because I had become used to how these games play out or whether something was missing this time round but for me I did get the feeling that perhaps the game was a little bit *too* epic and overly convoluted, even so though I'm glad I played it and will look forward to the next instalment whenever that becomes available to buy. **Puzzles** Bigger this time around, The Lost Future has over 165 puzzles contained in its game play which are a good selection of mathematical and lateral thinking challenges. Thankfully there isn't an over reliance on sliding-block puzzles which bogged down earlier instalments in the series and overall I thought there was a good mix of things to do. The puzzles range from quite easy through to almost impossible and I admit to cheating on a number of occasions and resorting to consulting a walkthrough on the internet for some of the answers. I did find the wording on a few of the puzzles to be slightly confusing and perhaps this jaded my opinion slightly as there were occasions when I couldn't really understand what was being asked of me. As usual you are given access to 'hints' which you must purchase with the in-game currency and this time round have the option to purchase a super-hint which practically gives the solution to you. This I found did speed up the progression and flow of the game but even still there were times when I wanted to figure out the answers to some puzzles myself without help from hints or walkthroughs. If you have ever played any of the other Professor Layton games before you will know what to expect really and newcomers to the world of Layton will find the game to be self-explanatory although personally I would recommend that you play the games in order of release as there are some back-stories which continue on in this game and you may not understand some references to the past games. **Thoughts** I do think that perhaps there were too many puzzles in this game along with various other new mini-games which are presented to you as you go on but in terms of value for money you do get plenty for your cash. Maybe I'm just impatient but at well over 18 hours of game playing without including the time spent on the mini games I did get slightly bored towards the end and really wanted to just get to the finish line with this one. Whilst the cut sequences are undeniably lovely to watch I do think some of their inclusions slowed down the flow of the game and as far as pacing is concerned I wished the game would have been quicker, some sections of long spoken dialogue became tedious and I found myself tapping the DS screen just to enable me to get on with the game during the latter stages. Like I say, this is probably down to me more than being a fault with the game itself for those who like to immerse themselves into a long, thoughtful gaming session then this will definitely appeal. The age guidance on the game states that it is suitable for 7 and above; personally I think that a 7 year old would find the game to be very tricky and perhaps not be engaging enough for them to want to play. The puzzles can become frustrating, the slow pacing tedious and I would suggest that the game is better suited to the older game-player, there's certainly plenty enough to admire with this release but it is along the same lines as the other games in the series it isn't really anything new anymore. I still consider all of the Professor Layton games to be the best releases ever on the Nintendo DS though and whilst I may have been critical of this one in this review it is still a game worth playing and experiencing, just be prepared to devote a lot of time to it if you are someone who likes to fully complete a game. For £22.99 as the game currently retails for on Amazon you do get excellent value for money and I would recommend this to anyone familiar with the other Professor Layton releases. I can't say that I would want to start the journey again with the Professor and I'm relieved to have completed the game but at least I know that should I want to spend a little time re-doing the puzzles I can easily gain access to them thanks to the well thought out game-menu options. I'm going to award a 4 star rating for the game itself which is still excellent in my opinion and overall I would recommend this to other people. I had very high expectations with this game and whilst I did have a few niggles with some aspects of the game play and the trickiness of the puzzles it still is a fantastic release for the Nintendo DS. Thanks for reading my review.
Having enjoyed the previous editions of the Professor Layton games on the Nintendo DS I eagerly added Professor Layton and the Lost Future to my Christmas wishlist and I was lucky enough to receive a copy from my family. ===Background Story=== Professor Layton is a world-renowned archaeologist and an enthusiastic solver of all types of puzzles and mysteries. He is ably assisted by his young apprentice Luke who hopes to emulate the Professors puzzle-solving skill. One week after witnessing a terrible disaster at a scientific demonstration they receive a letter reporting to be sent from Luke but 10 years in the future. The intrepid pair head off to the clock shop mentioned in the letter and there their adventure begins. They find themselves in what appears to be a London of the future which is ruled by a mysterious man who appears to