A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can practice thinking analytically. Hundreds of cleverly devised conundrums force players to analyze evidence in a variety of ways, from working out clues in word problems to finding routes through complex pipe mazes to organizing shapes according to specific rules. Success demands a range of approaches, from simply relying on logic to identifying tricks and red herrings.
The story promotes the notion that using your brain to solve problems is fun. It rewards kids who take the time to understand puzzles without using hints, and has a progressive agenda that promotes gender equality, friendship, and giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Positive Role Models
Katrielle is a terrific protagonist. Smart, confident, and playfully sassy, she approaches every obstacle firmly believing that she and her companions have what it takes to overcome it. Her friends trust her implicitly, and are happy to learn from her experience and abilities.
Ease of Play
The puzzles range from easy to surprisingly tough, but each one comes not only with its own instructions but also a set of optional hints that players can access using limited coins earned through play. The final hint is usually so clear as to nearly give away the puzzle's solution.
Violence & Scariness
Characters never engage in violence, but they do discuss murder and suicide as possible explanations for a death they investigate.
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Products & Purchases
The latest title in the Professor Layton franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy - Deluxe Edition is a mystery adventure exclusively for the Nintendo Switch filled with puzzles starring a strong female protagonist. This is the latest chapter in the Professor Layton franchise. Players take on the role of Katrielle, a smart, confident, and playfully sassy young woman who has opened a detective agency in London. She and her friends -- including a starry-eyed assistant and a talking dog -- take on a series of mysterious cases, each of which involves a variety of puzzles. Some conundrums involve shifting shapes, others involve basic math skills, and still more focus on identifying clues within cleverly worded blocks of text. Players are rewarded for thinking both analytically and creatively, using a mix of logic and red-herring-detection skills to riddle out the truth. Some puzzles can be pretty hard, but players earn coins through play that can be spent on hints that can help tame even the toughest brainteasers. While characters don't engage in violence, they do discuss murder and suicide as the explanation for a death they investigate.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.