No violence, loads of clever brainteasers, beautiful art, and a great role model. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy -- Deluxe Edition is the sort of game that's hard not to love. Professor Layton's daughter, Katrielle, is instantly likeable. Super smart, quick with jokes, and a keen eye for fashion to boot, she wins players' hearts right from the opening movie. And the quality of the game's presentation -- which has received an instantly noticeable HD graphical upgrade since its original release on Nintendo 3DS -- is delightful. At times it feels as though you've been thrown inside an anime film, complete with memorable characters, locations, and a dramatic, uplifting score. And with ample bonus activities tucked away in Katrielle's bag, there's always something else to explore should the player begin to tire of the main adventure.
There is a minor issue with some of the puzzles, though. While the bulk of them are wily and entertaining, they aren't quite at the consistent level of excellence seen in other Layton games. Like a good IQ test, they're wonderfully diverse, testing the player's ability to reason and catch hidden clues in a variety of ways. And, thanks to the daily puzzles set to be doled out over the game's first year, there are perhaps more here than in any previous Layton game. That said, some of the puzzle descriptions could be more clearly written. There are a handful of cases in which it feels almost impossible to understand precisely what's being asked of the player without resorting to hints, which any serious puzzle solver is hesitant to do. Puzzles should be challenging, but they should also be fair and not rely on ambiguity to stump the player. Setting this one problem aside, Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy - Deluxe Edition is another fantastic experience within this oft-overlooked franchise, and a fine introduction to the next generation of Layton.