Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. 100
    Diabolical Box shows that the game's developers aren't content to just sit on their laurels -- they take a wonderful game, and make it even better.
  2. Professor Layton's second adventure offers more puzzles to solve, areas to explore, and a thrilling mystery to unravel. An extremely enjoyable game.
  3. 89
    There's no doubt that Professor Layton supplies what puzzlers need. With over 150 puzzles - some of which are real brain breakers - you'll have plenty to do. Those that hang in there, will get a pleasant surprise. All this is accompanied by a enticing storyline, one that is delivered wonderfully with all the cut scenes and the numerous conversations.
  4. Either way, for puzzle fans it’s a brilliant way to spend your time, and so long as you’re playing, that’s really all that matters.
  5. The presentation and some spoken dialogue really do a lot to hold everything else together. Any puzzle/adventure games can be distilled into a collection of puzzles but the lines holding The Diabolical Box together make for a great challenge and an entertaining experience.
  6. With its clever combination of stories and brainteasers, The Diabolical Box has every indication of being merely the second in a potentially endless series of entertaining Professor Layton titles.
  7. Some might think this kind of game is only for fans of the point-and-click genre; however, there's a lot more to this series than that. The puzzles are very engaging and perfectly solvable, the story flows with ease and keeps you interested throughout, and the controls on the DS are very smooth.
  8. 90
    Professor Layton and Pandora's Box is clear evidence that Level-5's winning formula from the first game was indeed no fluke.
  9. This title is an excellent, almost addictive, game that will take you easily 10+ hours to complete.
  10. No other game catches the exhilaration of mental exercises, while doing just enough to smooth over their occasional frustrations, in quite the same way as Layton. [Nov 2009, p.104]
  11. Professor Layton and Pandora's Box is superbly charming (aside from its creepy moments), and Layton's constant reprimanding of Luke for not being gentlemanly enough is hilarious.
  12. The sense of achievement when you solve certain puzzles is extremely rewarding.
  13. It's not as fresh and original as the first one, but Pandora's Box has an awesome script, great puzzles and delicious hand-drawn graphics.
  14. The same old formula works well, even if the plot and the setting are not catchy as the Curious Village's ones.
  15. I enjoyed the storytelling in Diabolical Box, as well as the new characters like Sammy, the rock ‘n roll train conductor. But some of the big reveals are particularly groan worthy, and two story clichés are unfortunately repeated in this sequel that I hope aren’t carried over to the third ­entry.
  16. A predictable and challenging sequel. It has a nonchalant appeal that can capture anyone’s heart. And good news, as far as the sequel... wait, solve this puzzle first.
  17. If there was ever an example needed to prove the point that games can not only be entertaining but educational at the same time, the Professor Layton series is without a doubt the best choice to show. There is certainly something for everyone with a fantastic story, a plenty of mystery and enough to really stimulate the brain.
  18. The professor's second adventure is just as good as the first one. Level-5 has managed to maintain a high standard of puzzles as well as a superb storyline with memorable characters and great dialogue.
  19. 70
    Overall this is a great puzzle game with both an entertaining story and mind-bending puzzles. The numerous locations are both a burden on the art style and a blessing for the expanded scope of the game.
  20. If you were expecting this second entry in the Layton series to go through extraordinary leaps and bounds, which you really should have no business expecting, then you will be horribly disappointed. But if you were expecting another session of tough puzzles with a convincing story, then Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is every bit as good as The Curious Village and should be more than enough to satisfy your inner detective.
  21. Professor Layton And The Diabolical will certaintly please fans of the original, as well as newcomers seeking a solid puzzle solving experience.
  22. A mysterious story and original puzzles come together to create an intelligent game for everyone. The game is perfect for all ages and Nintendo has even translated the dialogue to our own language. The only thing missing are some more challenging puzzles and more surprises in the story.
  23. A solid mix of story and puzzles make this a perfect game to enjoy in both small chunks and marathon "just-one-more-puzzle" sessions.
  24. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is certainly more of the same, but I don't think anyone is going to complain.