always wear a tall hat, just like Professor Layton, in fact it appears to be the Professor Layton of the future. The duo have to work their way around this unusual area and try to work out what is really happening. ===How To Play=== This game is extremely easy to play. After watching the introductory cut scene you choose one of three Save Game slots and begin your adventure. You get a short tutorial which tells you how to move around in Professor Layton's world. To interact with any character on screen you simply tap them with your stylus and you will begin a conversation, to move through the conversation you can press the A key or tap the screen. Some characters will simply give you information but others will present you with puzzles to solve. You tend to meet the same people again and again but it is always worth tapping on them as sometimes they will have new information for you. If you need to move into the next area you simply tap on the shoe in the bottom left-hand corner and arrows will appear to show you what options you have for your next step, you decide which one you want to follow and tap on it to move around. You can also tap on doors to allow access to shops, houses and hotels. Tapping various objects such as plant-pots and shop signs will reveal hint coins which can come in handy for tougher problems. The game progresses as you solve puzzles and work your way around the area following hints and instructions you are given. The basic game play is simple and straightforward and whenever you log onto your game you get a quick recap so that you can remember where you are and what your next assignment is. ===The Puzzles=== The main gist of this game is to enjoy solving the puzzles. Each puzzle is awarded a distinct number of Picarats and in general the more picarats you can earn the harder the puzzle will be. You are taken to a puzzle screen and you are given the details of the puzzle and the way to input the answer is explained. Whilst solving the puzzle it is possible to put a notes screen across the puzzle on which you can draw with the stylus which is really handy for some of the puzzles. The puzzles vary in their type and cover various challenges. These can be word logic riddles, manipulation puzzles requiring the movement of various people, wires etc to fit in with certain patterns, route planning, sliding blocks and cryptic combinations. There are a few hidden puzzles which you find by repeatedly tapping on areas that sparkle. If you are struggling with a puzzle you can use your hint coins to help you progress. Each puzzle has 3 ordinary hints that you can buy with your collected coins which gradually make the answer become more obvious but if you are really stumped you can buy the final super hint which usually virtually tells you the answer. If you are really struggling with a puzzle you can quit out and save the puzzle to solve later. There are a couple of points in the game where you must have completed a minimum number of puzzles before you can progress but I always found that I had completed plenty more than were needed at each point. ===Professor Layton's Trunk=== To access Professor Layton's trunk you tap the trunk icon in the top right corner of the screen. This provides various pieces of information as well as access to the mini-games. Once in the trunk the top screen show your game statistics. Here you will find how many puzzles you have completed as well as how many you have actually found, the time you have been playing and how many hint coins you have left as well as telling you your current location in the game. The bottom screen has icons to give you access to other features: Layton's Journal: This provides details of the investigation you are undertaking in a diary format. I find that I never refer to this but some players may find it useful. Puzzle Index: This lists all the puzzles and indicates whether you have found them and also whether you have solved them. You are able to go back and complete the puzzles again from this screen should you want to, I wouldn't want to do any of them again but my children sometimes like to work their way through the puzzles without having to play the game. This screen is particularly useful when you failed to solve a puzzle as it give you the location so you can go back in the game and have another go at it. Mysteries: As Professor Layton and Luke come across mysteries in the story they are added to the list and once they have reached a satisfactory solution that is also entered here so you can see what you still need to investigate. Save Game: As the name suggests this is where you can save your game, simply tap the icon at any point in the game and select a game slot to save your progress. I like this feature as some games will only save at a particular part which is not always convenient. Picture Book: Throughout the game you will occasionally be given a sticker either after solving a puzzle or after holding a conversation. These can be added to the three story books here but must be added in the correct order in each book before the next book is unlocked. I personally find this a bit childish and tedious and although I completed the first book I didn't bother with the other two. Toy Car: At various points throughout the game you get given courses for your toy car. These involve using various directional tiles to help a car