Generally favorable reviews - based on 72 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 72
  2. Negative: 0 out of 72
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    With a fantastic main quest that will keep you hooked to the end, extra tough puzzles to keep you thinking after the main story is complete and weekly downloadable content to be made available in the future, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a very strong package indeed.
  2. The story gets more mature with the solving of each puzzle, the puzzles themselves will have even the brainiest flummoxed and the art design is up there with anything, and I mean anything, on the console. It's the perfect DS game, it's the perfect puzzle game, it's what everyone should be playing on the tube instead of Brain Training, or some generic Sudoku clone.
  3. Perhaps the best puzzle game for the DS to date.
  4. 80
    There’s no other game on the DS with gameplay quite like this and every DS owner should try it for themselves.
  5. But for those gamers who love the idea of a rigorous workout of the ol' noggin, Layton delivers an exemplary experience wrapped in one of the most stunning aesthetics yet seen on the DS, or any system.
  6. 85
    In fact, I'd recommend this title to everyone, frankly, as it's just that much fun to play.
  7. With the sheer quality of these puzzles alone, Level 5 could've just released the game as another brain teaser compilation, but they went the extra mile by relating every single puzzle to an event during the adventure which makes the game that much more interesting.
  8. What’s really frustrating about this game is that although the puzzles themselves are fun to figure out, all the big mysteries presented by the story are solved for you via cutscenes. The fact that you aren’t allowed to actually solve the questions that have been on your mind all game long is simply a mistake.
  9. While I'm prepared to recommend Professor Layton and the Curious Village wholeheartedly, it does come with a serious caution about expectations. If you're looking for a well-rounded adventure with plenty of exploration and a fully-integrated storyline, you simply won't find it here.
  10. An absolute joy to play and the variety of puzzles throughout the game keeps the experience fresh.
  11. 100
    A very amazing piece of art merged with very unique, engrossing gameplay. Truly a unique experience that almost any gamer should give at least one go at. Other than very minor issues, this is easily one of the most well designed and enjoyable games ever made.
  12. This is utter loveliness, embodying everything the DS has come to mean to me. Puzzles, high spirits, and an embracing of beautiful 2D artwork over complicated 3D fuss.
  13. The sequel is out in Japan. The sooner it arrives, the happier I will be. If it’s not as good as the first, I may resort to self-harm.
  14. In the grand scheme of things, they mean so very little because every waking moment spent in St Mystere is an absolute joy to behold.
  15. This puzzle game with a heart is a splendid endorsement of the genre and the DS.
  16. 90
    Marrying the current craze for brain teasing puzzles with a delightfully mysterious tale that entertains throughout works brilliantly and everything just smacks of pure quality.
  17. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is an accessible game with enough challenge to maintain interest for some time, and is full of charm and wonderful presentation.
  18. Short, but a very challenging and fun game.
  19. Mental deficiencies aside, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is an enjoyable game with a wonderfully-written storyline. So few games succeed at making us exercise our brains; you’d be blockheads not to give this one a go.
  20. It's the desire to solve the next challenge, and not the ho-hum story, that makes Professor Layton interesting.
  21. 80
    A solidly constructed game that truly anyone of any skill level can play. There's no multiplayer mode here per se, but that doesn't actually prevent Curious Village from being a party game--you can just read the puzzles out loud and any number of people can tackle them anywhere at any time.
  22. Professor Layton and the Curious Village offers a great mix of entertaining puzzles, easy and challenging. Even the option to buy certain hints will never let you solve the puzzle. True, the hints will clarify a lot, but will never give you an answer. The game sets your mind at work and you'll soon discover that on any giving moment of the day you start thinking about a solution. If you like puzzle games this one shouldn't be missing from your collection.
  23. Production values are also through the roof in this DS title.
  24. A delightful game, and an excellent addition to the DS’s library. Suitable, as they say, for children of any age, it’s gripping enough to keep you playing for just that one more puzzle. Bring on the sequel, I say.
  25. The surprise smash hit of the winter? We hope so, as this puzzler is one of the console's very best games. [Dec 2008, p.78]
  26. An excellent way to spend some quality time with your DS and genuinely worth the small investment from your bank account.
