Professor Layton and the Curious Village Review
When I first got my DS back in 2006 there weren't that many games that I wanted to play for it. I loved New Super Mario Brothers, and Sonic Rush, but I couldn't find many games that I felt really couldn't be played anywhere else. Now Professor Layton is not necessarily one of those games, but being able to solve puzzles using the touch screen made the game so much fun, and very intuitive.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first game in the Professor Layton series to be published in the United States. Level 5 (The developers behind the fantastic Jeanne D'arc for PSP) self published the game in Japan, but were lucky enough to get Nintendo to get the job done for them in the states. The game is a puzzle game wrapped around a murder mystery. You must inquire around town about a certain "Golden Apple" and the death of one of the towns people. However no one will help you unless you help them first. Every villager has a puzzle that you must solve before they will give you any information. The puzzles range from your standard block moving, to some pretty hard math, word, and logic problems. A lot of the puzzles fall into the brain teaser category, and most of them can be solved if you think outside the box.
The game looks fantastic, with anime cut scenes filling in the story, and some very nice 2D character art when interacting with the townspeople. Just like Jeanne d'Arc the production values were very high and it really came through when playing the game. The story actually had me guessing until the very end, something I wasn't expecting, and I really liked where the developers went with it.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village: 3.5/5
I gave Professor Layton an 8 out of 10 only because the puzzles would sometimes get repetitive, and often times become downright impossible. Now I love a good challenge, but I simply could not do some of them forcing me to either turn to Google or my girlfriend. I loved the style and the game play and can't complain about the length, it took me a good 16 hours to get through the 100+ puzzles. I can't wait for the next game in the series which should be coming out sometime in 2009, it's already out in Japan. I have included below a very funny comic from Penny Arcade that pretty much sums up the game as a whole.