Parents' Guide to

Layton's Mystery Journey

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Lighter tale in Layton series charms, but story disappoints.

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Fans of the Professor Layton series expect three things: charm, fun puzzles, and a great story, but while this colorful spin-off aces the first two, it fails at telling a cohesive story. The main problem is that it begins by saying that Katrielle's famous dad is missing, so you expect the story to revolve around that point, or at least touch upon it. For some odd reason though, it doesn't.

Kat and company go about building up the Layton Detective Agency as if it's business as usual, and it's not until several cases in that mention is even made of Hershel Layton. Nothing comes of it, though. Kat simply sidesteps the issue and keeps going. If not for that glaring omission, and the fact that the game doesn't actually let you solve anything (cases are solved by simply pressing a "solve" button), Layton's Mystery Journey would earn higher marks. Puzzles offer a range of logic and visual problems, and the cast of kooky characters keeps the tone humorous and fun. Music and voice acting are great, and the graphics are in perfect keeping with other Layton games. What really gives this Layton game its identity though, is its mini-games. These increase replayability and provide a whimsical break from puzzle solving. Still, the fun can't help but be watered down by the unanswered question of Hershel Layton's whereabouts. Where is Professor Layton, and why isn't his daughter looking for him?

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