Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Common Sense Media says

Fun puzzler with challenging conundrums, super role models.

Age(i)

2
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with other games in the Professor Layton series, The Azran Legacy is all about using brains rather than brawn to accomplish objectives. It encourages a love of puzzles and intellectual growth and suggests there's no conundrum that can't be solved if you put your mind to it.   

Positive role models

Professor Layton is a perfect gentleman, always eager to do well by others. Protective of his friends, cautious in his endeavors, and reliably clever, he prefers using his intellect over violence as a means of solving problems. His young companions Emmy and Luke clearly aim to model their behavior after the doctor and want nothing more than to impress him with their wits and moral judgment.    

Ease of play

Some of the puzzles are quite challenging, but hint coins collected while playing can be used to unlock up to five clues for each puzzle. These clues start off vague, providing only slight hints that won't ruin the puzzle, but the final ones pretty much give it away and can be useful for players who are really struggling. The upshot is that there's little worry of stalling out midway simply because a player can't solve a particular puzzle. 

Violence

Violence is discussed -- evil cartoonish characters sometimes talk in vague terms about hurting people -- but rarely shown. On those occasions when violence actually occurs, people generally aren't hurt. Machine guns fire without hitting anyone; missiles approach the camera but disappear without visual impact. One sequence depicts a character being stabbed, but the player is not in control of the action, and no blood is shown.  

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of Nintendo's popular Professor Layton series, which includes several other games and a movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A scene set in a pub allows players to briefly interact with a man who's clearly imbibed a bit too much beer and is slurring his words.

Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a narrative-driven adventure filled with hundreds of puzzles. As in previous Layton games, its heroes -- including a professor, a young woman, and a boy -- are very likable and make great role models for kids. They stop to help strangers, rarely back down from a challenge, and always use their heads rather than their fists to overcome obstacles. There's a bit more action than in previous games, with the protagonists occasionally coming under fire from guns and missiles. But the violence is rare and mild and at no point overshadows the game's hundreds of brainteasers. Even when under attack from rockets, players still need to solve puzzles, examining numbers stamped on each one to disable them in order. And, as usual, a generous supply of hints helps ensure that kids who are struggling never get completely stuck.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • geometry
  • patterns
  • arithmetic

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • deduction

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Beautiful anime-style presentation and a straightforward interface will help keep kids glued to this excellent puzzler. Both boys and girls have heroes to identify with in young Luke and Emmy.

Learning Approach

Puzzles present themselves organically as narrative events and feel like a natural part of the game. Kids will end up doing math and improving their reading comprehension without even realizing it. 

Support

Multiple hints for each puzzle are available as players need them. They start vague and slowly grow in detail, the final one virtually giving the solution away. No official supports exist outside the game, but none are needed.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • geometry
  • patterns
  • arithmetic

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • deduction

Kids can learn about puzzle solving while practicing a variety of core skills learned in school in this fun and charming adventure. A diverse range of cleverly constructed conundrums force kids to do math, carefully read and re-read instructions, clues, and hints, and employ logic and their understanding of the world in order to noodle out solutions. Their reward is a tangible sense of satisfaction. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy teaches kids that most problems can be overcome by clear thought, perseverance, and maybe the occasional helpful hint.  

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

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Kids say

What's it about?

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE AZRAN LEGACY continues the story of earlier Layton games, focusing on the mysteries of a prehistoric civilization known as the Azran. At the behest of another professor, the puzzle-loving doctor and his young friends Emmy and Luke are called to a snowy village, where they find a woman apparently frozen in ice for a million years yet still alive. She's of interest not only to the game's heroes but also to their rivals, an evil organization called Targent, whose members believe she may be the key to unlocking the Azrans' ancient power. This sets the stage for a journey to locations all around the globe, with no shortage of contextual puzzles lying in wait at each stop. Players will encounter math-based riddles, spatial conundrums, tricky labyrinths, and tests of reason. Each puzzle is different from the one that precedes it. And, as in previous Layton games, even more puzzles -- including a fashion game and a pair of logic-based challenges that see players manipulating objects adhering to strict rules -- can be found inside the professor's suitcase, which he takes everywhere with him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Layton games have always been catnip for puzzle lovers who are tired of repetitive, one-trick puzzle games, and Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is no different. Few of the game's hundreds of puzzles are alike, and most of them are wonderfully crafty and loaded with red herrings, requiring players to carefully reread the instructions in search of clues that will help reveal the real solution. There's a delightful sense of satisfaction upon a successful solve.

The only potential problem is that, although all the puzzles are technically new, a surprising number of them feel like reworked versions of puzzles that appeared in previous Layton games. This won't be an issue for relative newcomers to the series, who will find it all very fresh and likely will have a fine time from start to finish. Longtime Layton fans, on the other hand, may find themselves wishing for a bit more originality.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about puzzle solving. Have you ever noticed how stepping back and taking a break from a particularly frustrating conundrum sometimes makes it easier to solve when you return? Why do you think that might be?

  • Families also can discuss Luke's role in the game. He's pretty young to be going on such a dangerous adventure. Do you think Professor Layton is cautious enough with him around? Do you think you would handle such an adventure as maturely as he does?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:February 28, 2014
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Adventures, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Violence, Use of Alcohol (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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; OK 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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Teen, 15 years old Written byJonafern March 26, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a fantastic title for the Nintendo 3DS and concludes the series in a phenomenal way. The game features around 150 or so puzzles that make up the bulk of the game. The puzzles are challenging, and can strengthen the old noggin by thinking through them. Most of the characters are good role models, but some of the antagonists have grown to the peak of insanity and will do whatever they have to do to get what they want, whether it be through lies, deceit, and even at one point "murder". The violence in the game is much higher than that of the other games, with characters often pulling out guns and being shot at. One scene involves a street fight, another with a gunship fight. One scene shows houses, tanks, and cities being destroyed, and one character is stabbed in the heart. Despite the violence, there is no blood and gore, and it is very rare for a character to be seriously injured. Overall, the game is very good and I believe it is appropriate for audiences 13+.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old April 11, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

The Legacy of the Azran..

This game was very good. The puzzles were excellent, and the characters were timeless. Since Miracle Mask, the 3D models have improved greatly, with smoother animation and it looks fabulous. The plot is absorbing, although the 'calmer' places (The one with the poponos) can be a bore. Plot twists await in the Azran Legacy... And it will make you cry. 9.9/10
Teen, 13 years old Written byMadelineMini November 8, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

A Beautiful and Underrated Game!

This game is absolutely beautiful, it has beautiful music and worlds, I love this game! The puzzles are pretty easy and fun, they can be a bit hard sometimes so I think this game is 10+! This game actually made me cry a little at the end, the story was really good. I feel like I'm going on an adventure or reading a good book whenever I play Professor Layton. A great game!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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