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Children's Video Game Review:

Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS

Video Game Review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Children's Video Game for the Nintendo DS

By Nintendo

Our Recommended Age: Ages 7-up

Released: August 2009

Our Rating: A+



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's video game reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a wonderful family puzzle game for the Nintendo DS. Appealing to youngsters and adults alike, the game provides a gentle detective storyline as a backdrop to a series of 135 brainteaser puzzles which will keep children entertained for weeks. Crucially, the puzzles are perfectly pitched, with a significant number achievable for children as young as seven, providing hints and the facility to return to tough ones, as well as encouraging children and parents to play together.

Review: The Nintendo DS was built for puzzle games-- the DS is the perfect console that you can carry around, allowing you to dip in and out of a game whenever you have the time. This does mean that there are a lot of puzzle games out there--and, truth of the matter is, a lot of them are less hit and more miss. Some take the challenge too far with difficult puzzles or the need to keep clicking around the screen for that exact pixel that will reveal a secret. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the perfect balance of puzzle game, mixing the need for storyline with a regular stream of puzzles of various types. Crucially you can never get stuck on one particular puzzle; you can move on, jumping back whenever another solution strikes you, and hints are provided throughout, at a cost of course.

The story is simple. Professor Layton, a kind of Sherlock Holmes character, and his sidekick Luke have arrived at a village, renowned for its love of puzzles. They quickly become embroiled in a murder mystery. As the professor navigates around the village he talks to various characters, each of whom invariably has a puzzle that needs solving, either to assist them, or so that the Professor can prove himself worthy of their help.

The key to the game is the puzzles, which are traditional brainteaser type, many of which will be familiar, yet different enough to require some thought, with the solution always tantalizingly close. Some can be solved quickly, while others may take more effort and minutes,  or require resorting to use of some hints, at the cost of a few game points. The beauty of the puzzles is their appeal to all age ranges. Children as young as seven will be able to solve a significant number of the 135 puzzles available without help and will find the whole experience really rewarding and perhaps even confidence-building. There are plenty to keep grownups satisfyingly frustrated for weeks too.

In summary, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a wonderful family game that is suitable for a wide range of gamers. Children will find the game engaging and parents will find it something they can play with their children, giving gentle hints, and they'll enjoy the challenge along the way.

This is a "smart" game that draws children in with an intriguing adventure story line--it's not just a collection of puzzles. The puzzles are untimed, so that kids can work at their own pace. As well, they're challenging but doable. To extend the life of the product, additional content can be downloaded using the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.
 

Pros:

  • Satisfyingly challenging
  • Large amount of content for the price.

Cons:

  • None noted.

 

Our Rating:

A+


more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS.

Reviewed: August 2009

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see also:

Gift Guides for Kids 9-up

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 



 

Professor Layton and the Curious Village for DS

 

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