A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Layton Brothers Mystery Room is an adventure/puzzle game starring the son of Professor Layton from the popular video game series. Users solve a series of sometimes grisly murders; you'll analyze evidence and question suspects to find the culprit. The game contains several adult themes, including murder, adultery, sexual trysts, and smoking. Although the way it's presented is not graphic, these themes may be a bit too much for young children.
What's it about?
You'll play as Lucy, a young detective, who's the assistant to Inspector Alfendi Layton. Players analyze a crime scene by tapping on evidence in various areas and zooming in for a closer look with a slider bar at the bottom of the screen. This gives you a good sense of how the crime was committed, plus evidence to confront suspects. You can question suspects by choosing from a list of possible responses to find contradictions to their alibis. Once you've selected the correct suspect and broken down his or her argument and defenses with logical answers, the case is solved.
Is it any good?
The Professor Layton series is a terrifically popular puzzle franchise for the Nintendo DS and 3DS. LAYTON BROTHERS MYSTERY ROOM shares the same name but not the same style of gameplay. A more apt comparison is the Ace Attorney series. That's not to say Layton Brothers Mystery Room is a lesser game. It's not. It is, in fact, a well-paced series of whodunnits filled with mystery, oddball characters, and (quite often) humor. The fact that you're able to make several mistakes along the way makes it accessible to a wider range of players -- and although it's not particularly hard to solve the mysteries, it does take time, making the potential investment in extra cases worthwhile.