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Video Game of the Week – Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Lost in the headlines and the hype surrounding this week’s release of the M-rated Halo: Reach is the launch of another title in a critically acclaimed video game series. Only this one couldn’t be more different form the violent world of cyber-soldiers and alien combat.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future marks the third installment in the delightful Professor Layton puzzle series for the Nintendo DS. Carrying on where the first two installments left off, Unwound Future combines challenging brain-teasers with lively action and compelling story-telling.

In this latest adventure, Professor Layton and his young understudy Luke Triton wind up travelling 10 years into the future to solve the mystery of a deadly threat against London. The adventure gameplay explores locations all over the city and players are required to find clues, solve puzzles, and tap into hidden locations to help crack the case.

The game is played using the stylus and the touch screen to roam the city and solve the puzzles. The top screen displays a map, along with your current objective and scores. If you miss a puzzle, the game stores them up for solving later. Although our heroes occasionally ride the buses and subways, the game is mostly played on foot, providing a useful tour guide of one of Europe’s great capitals.

The game includes over 160 different puzzles, ranging from instant brain-teasers and memory games to mazes and block puzzles. Hints and “help coins” are available if some of the puzzles prove too challenging. Nintendo DSi owners can also take advantage of their Wi-Fi connection to supplement the game’s existing puzzles with weekly downloads.

As usual, the story is told with great imagination, heart and humor. The puzzles are so well integrated into the overall journey that they seem part of the narrative. Everything happens seamlessly and you’ll find yourself engrossed, as if you were reading a good adventure novel.

If you love a great story and a good mental workout, then Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is the perfect game for you.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is rated “E 10+” for everyone age 10 and older. There is some “mild violence”. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org

Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure
RRP: $29.99
Release Date: September 12, 2010
ESRB Rating: “Everyone 10+” for everyone age 10 and older

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