Professor Layton And The Unwound Future

Travel Through Time With the Professor in a Perplexing Puzzle Story

What It Is

I loved the first Professor Layton game (The Curious Village) but never picked up the second one (The Diabolical Box). It had nothing to do with the game itself, I just never bought it. Maybe it got lost in the shuffle of too many games coming out at the same time. Whatever the case was, I’ve been playing the latest Layton title, Professor Layton And The Unwound Future for a few days now, and I love it.

The Professor Layton series are puzzle-solving games where the puzzles are woven into a mysterious story that the Professor and his assistant, Luke, are trying to solve. The professor and Luke work their way through the story with the help of the player directing their movements and solving puzzles presented by the people and places encountered as the story unfolds. These games are like interactive eBook tales filled with puzzles for the reader to solve.

The story in Unwound Future, involves a mysterious letter from 10 years in the future and a scientist who claims to have built a time machine. After the scientist and the Prime Minister step into the time machine, the machine blows up, and it’s up to Professor Layton and Luke to find out what happened.

Why It’s Fun

It’s all about the puzzles! There are more than 165 puzzles in Unwound Future and they range from simple brain-teasers to complex riddles. There are even some math-based problems thrown in. Some puzzles are mazes that require you to get from the start to the finish. They look simple at first, but these mazes usually have obstacles within them, such as banana peels that when crossed, force you to slide until you hit a wall of the maze. The challenge then becomes getting through the maze while trying to figure out what route to take to avoid slipping past the exit. Other puzzles require you to find the answer hidden in an item, such as the Key Puzzle that I’m currently stuck on. Somewhere in the picture of two keys is a number that will open a lock.

Each puzzle is explained after you solve it. This might sound pointless but its very rewarding to discover that the reasoning you used to solve a puzzle was correct and it wasn’t just dumb luck that led you to the correct answer.

Puzzles are worth Picarats, which are points that indicate a puzzle’s difficulty. The more picarats a puzzle is worth, the tougher it is. When you submit an incorrect answer for a puzzle, the number of picarats you earn from that puzzle decreases. The more picarats you earn, the more bonus content you unlock in the Top Secret area, which is opened once you finish the game.

Who’s Going To Love It

Anyone who enjoys puzzles, riddles and brain games will love Unwound Future. The puzzles might be too difficult for kids under the age of eight but they will enjoy the story, which makes this a great game for adults to play with kids.

You don’t have to have played or know anything about the previous Layton games to enjoy this one.

What To Be Aware Of

There is no difficulty setting (easy, medium, hard) in this game. However, the puzzles range in difficulty and you have the opportunity to purchase three hints using coins easily collected throughout the game. If you can’t solve a puzzle or just want to move on and try it later you can, but some puzzles must be solved in order to progress the story.

Each week, downloadable puzzles will be available for a limited time. You will need a WiFi enabled DS to download these puzzles.

Fun Scale

4 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Professor Layton And The Unwound Future
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated: Everyone 10+

System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1

SRP: $29.99
Available: Now, at most major retail, toy, gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: September 12, 2010
Date of Review: September 2010

*Rating determined by the ESRB


What do you think about Professor Layton And The Unwound Future?

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