New Game +: Professor Layton & The Curious Village

Image Credit: Heather Reynolds

Heather Reynolds takes a steampunk walk down memory lane, just in time for spooky season.

I’ve never been one for fighting games. I grew up being known as the one to challenge if you wanted an easy win in Smash Bros, with slow reflexes and a propensity for button mashing. This led to me not really ever being sure if I actually liked video games, or if I just liked occasionally being included in video game related things. Like most children, I wasn’t exactly endeared towards things that I felt I was bad at. 

That is, until the advent of the Nintendo DS - the first console I had that was truly mine, not technically belonging to another relative who was done with it, and was releasing games that were both new and in my price range. This led to one of the greatest discoveries of my young life - the narrative driven puzzle game.

While my reflexes may have been slow, my mind was sharp, and I blitzed through these games like there was a prize waiting at the other end. They remain to this day, even now that my reflexes are no longer those of a seven year old, my go to style of game. However, none have yet to surpass my first puzzle game love, Professor Layton & The Curious Village.

As an academic child with a superiority complex, I of course loved a detective story that hinged on completing brain teasers and logic puzzles. I speed ran that game before speed running was even a thing, just to prove I could. (My shortest time was four hours fourty, if I remember correctly.)

I revisited the game recently, partially because I wanted to see how it held up, and partially to see if the puzzles were as tricky as I remembered, and I’m glad to report that both the gameplay and puzzles were as fun as I remembered.

I had left it so long since my last playthrough that I had forgotten pretty much the entire story, besides one aspect of the twist at the end, and seeing the story unfold from that perspective really highlighted how well it was constructed. Watching the sleepy little village shape and reshape itself around Professor Layton and his ward was so nostalgic, and seeing how it created its narrative from the moment you enter the town left me desperate to talk to all of my friends who had played it.

Overall, if you’re interested in playing a cute, puzzle driven game with a creepy undercurrent this spooky season, I can recommend none more highly than Professor Layton & The Curious Village. There really is no other game like it.