Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Game Poster Image

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

More great brain-teasers, with a dark but exciting plot.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with the two previous Professor Layton games, brain power is king. Layton is a world-famous puzzle-solver because of his intelligence.

Positive role models

Professor Layton and his protege, Luke, are both helpful geniuses. They prize intellect, love challenging themselves, and are always willing to help a person in need (even if that sometimes means diverting their attention away from helping someone else).

Ease of play

Several of the over 165 puzzles are incredibly challenging, but there's a great hint system in place. You spend hint coins to get up to four hints for each puzzle, including new "super hint," which spells out almost the entire solution for you if you really need it. Multiple hint coins can be found in every scene of the game.


A large explosion in an early cinematic scene, sets up main plot. No one is killed, but two people go missing after the explosion. In a later scene, another explosion is witnessed from afar, but the imagery of smoke clouds rising up from beyond city building may be frightening to some kids.The main characters are shot at by thugs wielding machine guns. No one is hurt. In response, you must construct a gun that shoots coins (this is a puzzle, of course).

Not applicable
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This is the third game is the very popular Professor Layton series of games from Nintendl.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the plot-line of puzzle-based adventure Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, just like that of previous Layton adventures, is rather dark, with an eerie foreboding atmosphere. There are a few scary moments --  including explosions, machine gun firing, and booby traps -- depicted in animated scenes. The game itself is full of clever puzzles and brainteasers and provides a great mental challenge for kids.

What's it about?

In PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE UNWOUND FUTURE, the world-famous puzzle-solving detective and his young apprentice, Luke, attend a public demonstration of a scientist's new invention: a time machine. After the time machine explodes, and the inventor and Britain's Prime Minister both vanish, Layton is on the case. Eerie and mysterious happenings occur all over London and Luke starts getting letters from his future self. As the adventure progresses and Layton seeks out the mastermind behind the time-travel abductions, players get glimpses into Professor Layton's past and learn a bit more about his character.

Is it any good?


With this being the third Layton game in the past couple of years and with the basic formula being pretty much unchanged, you might expect the quality of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future to suffer at least a little bit -- but you'd be wrong. While the format is essentially the same as in earlier games -- Layton and Luke explore the city and interview suspects and witnesses who inevitably want to challenge them with puzzles -- the plot here is perhaps the most compelling yet. The animation and voice acting are top-notch, as usual. And the puzzles are all clever, with tons of variety among them. The "super hints" are also a very nice addition that should be great help to players who may tend to get stuck on a certain type of puzzle. So while Unwound Future feels very much like its predecessors, it is still just as good as they were (if not a smidgen better).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about puzzle games vs. action games. Can games that reward fast brains as opposed to fast thumbs be just as exciting? What attracts you to a brainy game like Professor Layton?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Release date:September 12, 2010
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Violence

This review of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future was written by

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Teen, 13 years old Written byHumbleScientist April 13, 2012

Best Professor Layton game on the shelves.

The story may be a bit dark when you really think about it, but on top it's a sweet game with colorful cut scenes and great animation. It may be hard to follow for kids under the age of 10, and usually only kids 12 and up get the full effect of the game. Be warned; If you or your children are big fans of the Professor Layton series and are easily emotional, YOU WILL BAWL YOUR EYES OUT. -The Role Models- Layton, Luke, and some other characters are very good role models. Even the majority of antagonists seem regretful of what they've done. WARNING : Spoilers up ahead. -What's Negative/Dark About this game?- This game includes : Thugs, guns, kidnappings, death of a loved one, a giant destructive robot, conspiracies, trickery, a casino, orphaned children, single-minded scientists & corrupt politicians, sadness, minor characters threatening to shoot you/stab you/rearrange your kneecaps, the awfully sad ending and backstory. -Other Negatives- -The professor drinks wine in two of the cut scenes. -Awesomeness- -Unlockable character profiles/pictures/voices/cutscenes -The MUSIC (Some tracks also have live versions!) -The PUZZLES (There are super-hints now!) -Great characters -Voice acting during certain parts -Background art/cut scenes/pictures -We get to learn about Layton's past and see what's underneath his hat!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byFalcus June 26, 2014

Excellent puzzle game

Easily the best in the series of Professor Layton games, this third outing closes off the original trilogy. Some mild violence and explosions though no one is killed, plus a rather gloomy tone throughout.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old October 2, 2010
that is tho bust game
What other families should know
Too much consumerism