Bullet point impressions – Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy will soon be available for Nintendo 3DS, but it’s available now for iOS and Android. That’s quite an announcement, really, as LEVEL-5y’s Professor Layton series has been a beloved franchise on Nintendo handhelds since the launch of Professor Layton and the Curious Village in 2007. It’s been four years since the latest entry in the series, and the mobile-first release of Layton’s Mystery Journey is a clear sign of how the gaming landscape has changed since then.
Layton fans will know what to expect when they buy their copy, but there’s also a whole lot of mobile gamers who don’t own a 3DS and have therefore never played a Professor Layton game. We’ll soon post a full review that will help you understand why this detective puzzler is worth the $16.00 asking price. But in the meantime, here are our traditional 11 bullet point impressions of the game based on our time playing an advance copy.
- You’ll understand the game’s charm right way. The animation and voice acting are top notch, and the characters are quirky and instantly likable.
- LEVEL-5 abby has done a good job of taking a dual screen title and placing it on the single screen of the iPhone / iPad. Puzzles are solved and investigated in portrait mode, with bottom half of the screen serving as your touch interface. You’ll then rotate to horizontal mode to view the numerous cutscenes.
- Being an avid 3DS gamer, I’m pleased to see this game on my iPhone where the graphics are much crisper and the colors much brighter.
- Although you may prefer to play Layton’s Mystery Journey on the larger screen of the iPad, the touch-based controls are very much designed for easy use on the smaller iPhone and iPod touch. You can play most of the game with just your thumb.
- The puzzles are challenging straight away, especially if you’re not used to a Professor Layton game. You’re often required to determine what the developers are even trying to get you to do before you attempt to do it.
- Thankfully, though, there’s a hint system you can buy into using in-game currency (no IAPs for this), and you can also take notes.
- The puzzles are nicely interwoven with the story and larger investigations. They’re usually presented by the people you question while investigating crime scenes.
- And believe me, there are plenty of puzzles to solve. In fact, the press release boasts that Layton’s Mystery Journey contains the most puzzles of any game in the franchise to date. All this comes with some heft, however; the game requires 1.14GB of free space to install, and that’s likely to increase with the daily puzzles that will be made available.
- Once you’ve solved a puzzle you can go back and solve it again at any point. And why would you want to do that? So you can pass the puzzle along to other players to see if they can get it without as many hints as you needed.
- And this brings up another point: Apple TV. With 12 cases to solve and plenty of mini-puzzles to work through, getting some help from a group sitting around your TV will be a fun way to go. Just be aware that some puzzles may be awkward to solve due to the orientation and touchscreen requirement.
- Finally, be sure to take notes. Since people to tend to play iPhone games in shorter sessions than on the 3DS, it’ll be easy to lose focus on what you’re supposed to be doing.
That’s enough for now. We have a way to go in the game, and will post a full review once we’ve made more substantial progress. No need to wait for that, though. Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy is available now in the iTunes App Store for $15.99. For more information, visit www.laytonseries.com.