  25. Great puzzles. Great mystery. Great top hat. Not so great accordion. Another Layton essential. [Nov 2009, p.84]
  26. Professor Layton certainly has soul, but the puzzles themselves just aren't imaginative enough to save the adventure from feeling frequently out of breath. [Nov 2009, p.123]
  27. 100
    Gameplay is the perfect mix of adventure staples and brain twisting puzzle devilry. Professor Layton's world is one you are happy to spend time in and hesitant to leave.
  28. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is a game suited for everyone. With more than 150 among riddles and conundrums, it places you into a nicely drawn world full of extraordinary characters, with an involving story worth unraveling one puzzle at a time.
  29. Professor Layton's second adventure offers more clever puzzles to solve, more varied and interesting areas to explore, and another thrilling mystery to unravel.
  30. 90
    Far more interactive -- and, more importantly, far more entertaining -- than any puzzle book could ever be.
  31. Layton fans can look forward to solving an intriguing mystery with loads of new puzzles included. Diabolical Box doesn’t depart greatly from its predecessor, but subtle refinements ensure that more players will see it through to the end.
  32. With a fantastic story and numerous puzzles to keep you thinking, this DS game will keep you and your Stylus very busy and you will love it for that reason. Even if you missed the first game, picking this one up is a no-brainer.
  33. Of course, it bears repeating that people who are already into Professor Layton will still find a lot to love. It's everything the first game was and more, so those who enjoyed The Curious Village will have a great time with The Diabolical Box. Even if you didn't like the first game, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
  34. There isn’t any better puzzle game out there. You have to buy it, if you want a great masterpiece.
  35. The real success of the Professor Layton series is the way its puzzle-solving and crime-solving aspects support and blend with one another.
  36. 85
    I had a better time playing this sequel than the original game. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is an extremely enjoyable, laid back DS experience with some pretty challenging and clever puzzles to experience.
  37. 84
    Another excellent entry in Nintendo’s burgeoning hybrid franchise, effortlessly straddling the demographic divide thanks to its beguiling mix of approachable puzzles, gentle adventure and triple-A production values.
  38. There is put a lot of afford in Professor Layton and Pandora’s box. The cutscenes are beautiful, the story is nifty and the puzzles are challenging. The game does look a lot like its predecessor, almost every type of puzzle we’ve seen in the first game, is also in Pandora’s box. This game is just bigger, better and more badass.
  39. Mysterious story brings players a new batch of brain-melting puzzles and enigmas. Not much improvement to the previous game but still more then worth playing. [Nov 2009]
  40. I thought that I would be tired of Layton after the first game but Pandoras Box proves me wrong. It isn’t only the problem solving that stands in focus but the mixture of puzzles, storytelling and characters that makes this a charming adventure. The game is a must for people who like puzzle games and a given for fans of the original. Just don’t except too much of a change.
  41. Layton's latest adventure is his best for the time being. Same graphics, different sounds and a completely new storyline is very much what players are going to find in The Diabolical Box, a game that has nothing but fun to offer every player that have the guts to get over with more than a hundred puzzles and a compelling story. One of the best games of this year without any doubt at all.
  42. Gaming's politest protagonist returns with another generously stocked portable puzzle compendium.
  43. After one year, Layton is still a great experience: puzzles are challenging as they were supposed to be and the story is very well written, with charming characters and locations. One of the best "more of the same" of the year.
  44. Even though the puzzles can be challenging, the game’s addictive nature and sense of satisfaction is rarely seen at this level on the DS.
  45. Pandora’s Box is a highly successful result of what was certainly not an easy sequel to make.
  46. If you can crack our ultra-difficult score riddle, this is definitely a game for you. [Nov 2009, p.61]
  47. Not only are there tons of new puzzles for fans to sink their brains into, but the brand new storyline is as enthralling as ever and will keep you glued to your DS until the very end.
  48. A great game that's well worth your time. [Oct 2009, p.89]
  49. Perhaps the strongest and most-heard criticism that can be leveled at Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is that it's more of the same, and indeed, it is. Yet there's a slightly grander sense of scale in everything-- the settings, story, puzzles, minigames, graphics and soundtrack all feel amped up just a notch.
