Professor Layton and Pandora's Box

Join Professor Layton on a murderous puzzle-filled mystery romp

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Nintendo Australia Professor Layton and Pandora's Box
  • Nintendo Australia Professor Layton and Pandora's Box
  • Nintendo Australia Professor Layton and Pandora's Box
  • Nintendo Australia Professor Layton and Pandora's Box
  • Expert Rating

    5.00 / 5

Pros

  • Stunning artwork, great puzzles, characters have genuine personality.

Cons

  • An occasional silly moment in plot, there’s a long wait before Layton returns in another game.

Bottom Line

Overall this is a great puzzle game with both an entertaining story and mind-bending puzzles.

Would you buy this?

Remember the old puzzle books? The kind with page after page of mazes, tangrams and riddles that you’d buy to pass a long train ride or flight?

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box is a video game version of that kind of book, wrapped in some gorgeous artwork and an intriguing murder mystery adventure plot.

Attempting to solve the mystery behind the death of a friend, Professor Layton is at his Sherlock Holmes best as he wades through puzzle after puzzle in the pursuit of the truth, through a variety of scenic locations including a country train, quaint villages and bustling cities.

With over 150 puzzles to solve (and extras downloadable from the Nintendo Wifi service), there is plenty to do, and the puzzles range from ridiculously easy to brain-meltingly challenging. There’s a couple of extra minigames thrown in for kicks, but the bulk of the game is solving a near endless-stream of brain teasers.

Although some of the puzzles are exceedingly difficult, the game itself is relaxing to play, as it’s possible to bypass most of the puzzles, and there’s no real penalty for getting a puzzle wrong.

Although you’ll lose some points from the in-game score each time you make a mistake, you’re quite welcome to keep trying until you get it right, and the only consequence for ending up with a low score is missing out on a few minor bonus features.

Navigating through the vibrant and colourful game is done in a very point-and-click adventure game fashion, and indeed, puzzles aside, Layton plays out very much like a traditional point-and-click games we remember fondly from our childhoods. See a character you want to speak to? Tap them with the stylus. Something on the screen suspicious? Tap it too.

Exploring the game is fun, too, because the various characters all have genuine personality and charm. For a murder mystery, the game is very light-hearted, and is filled with an abundance of humour, and it’s easy to fly through the game and lose track of time.

On the down side, the transition from the adventure game to the puzzles is occasionally awkward. A number of times I’d be travelling along, completely absorbed in following up clues, and I’d bump into a character that would say something trite like, “this tree reminds me of a puzzle.”

Bam! Puzzle attack. It’s quite a jarring effect, and especially disappointing considering how seamlessly other puzzles are built into the game.

But that’s a minor gripe. The variety of puzzles, the quality of the story, and the beautiful animation makes Professor Layton an absolute must-have, and a highlight for anyone looking for a game that’s a bit different.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?