|Professor Layton and the Curious Village
September 25, 2018
|Nintendo DS: February 10, 2008
|Nintendo DS: February 15, 2007
Mobile: May 27, 2008
iOS, Android: June 8, 2018
|Nintendo DS: November 7, 2008
|Nintendo DS: April 10, 2008
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first game in Level-5's Professor Layton series, published by Nintendo outside of Japan. The title in Japan is Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village.
The game plays like an interactive story with point-and-click (touch) elements, featuring a professor/puzzle expert known as Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke, as they attempt to solve the mystery of St. Mystere's Golden Apple and Baron Reinhold's legacy. Along with the story, there are many challenging interactive puzzles which test the player's critical thinking skills.
The baron Augustus Reinhold has passed away, promising his entire fortune to anyone who can solve the mystery of the Golden Apple. Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke Triton drive to the village of St. Mystere to solve the mystery. Looking around, they meet an assortment of odd fellows and persons about the town, each of whom offer them puzzles to solve. After finding the cat, Claudia, for Lady Dahlia Reinhold, the pair return to her residence to find a man has been killed - Simon. An inspector, Chelmey, arrives to investigate the crime. Approaching a tower, Layton studies the wall in the way as a mysterious girl approaches, before fearfully running away. Venturing into the abandoned fairground, a giant Ferris wheel (misspelt "Wherris Wheel" in a cutscene) chases after Layton and Luke, who run and dive out the way. The big wheel crashes into a stand by the lake. The plot thickens as Layton and Luke venture down to the basement of the shack, finding a tower-shaped key, curiously similar to a giant tower in the centre of the village. Returning to the mansion, Inspector Chelmey accuses Layton of killing Simon, claiming his fingerprints are on a vase, which he promptly smashes. Layton states that the crime is related to Chelmey moreso than himself, stating "Actually, inspector, it has quite a bit to do with you." When Chelmey demands his meaning, Layton replies "Isn't it obvious? If there is any criminal element involved in this case... then it is you, sir!" Pointing at Chelmey, Layton absolutely obliterates Chelmey's hopeless attempts at reason, showing how he is not the man he claims to be. It transpires that the inspector was Don Paolo in disguise, who flees out of a window. Tower-shaped key in hand, Layton and Luke bypass the wall and ascend the looming tower. On the way, they discover that all of the villagers are robots - this explains a mysterious cog they found earlier. Simon had not been killed - he had broken down. The crashing loud sounds that emanate from the tower are the cogs and mechanisms used inside. Reaching the top of the tower, Layton and Luke find the mysterious girl they previously found. Suddenly, Don Paolo begins assaulting the tower from a flying contraption. Luke flees, whilst Layton builds a simple flying device to carry himself and the girl, Flora Reinhold, away from the tower. Destroying Don Paolo's machine, they land safely back in the village. It is determined that an apple-shaped mark appears on Flora's neck as a result of feeling happy - the whole village had been constructed for her to feel joy. Having achieved this, Layton touches a painting of Flora exactly where the apple appeared, and a staircase opens, revealing a huge wealth of treasure. The mystery of the curious village solved, Layton and Luke depart, taking Flora with them.
Reviews for the game were generally positive, praising the 'brain training' elements that were popular at the time, for example Nintendo Power gave the game an 8.5/10 score. IGN gave an 8/10 (United States) and 8.5/10 score Australia and Europe. On the other hand there was reception that the game had little replay value or that merging adventure and puzzle elements 'doesn't merge well'.