When this game was first announced, I was quite skeptical: a Level 5 adventure game, for the Nintendo DS that looks like an European cartoon sounded too amazing and risky at the same time to end up being a good game.
I should have never doubted from Level 5, Layton is an incredible game. It literally grabbed me from the first half hour when the main characters, Layton and his apprentice Luke, head to St. Mystere to find the Golden Apple. Even before getting to the village, the first puzzle gives you a taste of what's ahead. And be prepared, because there are over 100 of them.
Layton and Luke will encounter plenty of mysteries that they must solve by talking to the town's inhabitants, which will only cooperate if you solve riddles and brain teasers. There's a wide variety of puzzles: math, logic, tongue twisters and some of them make no sense.
The animated cutscenes look great, and they are fully voice acted! That's someting that Nintendo owners are not used to! Thought it seems that all the budget went on the cutscenes and the voice actors, because the music gets repetitive quite fast.
If I had to complain about anything, it'd have to be that some of the puzzles follow absolutely no logic and I had to have a look at some FAQs to find the answer. I don't really mind if my mind has been so dumbed down by TV and computer games that I cannot solve a simple math puzzle. But when the answer is something completely random, I feel that the developer is not being fair with the player.
When I started the game I thought: "Wow, this game is like brain training, but fun! Every kid should play this!" but as the game progressed, I started to believe that this game was actually conceived for somebody like me. The puzzles can get really hard and I believe kids won't be able to solve them. Also some of the plots of the story are a bit dark, which are more suitable for more mature audiences.
At the end of the day, if you like adventure games and puzzles, you will love Layton. It is very hard to resist its charm and the as the story unfolds, it is inevitable to start caring about the characters. The ending is great, loved it and left me wanting for more. Thanks God there's a "Professor Layton and Pandora's box" in the pipeline :)