Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights

Common Sense Media says

Puzzler similar to Professor Layton but with mild combat.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game promotes the idea that most problems can be solved logically and without violence.

Positive role models

The titular doctor and his assistant are clearly good characters and mean well, even if the former sometimes comes off as a little arrogant and egotistical. Both act as intelligent and clever role models who typically use brains rather than brawn to overcome obstacles.

Ease of play

The puzzles and battles start off pretty easy, but become more challenging as the game progresses. Players have the option of skipping some brain breakers and coming back to solve them at a later time.

Violence

Players engage in infrequent turn-based combat against non-human spirits. Energy attacks are mild and fantastical, with ghosts simply vanishing once defeated. Some of the narrative sequences show violence as well, including one in which police officers fire bullets (without killing anyone).

Sex

Dialogue contains a few mildly suggestive words, such as “lover” and “womanizer.”

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An animated movie sequence shows a man smoking. Another depicts a man ordering an alcoholic beverage.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights is a puzzle game with a bit of simple and mild turn-based fantasy combat. It dabbles lightly in mature themes with occasional references to things like womanizing and drinking, but most of the content -- including its puzzles, which start out easy and only gradually grow more challenging -- is clearly designed for a younger audience. Parents should remember that Nintendo suggests children under the age of 7 not play 3DS games with 3D functionality switched on, as stereoscopic effects may damage developing vision. Parents can turn off the 3D functionality by using the device's parental controls.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Many gamers will instantly recognize DOCTOR LAUTREC AND THE FORGOTTEN KNIGHTS as a clone of Level-5’s popular Professor Layton games. It stars a top hat-clad archeology professor and his apprentice who use logic rather than violence to overcome obstacles, offers up a seemingly endless procession of varied puzzles ranging from crosswords to tile-based spatial reasoning conundrums, and advances its story -- which focuses on magical treasures lurking under the streets of 19th-century Paris -- via high-quality animated movies. Unlike the Professor Layton series, it adds in a dash of combat through infrequent turn-based battles that see players going up against ghost-like entities by carefully selecting various energy-based attacks. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Doctor Lautrec lacks the charisma and gentle-heartedness of Professor Layton, but he grows on the players as the game progresses. Engaging cut scenes filled with beautiful action, good writing, and memorable voice performances -- this really is one of the more polished 3DS titles available -- do a good job of drawing players into the game’s authentically twisty story.

Its puzzles and occasional battles, meanwhile, are well crafted but suffer from repetition. Unlike the Layton games, which feature hardly any repeating puzzle types, players will encounter a number of similar challenges, most notably the battles. This has the advantage of allowing players to grow familiar with and become better at certain types of tasks, but also the disadvantage of growing predictable. Doctor Lautrec is good fun, but doesn’t quite measure up to the franchise that inspired it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about ways in which games might prove unexpectedly educational. Do you feel as though you flexed your grey matter playing this game? Did its puzzles force you to use reason and think logically?

  • Families can also discuss the depiction of historical settings in games. Do you think this adventure presents an authentic recreation of 19th-century France? What’s accurate? What’s unrealistic?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Konami
Release date:December 13, 2011
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
ESRB rating:E10+ for Alcohol Reference; Mild Suggestive Themes; Mild Violence; Use of Tobacco (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bytryand December 19, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Keeps you occopied for over 50 hours.

However, the gameplay goes in a somewhat different direction. While Doctor Lautrec and his young assistant Sophie are trying to discover the hidden treasure of Louis XIV, a huge chunk of The Forgotten Knights is split into three-part missions.
First you accept a challenge, which comes with its own treasure map, and figure out the location in Paris the map relates to. Once you find the right one, you have to navigate through that location's underground maze, avoiding the police and solving puzzles to unlock doors. Finally, once you reach the treasure, you have to fight its spirit in a turn-based battle.
The Forgotten Knights has clearly had a lot of time, care and attention spent on it - the voice acting is top-notch, the fully 3D animated sequences are nice and there's enough content to keep you occupied for over 50 hours.

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