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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The Game's Afoot!

Hey folks, it's another week and another cartoon.

If you're a mystery buff and/or like brain teasers then you'll love Professor Layton and the Curious Village on the Nintendo DS. It's a charming game and a charming story about a very clever man, his apprentice, and a strange little town with mysteries around every corner. The bulk of the game is about solving brain teasers - you know, the kinds of logic puzzles that often have trick answers that have you smacking yourself on the forehead when you realize the answer. Not all of them have trick answers, but more than a few of them seek to mislead you. But fret not! There are hints to the puzzles that you can purchase with handy hint coins that can be found hidden around the village.

As you solve the puzzles, more and more of the story unfolds, often presented with some very nice animated segments (there are 16 segments in all in the game and you're given the option of seeing them again once you've finished the game.

In addition to the main story, you will be collecting pieces to other puzzles that unlock bonus puzzle areas. In true Nintendo "gotta collect 'em all" fashion, you'll be poking into every nook and cranny until you've found all of the 120 puzzles in the game. With the 15 bonus puzzles, there are 135 puzzles in all and more available for download each week via a wi-fi connection.

This game strikes just the right balance between story and puzzle. Not once did I think "Oh, not another puzzle!" or "No! Not more exposition!" I was always eager for the next clue or challenge that the game presented to me.

If you're like me, you won't put the game down until you've reached the conclusion - at which point you'll be begging for more after only a few days of intense playing (a sequel appears to be in the works). But then you can finally get on to other things. Like those other games you bought.


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