Nintendo DS Prof. Layton und die Schatulle der Pandora
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“There are tales of a box that brings death to anyone who dares to open it”
The redoubtable Professor Layton is back and this time he’s taking on the mystery of the life-threatening Elysian Box. No laughing matter, this is a box so evil that prising open the lid might be the last thing you do.
The story opens with the perceptive pair awaiting the arrival of the Molentary Express – an old-fashioned steam engine ready to whisk them away on an all-new outing. Unlike the first episode, which was entirely based in the curious village of St Mystere, this time you’ll visit a number of locations on your quest. The delightful hand-drawn animation that was one of the highlights of the first game remains just as enticing in the second episode. In fact, there’s even more depth and detail to the animation this time round, and using both screens for cut scenes adds a cinematic and immersive quality to the storyline.
The events leading up to the boarding of the Molentary Express are then filled in for you. The good Professor has received a letter from his colleague, Dr Andrew Schrader, detailing the perils of the Elysian Box and asking Layton to carry on his search for the artifact in the event of anything untoward befalling him. Naturally, the alarmed Layton decides to track down his friend before anything troublesome transpires.
So, off set the duo to find the doctor and it’s straight into the first puzzle. In order to locate him, you need to assemble a map from various torn fragments. This isn’t a new puzzle idea by any means, but there’s a small twist to the task that adds a little sprinkle of Layton magic.
You arrive at your destination in good time, and a pretty part of the city it is too, with cobbled streets and colourful bystanders. Time to suss out which of the flats belongs to Schrader. This time, you’re treated to a tricky logic puzzle, which might take you more than one shot to solve.
Layton fans will be happy to hear that the puzzles remain just as confounding as in the first game and, on the evidence of the first few, are integrated convincingly into the storyline. The environment is more interactive in this episode too, with more objects to investigate in each scene and a good deal more spoken dialogue.
- Category: Puzzle, Adventure
- Players: 1
- Age rating: 7+