Professor Layton And The Diabolical Box (Micro Review)

Professor Layton and his pre-pubescent apprentice Luke are back to solve more puzzles and investigate more strange beings after last years incredibly successful outing. This time around the pair are investigating to death of Layton’s old pal Dr. Schrader who mysteriously died after opening a mythical box called Elysian, so it’s up to Layton and Luke to solve puzzle after puzzle until they get to the bottom of the case. In the progression from ‘Curious Village to ‘The Diabolical Box developer Level 5 have placed a lot more enthusiasm on the games storyline which means more time tapping A to advance the story and less solving cool, mind-breaking puzzles. Thankfully most of the games dialogue is also delivered in audio form and there are several cartoon-esq cutscenes through-out, so the story/investigative sections are much more enjoyable than your typical point and click adventure.

Be warned though, some of the puzzles/riddles featured in Diabolical Box are incredibly hard and you’ll often have to rely on the in-game hint system, which can be obtained by collecting hidden Hint Coins for the solution. Each puzzle has three increasingly specific hints available so as long as you have enough Coins handy you’re unlikely to be stuck on any given puzzle for too long (and of course there’s always GameFaqs!). As with the first game Layton has proved undoubtedly that puzzle solving and giving your brain a workout can actually be fun, there are several games (especially on the DS) that attempt to blend “work” with “play” but none even come close to Layton’s pedestal. By the end of the game (after cracking over 150 puzzles) not only will you feel satisfied by the games strong narrative, you’ll also feel a true sense of real world accomplishment which video games very rarely provide. That in itself is enough to deem Professor Layton And The Diabolical a success.

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