negotiate a course. These are quite challenging and I must admit to being completely rubbish at these games but it is very entertaining as my car permanently seems to be crashing. Parrot Game: You have to direct Lukes parrot from one side of the screen to the other to deliver its parcels. The parcels affect the bird's ability to fly so various posts and boucy wires can be put on the screen to help it get across. The games involve successfully getting Polly to the destination without disappearing into oblivion. Some of the errands are quite difficult. ===Animation=== This isn't a game that you select because you like super animation with high-class graphics and rapid action. Most of the screens are stationary with the only movement being the characters mouths, you can have their voices turned on but since my family get very irritated with this I tend to play with all the sound turned off. However I like it because the screens are colourful and clear. The cut scenes are reasonable and are easy to follow and unlike the previous editions they are much shorter and so are not as irritating as they were before and although you are supposed to be able to skip these according to the instruction booklet I never seemed to be able to manage it. ===Other Thoughts=== The game does state that you can download a weekly puzzle through Nintendo Wi-Fi, I tried doing it through my Wii but I couldn't get it to work but that is probably more to do with my technological incompetence than the fact that it doesn't work. It took me about 15 hours to complete the game which is about what I expected. I found all of the 150+ puzzles and eventually solved them all. I felt that many of the puzzles were much easier than in previous editions. There were a couple that had me stumped but usually, even when I found the answer I felt the question was a little odd or you hadn't been told a vital piece of information such as the fact that an object could be turned and it always seemed a bit tricky with the stylus. A lot of the puzzles also had simple multiple choice answers so even if you weren't sure you could just hazard a guess. I simply did not find them as entertaining and challenging as I did before. I liked the way the story unfolded and it was a much more interesting storyline than in the previous games so I found I paid more attention to that than I usually do. One of the things that did annoy me was that at one point Professor Layton and Luke are joined by Flora, she is patronised all the time and they keep asking here if she is alright and has to be kept away from any danger, I understand that Professor Layton is supposed to be a gentleman but I found it very irritating and unnecessary. This is an enjoyable game and I played it quite happily. However it is still quite new and as such is quite expensive and really it is probably not worth full price. If they release another version I don't think I will be running to the shops to buy it as there was nothing really new in this one, the story was fine but the puzzles didn't feel fresh and new and I found several of them boring. If you have never played a Professor Layton game before then I would sincerely recommend this as it is good fun but if you have played the other two I would wait until you can get this at a bargain price before you buy it.
After being tempted after a short play with my younger sister's Nintendo DS a couple of years ago I took the plunge and went out and purchased one for myself. To be honest, I was initially of the opinion that it would be one of those gadgets that I would play for a short while, which would eventually be banished to the back of the drawer. However, I couldn't have been more wrong and whilst I own only a handful of games, my favourite has to be Professor Layton, which I find extremely addictive and very competitive! The first game, namely Professor Layton and the Curious Village kept my mind extremely active and I was bitterly disappointed when I completed it within a week or so. Consequently, Christmas 2009 saw me being presented with the second game named Professor Layton and Pandora's Box, which kept me quiet for the entire Christmas period. I was delighted to then discover in November 2010 the latest addition to the Professor's adventures, namely Professor Layton and the Lost Future and this review discusses my experience of playing the game. I would apologise for this being such a long review, but it has been difficult to shorten due to the content of the game, therefore, please feel free to skip through the text. WHO IS PROFESSOR LAYTON? Professor Layton is a series of games, which have been developed for the Nintendo DS and each game provides the user with dozens upon dozens of puzzles, which need to be solved to enable the Professor, a world renowned archaeologist and his assistant, Luke solve the mystery and beat the bad guys! The games are intended for aged 7 years + and in my opinion, some of the puzzles are a little difficult even for me, a 43 year old! Whilst it is not necessary to solve all of the puzzles to reach the end of the game there are some areas where you are not permitted to proceed until you decipher the answer. If you are familiar with the Professor you will recognise many of the characters in The Lost Future, as they have assisted the Professor in his previous investigations. The Professor has a real passion for both