Can Layton make the Switch?
Puzzlers will have been delighted to finally see Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy make it onto the Nintendo Switch this month, over a year after it launched in Japan.
The Level-5 game is the seventh main entry in the Professor Layton series and follows a new protagonist, Katrielle.
Fans of the series will no doubt be well aware of this latest Switch release given it first launched on 3DS two years ago.
But for those new to the game, it focuses on Katrielle, the daughter of famous archaeologist and puzzle-solver Professor Hershel Layton.
With the help of her assistant Ernest Greeves, she solves cases in and around London, alongside a talking dog that, for reasons unknown, only the two of them can understand.
The Switch control system is not as intuitive as the 3DS it has to be said. But if all we have to suffer is a touch of clunkiness to enjoy Layton on Switch then I’m all for it.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist
Unlike previous Layton titles, Mystery Journey has no definitive storyline in the traditional sense.
Instead the premise builds towards a cliffhanger conclusion.
When her father vanishes, Katrielle goes off in search of him, coming across various puzzles and mysteries along the way.
The game is split into 12 distinct cases, with one overall theme, rather than one continuous story separated by chapters.
The biggest question in my mind was how would the Switch accommodate a game that was so intrinsically at home on the 3DS with its dual-screen and stylus-operated touch-screen.
But all my fears were allayed when as I quickly got the hang of the Switch’s innovative control system mixing controller, touch-screen and motion controls. And all with the added bonus of being able to enjoy Layton’s charming style on the big screen too.
This deluxe edition of Layton contains all the puzzles from the original release but also comes jam-packed with all the DLC content AND 40 brand new puzzles - giving gamers more than 500 to tackle in total.
As ever the aesthetics are superb and there is nothing quite like settling down to become engrossed in this genre-leading franchise.
As with a good mystery novel, puzzle games are only ever as strong as the writing at its foundation. And as anyone who has played the 3DS version will know, the wit, twists, turns and humour here are top drawer.
The game should come with a warning, though, as many of the complex puzzles will prod and poke at your brain like an annoying child until you solve them! But this makes for some of the greatest satisfaction you can enjoy in a video game when you do crack the puzzles.
Although the lack of an overarching storyline may disappoint some, it does mean you can pick up and play in little bursts which not only suits a hectic lifestyle but also fits in well with the Switch’s own pick-up-and-play functionality.
The Switch control system is not as intuitive as the 3DS it has to be said. But if all we have to suffer is a touch of clunkiness to enjoy Layton on Switch then I’m all for it.