  50. A spectacular sequel. It retains the wonderful and challenging puzzles from the original while offering grander story. There's a wealth of content, with over 150 puzzles and three different mini-games.
  51. 80
    Diabolical Box is proof that the success of Mysterious Village was not a fluke, and that the DS is the perfect platform to render such an adventure.
  52. A great sequel that fully lives up to the high standards set by the original adventure. [Oct 2009, p.71]
  53. 85
    Professor Layton and Pandora's Box is a challenging, charming and unmissable adventure.
  54. Pandora’s Box feels like Layton V1.2 if I’m honest, as there is so little different from the previous game, but there’s nothing wrong with that, as the game and puzzles are still such high quality.
  55. 90
    Level-5 changed just enough in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box to keep the sequel fresh while maintaining the highlights of The Curious Village: excellent puzzles, beautiful art, appropriate music, a fun story, and a sense of whimsy.
  56. Professor Layton Pandora’s Box shows an obsessive attention to detail. The ability to take notes during the puzzles and the unusual plot make it very enjoyable. Maybe the settings, that are not confined to the train, of this chapter does not compare with the village of St. Mystere seen in the previous episode, but overall we can be more than satisfied.
  57. It still has more charm and character than most and –despite the hiccups- provides a challenging, fun and satisfying puzzle experience for players young, old -and everything in between.
  58. More puzzles will be introduced weekly online, so even if the relatively short game doesn’t have much replay value, there’s an incentive to keep picking it up for some brain exercise.
  59. Professor Layton is back, and he’s never looked better.
  60. Again, the Professor Layton series triumphs in the adventure and puzzle genre. Certainly the game will satisfy both casual players and genre fanatics.
  61. If you liked Mysterious Village and need more, or if you just want something genuinely fresh and original for your DS, Pandora's Box is the answer you're looking for.
  62. Anyone who likes puzzles and/or a good story should definitely buy Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.
  63. 80
    While Diabolical Box’s gameplay, animation and plot are quite a bit like its predecessor’s, slight improvements make this installment of the Professor Layton saga even more enjoyable than the last.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 8, 2013
    I will start by saying every layton game is a treat. This one is no exception. Compared to other layton games i would say the plot is average,I will start by saying every layton game is a treat. This one is no exception. Compared to other layton games i would say the plot is average, with a beautiful ending that is worth waiting for. The puzzles are great as always and the scenery is amazing. Very well worth your time. I would say this game improves on the original on every aspect possible. Full Review »
  2. Apr 30, 2012
    If I could give this a 7.5 I would. I love Curious Village and Unwound Future, but this was a slight disappointment. While there are someIf I could give this a 7.5 I would. I love Curious Village and Unwound Future, but this was a slight disappointment. While there are some great mini-games and puzzles, the story's final twist is too silly and requires to big a suspension of disbelief. It was a real let down. It's almost made up for by the oddly charming gimmick of the final puzzle, but not quite. But worst of all are the endlessly repeated "Disappearing Act" puzzles, which I cannot forgive. Full Review »
  3. Jan 23, 2012
    Having greatly enjoyed the Curious Village I was expecting something at least as good, but I was disappointed. The story is good and theHaving greatly enjoyed the Curious Village I was expecting something at least as good, but I was disappointed. The story is good and the mystery fascinating, with graphics, music and videos always of top-notch quality. The puzzles instead are rather unbalanced. Too many 25 picarats puzzles, with the difficulty (in picarat terms) being assigned seemingly at random, and too many unclear or ambiguous puzzles. Compared to the first game, I felt much less challenged and much less surprised of the puzzles and of the events in the game. What I really enjoyed was the overwhelming dark mood (which could be a deterrent to people looking for joyful and sunny settings), the characters and the mini-games. There are at least 4 mini-games to be had this time and all of them are simple and relaxing. Overall, I was disappointed by this title, but I'm definitely looking for more in the next episode. Full Review »