Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

September 22, 2010

Another year, another Layton game. And they’re smart, well-made games, but as people who’ve played the first two know, each entry is essentially an expansion pack of puzzles. So we’ll focus on the changes in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.

First, though, a primer for the uninitiated. Each game follows Professor Layton and his assistant Luke as they wander around an alternate version of Britain with two major differences. First is that everyone’s involved in some sort of mysterious activity. Layton and Luke are on the case, trying to uncover the overarching mystery and smaller ones on the way. The second? Everyone’s obsessed with puzzles. Everyone. All the time. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief. 

Anyway, though there are more Layton games coming, it is the end of the story chronologically. (At least for Luke.) So while the titles are fairly interchangeable, this has a larger amount of references to series tropes and should be played last of the three currently released. The installment involves time travel, and as such many of the puzzles are time-themed. There are more animations this time, and there’s a little more voice acting. The latter may not be a plus for everyone.

There are a few additions to the system. The “memo” feature added in the last installment now includes colored pens (which are more useful than you’d think). The minigames are different now. That’s about it.

Ultimately, this is a great addition to the series, and if you enjoyed the previous games, pick it up. But if you’re not interested in a third helping of puzzles, there’s not much to bring you into the fold.

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.