puzzles and mysteries and for those of you who enjoy working that grey matter you will simply adore the challenges that lie ahead in The Lost Future. Although I purchased this game on its' day of release, unfortunately, due to other commitments I was unable to pick up my Nintendo until a few days before Christmas and although I am pleased I have completed the Professor's latest investigation I have to say I'm quite lost now that it's all over once again! As this review is solely for the purpose of discussing The Lost Future I do not wish to go into great detail about the Nintendo DS itself. However, it will be necessary in certain points of this review to discuss the mechanics of the hand held console due to the fact that it appropriate for certain areas of the game. PLAYING PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE As with all of the games within the Professor Layton collection, there are easy to follow step-by-step instructions provided to you on both screens and accompanying your game is a 44-page instruction booklet. For those of you who are familiar with the Nintendo DS you will be aware that the console displays two screens; both of which are easy to navigate. With the Professor Layton games the majority of the action is presented on the lower screen and it is this screen that needs to be gently tapped with the stylus to make your next move. Whilst I do not wish to spoil the concept behind The Lost Future the beginning of the game shows us a curious letter, which is postmarked London. However, this is where the mystery instantly begins, as the letter is dated 10 years in the future ..... The upper screen is basically a map and will show you where you are at any point in the game with the lower screen giving you instructions for your next course of action. The purpose of The Lost Future is to investigate the mysterious letter, which will lead you to many mysteries and puzzles along the way. You will stay in hotels, you will visit a casino and you will more than likely get lost on your journey. On the lower right hand section of the screen you will see a small shoe and it is this that directs you through the game. All you need to do is gently tap the shoe with your stylus and you will be given a series of directions and whilst you may be shown three or four ways in which you can walk it is up to you to decipher the correct way. Throughout your journey you will need to explore everywhere you possibly can and gather valuable clues and evidence in your quest to complete the Professor's investigation. HINT COINS AND PUZZLES You need to tap anything you possibly can, particularly as there are hint coins hidden in many places, such as the trees, pots and windows and it is these coins that will assist you greatly as you work your way through the game. You will meet many people on your journey, some of which will make friends with you and others that will be simply rude! However, the majority of the people will not assist you unless you help them and this is always with a puzzle. It is by doing the puzzles that you will earn points, which are called picarats with the higher the picarats the harder the puzzle! However, do not panic if you cannot solve the puzzle on the first attempt, as the game will allow you to keep trying until you get the correct answer, but the picarats will reduce each time you fail to input the correct answer. Whilst some of the puzzles are relatively easy there are others that I really struggle with and despite being able to exchange hint coins for clues, I frequently manage to fail. Consequently, I regularly had to take a peek at the Walkthrough that you will find on the internet. GRAPHICS AND SOUND QUALITY The graphics on the game are simply superb as is the sound. However, I generally tend to play my Nintendo whilst sat up in bed and my husband becomes a little frustrated with having to listen to the Professor and Luke, so I regularly mute the sound! There is an area within the game where any unsolved puzzles are stored and you can return to these at any time. However, certain points of the game are not able to be entered unless you have solved a particular level of puzzles, so my advice is to solve as many as you can when you can, as otherwise you will find yourself returning to your unsolved puzzles before you can proceed. During your journey you will meet a parrot who will become your friend and you are able to give him a name and in my game I named him Twinkle. The people you meet will ask your parrot to run errands and you need to complete these to give your parrot strength and consequently, he will assist you with your investigation. MEETING THE CHARACTERS WITHIN THE GAME There are some rather strange characters in the game, such as the manic rabbit, whose name escapes me, but as soon as you begin to do as he asks he will soon become your friend and provide you with valuable information. There is the familiar Inspector Chelmey who also appeared in the previous games and he will also assist in the investigation. You can regularly save your game by clicking on the upper right hand corner and I regularly do so just in case I lose the work that I have already completed. When I played the first game within the series I ignored many of the people that I passed in the street, but soon learned that they are there for a reason. Whilst a few of them will simply