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Non-tendo Impressions: Layton Brothers Mystery Room (iOS)

by James Charlton - September 22, 2012, 10:20 pm EDT
Total comments: 2

This is not the Layton game you were looking for.

The reason that this is a blog is because this is in fact the first Layton game not to be on a Nintendo handheld. It is actually an iOS game! (cue courtroom style gasps)

Indeed, right next to the brand new 3DS Layton games, there were several iPads and iPhones loaded up with Layton Brothers Mystery Room. I'm assuming that Nintendo has some kind of exclusivity deal with Level 5 as Professor Layton was not anywhere to be seen or heard of in this game, instead replaced with twins who may or may not be any relation to Hershel Layton at all.

The beautiful 3D polygonal graphic style of Layton 6 and Ace Attorney Vs Layton is not to be found here. Instead you primarily have traditional, 2D flash style animation. The app is presented to you like a case file. You have tabs on the sides allowing you access to character profiles and other options. You can choose which case you want to take on, which then takes you to a different screen presented in (very simple) polygonal 3D. In these scenes you are searching for clues in an area, using regular iOS device gestures like 2-finger touching, to spin around the scene.The case I chose was the possible murder of a lady in a cafe; she'd eaten a sandwich and then slumped over the table, stone cold dead. I investigated the scene and found a receipt under the table and various other clues that may or may not be useful to discovering who did it.

All of the areas you were allowed to zoom into seemed to be all pre-decided, as they were highlighted by a huge circle, thus denying the player any sense of discovery. It felt more like I was just going through the motions, checking off what the game wanted me to do in a certain order. Very mundane stuff. I was then asked to choose a culprit. I wasn't really paying much attention to anything so I just chose the chef as it seemed like the obvious answer. Turned out I was right. Yay - I guess.

There appears to be several cases for you to undertake, but with the annoying characters and boring gameplay, I can't see Layton fans enjoying this. This is the epitome of why I don't play many iOS games and why I don't think the need for dedicated gaming handheld devices will go away. It's shallow, boring and not a patch on what's available on the 3DS. Now go and read my impressions of the real Layton games please!


intervenientSeptember 23, 2012


ejamerSeptember 23, 2012

For what it's worth, I bet this less experience will be priced accordingly. I'd rather pay more for a real game experience... but know many people who prefer having quantity over quality when it comes to entertainment.

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