  27. A solid puzzle/adventure hybrid that is a lot more complex and difficult than it appears. This is a great alternative to the brain games and a must have for those who like to use their heard for more than a hat rack.
  28. Professor Layton and the Curious Village mixes an interesting story, challenging logic puzzles, and exploration into an extremely entertaining package that you won't want to put down.
  29. I loved playing this game, even when it was beating me. It is fair, challenging and addictive. The triple threat of gaming.
  30. Professor Layton and the Curious Village looks a lot like old time adventure games – like The Adventures of Willy Beamish – with great hand drawn backgrounds and the occasional stretch of animation, complete with sound.
  31. 90
    Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a wonderful combination of style and substance that will keep gamers entralled for hours.
  32. But perhaps the biggest conundrum of all is how to put the game down completely and do something else.
  33. If you truly want to put your brain to work and have tired of strings of simple math problems or Sudoku, this is the game for you.
  34. Professor's Layton beloved formula's here, at last. Level 5 latest work is one of its greatests, with stunning graphics and a gameplay style based on puzzle-solving. It's a very good game, and despite being the first of a trilogy it's a worth-buying game, a console-selling blockbuster.
  35. Professor Layton said it himself: “Critical thinking is the key to success.” In what is probably the biggest surprise of the year, Professor Layton offers a cast of memorable characters, stylish visuals, and of course more than enough challenging puzzles to keep your brain bending for a long long time.
  36. Ultimately, if you're willing to take some time to solve the puzzles and enjoy this kind of gameplay, Professor Layton and The Curious Village will become one of your favorite games. If you're not a thinker and what you like is action, you're better off ignoring it; you'll save yourself a headache.
  37. The short animated letter boxed movies spread out throughout the story are smooth and look crisp for the DS but, performances were varied for the two actors who were taking on voice acting for the very first time.
  38. 86
    But is Professor Layton a puzzler or an adventure game? It doesn't really matter, because visiting the Curious Village will be the best vacation you'll have in quite some time.
  39. Professor Layton and the Curios Village is a great game for anyone regardless of the age due to the nature of their game.
  40. Lots of variety, good use of the touch screen. [May 2008, p.73]
  41. Professor Layton and its 150 inventiveness lessons supposes a good excuse to enjoy a lovely and magic story in one of the best graphic adventures for the Nintendo's dual screen. If you are very fond of puzzles then this game is one of the best choices to stay thinking hours and hours in front of your Nintendo DS.
  42. With solid graphics, sound and story, and some darn addicting but tough puzzles, this adventure style game is great title add to your DS collection.
  43. 85
    And with a game this entertaining, that transcends demographics so stylishly, that offers such addictive just-one-more challenge -- well, the only real puzzle here is why anyone wouldn't want to give it a go.
  44. 85
    It was a novel hybrid game that felt very familiar and comfortable.
  45. Not that it's a work of art by all means, but Layton is a fun game, filling the player with delight.
  46. 85
    A wonderful game. It really is. If you're into your brain teasers, then this one will have you hooked.
  47. 83
    The game itself will take you a good number of hours to complete – there are over 150 puzzles spaced out between cut scenes and other adventure elements. However, the puzzles provide little in the way of replay value, so you probably won’t find yourself going back for a second play through.
  48. 80
    It’s not quite as powerful a game as some diehards might lead you to believe it is, and the cheating exploits are a little to obvious to ignore. But even so, Professor Layton is undeniably fun with a great style, and if the next game in the series is as challenging and addictive as his debut, bring it on.
  49. Overall, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a very interesting game but it definitely caters to a niche audience. If you don't like brain-teasers, it's probably not for you.
  50. 80
    Curious Village is unequivocally pretty; the well-styled visuals are clean and simple, true to the content and very, well, classy
  51. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a great game for anyone who enjoys brain-teasers. It can become highly addictive, and is perfect for micro- game sessions. It's a great overall presentation.
  52. 80
    It's a beautifully presented and gently-paced title that, while far from revolutionary, is simply a joy to play.
  53. It won’t top Brain Training’s immense sales, but it’s better in every way.
  54. netjak
    As a $30 puzzle magazine, Professor Layton leaves quite a bit to be desired.
