Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

I beat this game some time ago, and wanted to write a post about it. Before I go off on a tangent, I just want to say, what a great series. I played the first one (Professor Layton and the Curious Village) when it came out and loved it just as much as this one.

Ever since I was little, I loved puzzles. One of my favorites growing up was Brain Quest, which is trivia game designed for different grade levels. They’re essentially flash cards, except that they were bound on the bottom by a plastic screw, so you could fan them out (which, incidentally, led to a lot of Kitana reenactments). On each card are different topics from math, science, history, etc. It was always fun to go back and try the questions again, even though you may already know the answer. So too, do I get a similar feeling with the Layton series.

There is one set of puzzles, however, that I get frustrated with quite easily, and those are the sliding block puzzles. Another puzzle game I had growing up was Rush Hour. A game where you trapped your poor plastic car in the midst of other plastic semi-trucks and other cars. The cars could only move back and forth, and the objective was to free your car from the traffic jam. At some point playing this puzzle game, I got overly frustrated, looked at the answer card, and then just stopped playing. There’s just something horribly dejecting and depressing about these types of puzzles because you can always see your exit, but more often than not, the path to the exit is totally obscure. The same goes for some of the sliding puzzles in this game. But luckily, I only gave up on one of them, Puzzle 153: The Diabolical Box — a completely optional puzzle, but true to its title, it is quite diabolical. That’s not to say that all the puzzles are difficult to the point of giving up. Although, there was one puzzle where I broke out my graphing calculator. But in my defense, it was just to check some combinatoric calculations (5 Choose 2 and 6 Choose 2).

Aside from the one or two super difficult puzzles (that were in the optional content anyway), this game is truly a must-play. All of the puzzles are very well done and incredibly satisfying. And to top it off, the cut scenes, voice overs, and story are very entertaining as well.

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