wish to chat and pass the time of day the majority hold valuable clues, so you need to tap them with your stylus and they will speak to you. You can either read their words on the lower screen and/or listen to them speaking, but as previously stated, I tend to play the game with the sound muted, as it tends to become a little annoying at times with the constant music and strange voices allocated to the characters! THE PROFESSOR'S TRUNK The game consists of over 165 puzzles with the top screen providing your instructions and the lower screen for your response. Some of the puzzles will automatically end when you have reached the correct answer with others requiring you to touch the "submit" icon with your stylus. The Professor has a trunk where you are able to store valuable items, such as your journal and details of the mystery surrounding The Lost Future. It is here that you can recap on your progress and listen to short descriptions of the mystery as you proceed through the story. Throughout the game you will be presented with many stickers, which will form a picture and are automatically stored in the relevant section within your trunk. Once all the stickers have been collected you are required to piece them together to create a picture, but I do not wish to provide any further information for fear of spoiling the mystery! OTHER FEATURES Whilst this is a function I have not used there is a bonus area whereby you can download further games using a Wi-Fi connection. I have learned that each week further puzzles are available, which will allow you to continue enjoying the game once you have completed it. I have no real desire to test out this function, so am unable to provide you with any further information. Also this is a further section of the game that can be played if you input the password you would have obtained after completing the previous game, namely Professor Layton and Pandora's Box. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the password and have no desire at the present moment in time to once again complete the game, which took me a couple of weeks! HOW LONG DID IT TAKE ME TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY? I started playing Professor Layton and The Lost Future the day before Christmas Eve and after almost 20 hours of play (not continuous I hasten to add) I have completed the game. I would play for approximately 4 hours per time and would find the red light would illuminate, which was warning me that my battery was almost flat. Consequently, that was my cue to cease play and put my console away for the next day! A word of warning and that is when you near the end of the game you reach a point whereby you receive a warning across your screen, which advises that there are no further save points and you are asked if you wish to proceed. At the time I accessed this section my battery light was red, so I would recommend you keep your Nintendo fully charged, as otherwise you will lose your progress after this point. WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS GAME? Most definitely yes and I hope my review has provided you with enough information to decide if this is the game for you. However, I would say that I played for far too long in many sittings and found myself experiencing headaches and eyestrain although I think this might have been something to do with the fact that I would often be playing until 2 or 3 in the morning! I found time running away with me with this, particularly as it's so addictive! It is recommended that regular breaks are taken, so this is a piece of advice I will attempt to follow next time! My only hope is that Akira Tago, the man who created this fabulous game is working hard on the fourth game, as I am so lost without it! PRICE AND AVAILABILITY Professor Layton and The Lost Future is widely available from all good game retailers and in order to provide you with an up-to-date price I have checked Amazon. At the time of writing (29 December 2010) I would advise that you can purchase this fantastic game for £27.91 including P+P. I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading. This review will also appear on Ciao under the same user name.
I have owned all of The Professor Layton games so far and so when this one was released it was a must for me. For those of you who are not aware of the Professor Layton game sthey are a series of puzzle games which follow Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke as they set out to solve a mystery. In this game the Mystery is the disapperance of scientists and the Prime Minister in London the disappearances are all linked to a time travelling machine which has blown up. When a letter from the future gets to Professor Layton he a Luke set out about solving the mystery of time travel. The main characters in this game include: Professor Layton himself he is known for his puzzle solving skills around London and his top hat which in this game causes quite a stir when he and Luke get to the London of the Future where Layton is believed to be running a gang a villans. Future Luke this is the Luke of the future Professor Layton and Luke are lead to believe he is the one who sent the letter from the future but could he really be Luke 10 years on? Luke is Professor Laytons younger apprentice also a keen puzzle solver. Flora is a character from previous Professor Layton games