Should I Buy? – Professor Layton And Pandora’s Box


Also known as Professor Layton and the Diabolic Box because apparently Americans will buy games based around logic and puzzles but Pandora’s Box is too obscure a reference. Then again, the box in the title is never called the Diabolical Box and very rarely as Pandora’s Box. I can understand how the Elysian Box (as in the Elysian Fields of the Greek Paganist afterlife) would be a tad too obscure though.

I really do admire Layton's hat

Mythology aside, this is the sequel to Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The differences between this game and the last are mostly in the areas of plot as you’re still wandering around solving puzzles on the slightest justification.

How British is Professor Layton (despite being a Japanese game)? Brewing tea is a gameplay mechanic. Yeah.

The ones on offer are all new and test the same wide variety of mental skills like spatial awareness, knowledge of mathematical formulae etc. So if that’s your kind of thing then so is Professor Layton.

The plot this time around concerns Luke and Layton investigating the mystery surrounding the titular box, which leads them onto a train with a destination not marked on any map. The art and music haven’t undergone any significant upgrade, everything’s just a vehicle for the puzzles. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still fantastic, just nothing has changed significantly between the first game and this.

The puzzles are all fine and rely less on tricky wordplay, but the story doesn’t pan out as well as the first one. It has the same big ending twist, but its fraught with logical problems and doesn’t have the same kind of foreshadowing that the first one did.

If you want puzzles wrapped in a charming package any entry in the series would do, personally I’d say start with the first game. Not as a matter of continuity, I’d just say it worked better.

Give this one a try

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