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Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the latest puzzle offering on the Nintendo DS and was selling out like hotcakes in the run up to Christmas. I managed to snag a copy at the eleventh hour and gave it to my husband as a gift that we could play together... well that was the plan. I started playing the game up on Boxing Day and have been pretty much addicted to it ever since!
The premise of the game is that Professor Layton and his side-kick Luke are visiting the village of St Mystere on a quest to solve a mystery. In order to find the mystery treasure you need to explore the curious little village and speak to the residents. What makes this point and click game special is that instead of having to pick up objects and use them elsewhere in the game (which I find extremely frustrating) you simply have to solve puzzles. Well I say 'simply' but some of the puzzles are far from simple!
Your child will need to be pretty bright.
The game cover says that it's suitable for ages 7 and upwards, but your child will need to be pretty bright; some of the puzzles have had at least three adults stumped! The puzzles range from spacial awareness, to maths to just plain simple logic.
If you get stuck you can pay for up to three hints using clue coins that you collect on your travels around the village. All of the solved puzzles are stored so that you can challenge your friends and family later.
The next time I looked up nearly two hours had passed!
One of the reasons I love this game so much is that it's easy to pick up and put down. You can play for five minutes at a time or five hours. I should warn you though, last night I picked it up for a quick puzzle in an advert break, and fell into some strange space time continum; the next time I looked up nearly two hours had passed! Probably best to keep your wits about you if you're on the bus or train.
I think this is the best video game I have ever played; the graphics are great even on the DS, the sound effects and voice overs add to the experience and there is a perfect mix of point and click and puzzles. It is certainly keeping me engaged and entertained and may well be the first game I ever play to completion. I can wholeheartedly recommend it!
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