who the Professor and Luke saved. Barton and Chelmey are the Police Officer and Detective who have also featured in previous games they are investigating the mystery at the same time as Layton and Luke. This game features 153 puzzles which I learnt on completing the game. Once you have played the game through which took me 13hours the titles will role you then play the The Final puzzle so wait for that. Once you have finished you are then able to go back and revist the game to complete puzzles you have missed. I had completed 129 puzzles when the game came to an end so I have still got a fair few to go. The puzzles in the game are hidden in various places some are available when you talk to people as you go through. Others are in doors there are a few of these in this game and you need to solve the puzzle in order to open the doors and move on. You direct the game using your stylus there is a foot print which you press to decide which way to go. The story of the game is easy to follow. Though I did find with this one there was a lot more story than in the other games and this did on occasion get on my nerves as I just wanted to get on with the puzzles. For some of the talking the characters actually talk and the words are displayed and for other parts the characters speech is displayed but a dududud noise is made instead of the speech not really sure why that is but I usually play with the volume off anyway as the music tends to bug me its a repetitive sound over and over again which I find makes it hard to concentrate. There are also mini videos which run which you are not able to skip. As well as the main game as you go along you can collect stickers and these are to be used in one of the mini games which is hidden in the Professors briefcase which is displayed in the right hand corner. The game takes the form of a story and you put the stickers in the right order to make up the story. Other mini games include a car game where you use arrows to direct the car to its destination without making it crash I quite like this game its one you can play for a while. The other mini game is a parrot one and this one I found frustrating as I could not get my head around it. It involves the parrot having a destination to get to and you have so many ropes to make it bounce there when I play the parrot keeps falling off so I stopped because it was making me cross lol. The more you play the parrot game though the more the parrot helps you in the game and he will appear on your screen to indicate where hint coins come from. Hint coins are coins which can help you with puzzles they are found throughout the game by pressing on the screen they are hidden in light, lamp posts, bushes and cannot be seen so you need to explore each scene to find them and I do find them really useful especially on some puzzles which are really hard. This time round you can use 1 hint coin for 3 normal hints and 2 hint coins for a super hint if you are really struggling. The super hint basically tells you exactly how to solve the puzzle. The briefcase also contains the Professors journal which shows how far you have come also the myterys you are trying to solve. On this game I found out that if I continue to play my mysterys which I have solved, this is indicated by a solved stamp across them, I was able then to move on to getting a 'whole story' stamp on them when I got father into the game. The game is made up of Chapters and if you don't find all the puzzles in each chapter they are saved firstly in a flower with a bee and then in a shack as in the previous game. This means you don't loose puzzles. I think that these places can pnly hold a certain amount of puzzles though because when I had finished the game there was only 6 games stored as missed and I am now hunting for the other puzzles I have missed thsi is good however because it adds to my game play. I am still after stickers for my mini games as well. Overall this is another excellent Professor Layton game I would recommend it for adults as on the adverts I think soem of the puzzles would br tricky for younger children, teenagers I think would be able to cope though. The puzzles consist of mathematical problems, logic problems, skill something for everyone I like the logic ones the best the maths ones I struggle on a bit and here i was grateful for the super hint to help me complete it. You also have the use of a memo pad this time which is a screen which comes over the puzzle which you can draw on to help you work out the puzzle it is especially useful when trying to solve maze puzzles. I think the graphics are good for the console they are crisp and clear and I had no problems working out who was who or what was going on. I give this game 5 stars it has kept me busy for hours well worth the money. The game can be picked up from games stores at around £30. This game is one to play individually so not one for those of you who want a multiplayer game. Also found on other review sites.
