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Layton Brothers: Mystery Room – iOS

Layton Brothers: Mystery Room – iOS

Platform: iOS
Developer: Level-5 and Matrix Software
Publisher: Level-5
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Nerd Rating: 9/10
Reviewed by Princess Psych

We’ve all had that moment. The moment when you finish a game in a series and you’re satisfied because that was one hell of an ending but you’re also sitting there freaking out because it’s one in the morning and GameStop is closed but you just need more and the only obvious way to sate your hunger is to see if there’s anything, anything, pertaining to your game online like a comic or movie or anything. Now what do you do when the only thing readily available is an iOS game set in the same universe but with different characters? You get it.

A lot of times doing this sort of thing can be greatly disappointing because most of the time the games just don’t add up. You’re used to a certain play style and certain characters and you just feel empty playing the spin-off. This isn’t the case with Layton Brothers: Mystery Room.   

While the characters are different, you can certainly tell it’s the same universe and the same creators. Each character, even the minor ones, has a unique look and way of acting about them. And while there is no rival to the great Professor Layton, his son Alfendi certainly doesn’t leave anything wanting. Not only is he a clever and witty man when himself, but when he really gets into a case, well, he practically becomes another person.

layton 1

Alfendi Layton literally becoming someone else.

(And he ain’t exactly bad to look at am I right ladies?)

You play the game as Lucy Baker, a new detective constable who is paired up with Alfendi for various cases. The North American release of the game changes the spellings of words to portray dialects, in Lucy’s case a heavy Yorkshire accent which can become bothersome to read for long periods of time. And though her accent can become overbearing and annoying at times, Lucy’s vibrant personality makes up for her devastating grammar. Both of these characters are interesting enough on their own, but when put together in a room their chemistry brings humor and wit to a new high.

layton 2

Screenshot of your first official case’s crime scene

The gameplay is extremely different from the Professor Layton games. You spend a majority of the game in a mock-up of the real crime scene, only leaving your offices for the last few cases. In this model you’re shown various points of interest and you have to go around and collect evidence. Some of it is useful, some of it is garbage, and there’s a fair amount of red herrings in there too. Unfortunately it’s difficult to tell what you need to examine for the case and what is just throwaway junk so you waste a lot of time going about reading things that you don’t need, and when the game only gives you 5 minutes to investigate you really don’t want to miss out on any extra time. However, anything you do find gets stored in your notebook and you come back to the crime scene a few times during questioning to go over anything you missed.

 

layton 7

Answer questions and use evidence to discover the nature of the crime

Once you’ve examined the entire room you’ll be given some questions to answer that will eventually help you find the culprit. During each question Alfendi will walk you through a scenario and you’ll have to give evidence and opinions in order to solve the puzzle. For example if you were trying to figure out who ate your sandwich, you’d be prompted to provide a cat hair as evidence and suggest that the cat probably ate your sandwich.

layton 8

The clue board where you must answer each question to help you discover the criminal

After you’ve discovered who the criminal is, they’ll be called in for questioning. During this time you and Alfendi walk through the whole crime scenario, throwing out evidence and speculation along the way while the culprit tries to defend themselves with lies and their own speculations. If you’ve correctly chosen the criminal, you’ll eventually break through and expose them, if not you’ll simply lose and go back to your questions board.

Layton Brothers: Mystery Room has 9 cases in total, and you get the first 3 for free. The first cases are easy and allow you to get acquainted with the gameplay with ease. After that you can buy the next two installments, two groups of 3 cases, for $1.99 and $0.99. They’re well worth the three dollars. The second installment really tests you, kicking up the difficulty and making the crimes more complex. And the third installment is what you’ve been waiting for: answers. The last few cases have you outside of your office tracking a murderer and finally figuring out what the hell is going on with Alfendi, and trust me, the ending is in line with the endings of Professor Layton’s games.

While the game is in many ways different from the other Layton games, there are also similarities. As mentioned earlier, all the characters are just as vibrant and alive as the ones in Layton’s games. The music is that perfect background music that is amazing to listen to but doesn’t get in the way of your concentration. The music also sounds similar to those of the old Noir detective movies which really helps set the mood for this delectable mystery game. The art is amazing and while you do miss out on those amazing cut-scenes, you get some pretty nice pictures instead.

layton 5

If you’re looking for another Professor Layton game, then keep looking. However, if you’re looking for a game set in the same universe, with amusing characters and a plot that won’t leave you hanging then stop looking because you’ve found it. There aren’t many spin-off games that leave your heart racing with joy like the original games, but Layton Brothers: Mystery Room certainly is one of them.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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