A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game has positive messages about the importance of using your mind to solve puzzles and mysteries found in life.
Positive Role Models
While a few characters are sneaky and dishonest, the main characters are kind, helpful, and intellectually curious.
Ease of Play
The game is easy to play by using the stylus. Solving the puzzles can be challenging, but the game has an excellent hint system where you can get up to 3 hints per puzzle.
Violence & Scariness
There is one sword fight but no one is hurt.
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In one scene a character makes a derogatory comment about the large size of a woman, saying that her dress "is big enough to be a bedspread."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few references to wine, such as commenting that the wine on the table "costs and arm and a leg."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this challenging puzzle adventure is a great way to combine education with gaming. The over 150 logic puzzles are incorporated into an interesting mystery. While some of the puzzles must be solved to move the story along, others can be skipped and/or tackled later. All of the puzzles have three very helpful hints, so few seem impossible to solve. There is discussion of death and one fight in which no one is injured. Given the complexity of some of the puzzles, we have set the age appropriateness of this game at age 12 and up. Additional puzzles can be downloaded by using the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.
Is It Any Good?
What makes this puzzle game so much fun is that most of the puzzles fit nicely into the story. For example, when the train needs to switch tracks inside a tunnel, you must solve a puzzle about moving two trains between switching areas while keeping the cars in order. Other puzzles are presented by quirky characters; and, if you don't solve their puzzle, they won't tell you what they know. But not all puzzles are tied to moving the story forward; some you can skip with no consequence, and visit them later.
Another reason this game is so good is because it is structured to help you succeed. At each location, you can hunt for hint coins by simply tapping on objects in a scene. With these coins, you can purchase up to three hints for every puzzle. The game reminds you where you are in the story and provides you with a journal to consult, which is helpful since this is a complicated story. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is a visually exciting game, with wonderful hand-drawn watercolor scenes. Plus the dialogue is witty and some of it is even spoken aloud. All in all, this is a superb game for kids ages 12 and up and all adults who love logic puzzles.
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.