The Professor Layton series of DS games have been a huge hit, in 2008 the shops all sold out of the 'Curious Village' game and they were selling for silly money on eBay as people were desperate to get their hands on them. This game was truly excellent, a 5* game and I spent hours glued to my screen tapping away on the puzzles. 2009 saw the second game 'Professor Layton and Pandora's Box' hit the shelves. This time I wasn't so keen, the puzzles had been dumbed down a bit but it was still a fairly addictive game. Nintendo were obviously keen to capitalize on the popularity of the series by bringing out a third title, this time it is 'Professor Layton and the Lost Future' which was released in November 2010. Professor Layton is reunited with his little apprentice, Luke, and this time the story is set in London. Layton and Luke jump between present day London and the city ten years in the future to discover what has happened to the missing Prime Minister. Familiar faces from the previous two games join them on their journey, Inspector Chelmley and his sidekick Barton continue to bungle their investigations and young Flora and the evil Don Paolo turn up too. We learn about Layton's past life including a love affair and meet a grown up Luke in the future. There is also the usual assortment of oddball characters dotted about the city to keep the Professor supplied with puzzles. The graphics in this game are stunning, London is drawn in amazing detail and there are various sections of the city to be explored including Chinatown and the River Thames. There are the usual video sequences, probably more than in the previous two games and there were times the storytelling dragged on for too long and I just wanted to get on with the puzzles. There were also times when the story would direct you to different parts of the city and this seemed just to be to show the graphics off rather than aiding the gameplay. Onto the puzzles themselves which are the main part of the game. This time there are 168 different puzzles to be solved. The puzzles have been dumbed down since the first game which was fiendishly difficult but I suppose this makes it more accessible to more people. The puzzles include sliding squares, mazes, figuring out secret codes, riddles to solve and maths problems. There is a good variety in there and not too much repetition, as usual you can collect hint coins to unlock clues to help you solve any puzzles you are stuck on and this game also has the superhint option which will practically solve the puzzle for you. As well as the puzzles there are a few extra mini games. The first one is an extremely childish sticker book, completing certain puzzles will give you stickers which you have to correctly place to complete a story. The second extra is a fun game where you have to set a racecar to go around a track by placing various obstacles and squares allowing the car to change direction. The third is a game where you have to place strings across a course to allow a parrot to fly to a goal, this one is surprisingly difficult. Overall 'Professor and the Lost Future' is a fairly good game which gives around 15 hours of gameplay but has little replay value. It is not half as good as the first game in the series and I would recommend newcomers to the Layton games start at the beginning. I found the game could get a bit repetitive and dull due to the video sequences and disliked the childish mini games, maybe some of my disappointment was because I was familiar with the game already and it followed a very similar format to the previous games. This is the final game in the series and definitely does not have the same appeal as the previous two games but is still a decent game in its own right.
Although I usually try and post a review on this site every day, I have been absent for the last few days due to the fact that I have been glued to this new Professor Layton game and of course, for the purpose of a good review, I wanted to complete the whole game before giving my opinion! I was really excited about the release of this game, as I thoroughly enjoyed the first game in the series, The Curious Village. For those who have not played these games and don't know much about them, the Professor Layton trilogy is a series of games quite unlike any other I have ever played before. The games are puzzle based games, full of lateral thinking puzzles, riddles and brainteasers, but they are all weaved into a story that unfolds as the game goes along. The main protagonist of the game is Professor Layton, an archeology professor and part time sleuth. Along with his apprentice, Luke Triton, they try to find the facts behind odd happenings in London. If you have not played one of these games before, it is not necessary to start with the Curious Village. You could play this game without any knowledge of the previous games, as everything is explained for you as you go along, although if you have played the other games, you will see the odd reference to them as the game goes along. The game starts, like the others with a VERY long cartoon sequence. The cartoon sequences are very well done and beyond what i thought the DS was capable of, but they do ramble on somewhat, and you can't skip them, you have to watch the whole thing, and lots of unecessary dialogue betwen characters before you get to the actual puzzles! The story, in a nutshell is this: The Professor and Luke receive a letter, supposedly from 10 years in the future, asking for their help in averting a disaster. The letter is signed by Luke himself, a future Luke, and he suggests that they meet him by travelling in a time machine in a Clock shop in the back streets of London. Is everything as it seems? Can they really travel in time? And how did the letter come