A screenshot from Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy.
Scholar, gentleman and puzzle solver extraordinaire Professor Layton is hanging up his top hat for good. Fortunately, his final handheld adventure is one of his best.
Azran closely follows the template that has made the good Professor’s games so beloved. There’s an intriguing and engaging story, some memorable characters, plenty of charm and humour, and over 150 riddles and brainteasers to give your noggin a serious workout.
This time around there’s also some gentle action sequences to add to the tension and drama, which rather than feeling incongruous are fun and appropriate additions.
Collectible mini-games add further variety, including dress-up challenges and obstacle courses.
The most significant change is the ability to choose your own route through the five self-contained yet interconnected mysteries. It’s a welcome advance (particularly when you feel stuck) and thanks to a fancy airship you can freely travel between locations as diverse as Russia, South Africa and London.
Most of the puzzles cleverly relate to what is currently unfolding in the plot, and as before the booty you earn is dependent on the difficulty of the conundrum.
There’s a good variety of head-scratching puzzles. As always, the mind-benders are wonderfully satisfying to solve, even if you require a hint or two.
Some series veterans might find the brainteasers less of a challenge than past outings, but it’s hard to judge whether they are genuinely easier or the five previous Layton games have dramatically honed our puzzle-solving skills.
What is certain is that fans will be keen to solve them all, and will really enjoy the final twist in Azran’s tale.
It’s sad to see Layton retire but it has certainly been a pleasure to play his unique adventures.
These are wonderful games which have favoured intelligence, humour and charm over mindless aggression.
Hat’s off to you, prof.
What have you been playing lately?
- Jason Hill