The Nintendo Direct is Nintendo’s triannual announcement to its fans about its latest games and software updates. Last week, the Direct revealed an interesting cast list for an upcoming movie on Mario. But this article does not speculate on an unreleased movie.
What of my comments on the latest trailer for the Zelda game? This article does not review trailers of unreleased games either. That would be “speculation” as well.
This week, I take a feather from the hat of the famed Katrielle Layton, from Layton Mystery Detective Agency, to review a game with all the facts in front of me. I played ‘Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy’.
The Layton series is a Nintendo exclusive, recently made accessible through the magic of Apple Arcade. It follows the story of a clever detective and her mission to seek out the truth, grounded in deductions made through solving puzzles.
The Layton series is for all ages. It has cute animations for kids, dialogues rich in human emotions for non-kids, and puzzles that rattle everyone equally. The game is a point-and-click, interactive mystery novel. It’s an unambiguous pick if you like puzzles.
The people in the game’s universe are obsessed with puzzles: math, logic, lateral thinking, and mazes. Solving puzzles unlocks clues and propels the story forward. This game is set in fictional London with young Katrielle solving small mysteries as part of her detective agency. In addition to over 500 in-game puzzles, the game also has several smaller side objectives.
The origin of the series dates to 2007, introducing an animated Sherlock look-alike named ‘Professor Layton’.
The story has us anticipating a complicated story rooted in science fiction. The end of the game reveals something less tangled, giving us closure that I have come to associate with the ending of an episode of Scooby-Doo.
The only problem is that it has hardly evolved in its format since 2007. There are elements that just work — like the beautifully rendered cutscenes, and the painted backdrops in the game’s map.
But the dialogues are unskippable, puzzles are automatically triggered, and there are the occasional annoying trick puzzles. It’s not a nice feeling to use up all hints and still not figure the answer. Overall, a 26/30 rating for this game.
Layton’s Mystery Journey
Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy has something for everyone. If you can solve the puzzles and move on to the next level, consider yourself clever.