  55. 100
    Whether or not Akihiro Hino and the crew at Level-5 built the world upon the foundation of the puzzles or vice versa, it melds into a cohesive miracle that's greater than the sum of its undeniably fantastic parts.
  56. Professor Layton and the Curious Village has a certain warmth to it that makes it easy to love, even when you’re up against a particularly annoying puzzle. Personally, I found this first adventure so strong that I’m already getting antsy just thinking about the next game in this planned trilogy.
  57. 90
    Incredibly original and thoroughly entertaining.
  58. 90
    It's a Japanese import that is a little off the beaten track; a puzzle game with a story. Unfortunately, the concept and its curious title might cause the causal DS crowd to overlook it. It would be their loss.
  59. 100
    One of the finest debuts of a new IP in some time and does an incredible job of combining two areas the DS seems to have been made for: puzzles and adventure gaming. The addictive gameplay, twisting story, charming characters and beautifully drawn animation makes this a game that neither puzzle fans, nor adventure game fans should miss.
  60. Professor Layton, like many of those other titles, has a level of polish and confidence that simply draws you in. It’s diverting in every way a video game should be. If you own a DS, you owe it to yourself to grab this title.
  61. A top-notch package that'll make you love puzzles as much as the game's designers.
  62. The game constantly rewards players with secret items to find and an intriguing story that captivates from beginning to end. Nintendo is promising new weekly puzzles that can be downloaded through its Wi-Fi Connection right to the DS, so even after you're done with the game there should be new content available. It's a no-brainer.
  63. Professor Layton players can download new puzzles via their Nintendo Wi-Fi connection on a weekly basis. It’s a nice touch, though it doesn’t quite counterbalance the lack in ‘replay’ value.
  64. 75
    For all its frustrations, Professor Layton does have its merits. The overall vibe of the game is charming and immensely likeable and the basic game mechanic is solid. There is also a ton of things to do: aside from the puzzles, there are other neat extras that I'll let you discover on your own.
  65. Edge Magazine
    There are lots of puzzles, a fun environment to tootle around in, and little to dislike. Utterly charming. [Apr 2008, p.95]
  66. games(TM)
    Taken as a purely forward-looking puzzle game (with a well-told story, to boot), Layton provides DS entertainment in a unique fashion. [JPN Import; May 2007, p.112]
  67. Games Master UK
    A magical debut for the series and the perfect antidote for a train journey or a rainy day. [May 2008, p.80]
  68. n-Revolution Magazine UK
    An excellently quirky title. Loads of downloadable content for it, too.
  69. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Wonderfully unique. [Apr 2008, p.78]
  70. Nintendo Power
    On top of a great adventure mode, Professor layton offers additional downloadable content, which should keep players plenty busy until the promised sequel arrives. [Feb 2008, p.88]
  71. Play Magazine
    As good as the puzzles are, the presentation is almost better. [JPN Import; May 2007, p.77]
  72. Hardcore Gamer
    This is a sweet, gentle, silly game for people who are still in touch with their inner nerdy child. [JPN Import; July 2007, p.71]

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
#18 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 166
  1. Nov 8, 2011
    "Professor Layton and the Curious Village" is a engrossing adult and child DS game that will hold your attention for a long period of time"Professor Layton and the Curious Village" is a engrossing adult and child DS game that will hold your attention for a long period of time with its brilliant puzzles and questions. Full Review »
  2. Jul 23, 2015
  3. Jan 23, 2012
    This adventure-puzzle game really surprised me and was in fact the reason why I bought a DS console in the first place. The majority of theThis adventure-puzzle game really surprised me and was in fact the reason why I bought a DS console in the first place. The majority of the puzzles are really fun and well-balanced, with only a couple of instances where the puzzle explanation is not very clear. The nice story, marvelous setting and fun characters (all of which supported by gorgeous graphics and nicely fitting music) do their work also. What's incredible about this title is that it can attract people of all kinds and of all ages, and each of these categories will find their share of fun and challenge. If had to find a flaw in this game is the fact that most of the puzzles are completely unlinked to the plot, and above all the graphic styles used in the puzzles differ too much between them. It would have been nice to have a little more graphical coherence in this game, but apart this, the game should be played and finished by anyone possessing a DS. Full Review »