Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Game Poster Image
More great brain-teasers, with a dark but exciting plot.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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).


This is the third game is the very popular Professor Layton series of games from Nintendl.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKenChanCake July 26, 2011

A kind gentlemen encouraging children to keep their brains active

If you're looking for an educational and yet fun game for tweens and older, you're looking at the right series!
Adult Written byMary1216 April 3, 2011

Fun and exciting

I absolutely love this game! It was interesting, engaging and a lot of fun. The plot twists were incredible. Some of the puzzles might be difficult for younger... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 8, 2018

Ouch. The puzzles are harder than Ujian Nasional. :(

The puzzles are hard... Even harder than Ujian Nasional. I don’t recommend this for kids... :(
But I love Future Luke. He looks like my cousin btw... :3
Teen, 13 years old Written byFuture Mrs. Layton January 10, 2017


Ok, this game is so much fun and good, but that ending. It had me all choked up!

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).

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: September 12, 2010
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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