to be in their posession? All these mysteries, and a fair few more, will be solved by the time you get to the end of the game! The game is very easy to navigate, and the controls are intuitive. You can travel around London by touching a shoe icon with your stylus and then touching an arow. The top screen of the DS shows a map, which you can check to make sure you are going the right way. As the story progresses, you will be asked to visit certain locations or speak to certain people, which you can do by touching them with your stylus. They may give you vital information about the mystery, or a puzzle, which you can solve to gain Picarats, bonus coins which allow you to unlock extra content in the Bonus section of the game. The puzzles themselves range from quite easy to very tricky indeed. If you want an idea of the type of puzzles featured in the game, you can have a look on the Professor layton website, where there are a few demo puzzles for you to try. There is a really good variety of puzzles in the game and they are all different. Some are room escape type puzzles, others will give you a list of statements requiring you to work out which one is true. There are puzzles which require you to look very closely at a picture and spot a certain feature, and some fiendish maths problems. Luckily, you can get hint coins during the game by touching things like bins and lamposts, and these coins will give you a hint to solving the harder puzzles. In this game, unlike the curious village, you have a "Super Hint" feature, which will basically tell you how to solve the puzzle. I have used this feature on some of the maths problems!!! There is also a handy "memo" feature, which was not available on the Curious village game. This enables you to scribble on the screen with the stylus to help solve the puzzles. For example, if you have a maze puzzle, the memo feature means you can trace out possible routes before submitting and answer. I found this feature a big help in solving the puzzles, as I had to use a pen and paper on the other game. Some parts of the story require you to have solved a certain amount of puzzles to proceed, and any puzzles you have missed during the game are sent to the "puzzle shack" where you can access them at your leisure. The story is spread out into chapters and you can save your progress at any time. There is also an icon called the Professors trunk, and when you touch it with the stylus, it gives you several options including game save, a journal of your progress so far, a list of mysteries and acess to minigames. There are three minigames in the game and if you complete them, it unlocks extra puzzles in the bonus section. The first minigame is a parrot game, which I find very hard. A parrot jumps at a certain trajectory, and you have to place perches at strategic points so that he can cross the screen. The second game requires you to navigate a toy car around a route, collecting flags as you go. You have a set amount of arrows to place along the track to help you. I cannot do this game at all, not even level one!!! Game three is the easiest. You collect stickers which must be placed in a story so that the story makes sense. I did manage to complete that one! Now I will discuss some features of the game that I didn't like. As I mentioned earlier, the cutscenes, although visually fantastic, are very long and you can't skip them. This can be a problem, when you just want 5 minutes on the game in your tea break and you have to sit through a long cartoon scene. I wish the makers of the game would give you the option to skip the cartoons. It would make life much easier. Another thing i didn't like was the fact that there was a lot of unecessary dialogue. In Curious village, everyone you spoke to had a puzzle. In this game, they tend to just drone on, which is pointless and adds nothing to the game. The thing that really irritated me was the inclusion of talking animals in the game. Their inclusion seemed out of place and didn't add anything to the story. The bee character was just pointless, and I didn't understand the humour at all apart from when he got swatted (what a relief!). The only other disadvantage is that once you have played the game, you can't really play it again, because you know all the answers to the puzzles. These points are niggles rather than major disadvantages, and I won't be knocking any dooyoo stars off, because I love the game so much. It is utterly addictive and has had me playing at every opportunity, so that I could see how the story would unfold. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns in the story, and even a bit of a tragic love story. When you find out what the title of the game really means, you may even shed a little tear! The game would appeal to anyone aged 10 and over, although younger players may need a bit of help with the puzzles, but they will love the cartoon cutscenes. The game cost me £25 from Amazon, which sems a little pricey, but in my opinion was worth it for all the fun I have had playing it. I have completed the main story and some of the bonus puzzles, but I still have a couple of puzzle, plus the minigames to complete, which may take me a bit longer. I now have one game in the Layton Trilogy to play, the middle game, called Pandora's Box. If I go missing from dooyoo for a few days, you will know where I am, won't you?