Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
Buy On
  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Anyone who likes puzzles and/or a good story should definitely buy Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.
  5. 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.
  6. A great sequel that fully lives up to the high standards set by the original adventure. [Oct 2009, p.71]
  7. There isn’t any better puzzle game out there. You have to buy it, if you want a great masterpiece.
  8. 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.
  9. 90
    Far more interactive -- and, more importantly, far more entertaining -- than any puzzle book could ever be.
  10. 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.
  11. This title is an excellent, almost addictive, game that will take you easily 10+ hours to complete.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Professor Layton is back, and he’s never looked better.
  16. 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.
  17. 90
    Again, the Professor Layton series triumphs in the adventure and puzzle genre. Certainly the game will satisfy both casual players and genre fanatics.
  18. 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.
  19. 90
    Professor Layton and Pandora's Box is clear evidence that Level-5's winning formula from the first game was indeed no fluke.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. If you can crack our ultra-difficult score riddle, this is definitely a game for you. [Nov 2009, p.61]
  28. Games Master UK
    Great puzzles. Great mystery. Great top hat. Not so great accordion. Another Layton essential. [Nov 2009, p.84]
  29. 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.
  30. Professor Layton's second adventure offers more puzzles to solve, areas to explore, and a thrilling mystery to unravel. An extremely enjoyable game.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Professor Layton's second adventure offers more clever puzzles to solve, more varied and interesting areas to explore, and another thrilling mystery to unravel.
  35. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is certainly more of the same, but I don't think anyone is going to complain.
  36. 85
    Professor Layton and Pandora's Box is a challenging, charming and unmissable adventure.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. The real success of the Professor Layton series is the way its puzzle-solving and crime-solving aspects support and blend with one another.
  42. Nintendo Power
    A great game that's well worth your time. [Oct 2009, p.89]
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Pandora’s Box is a highly successful result of what was certainly not an easy sequel to make.
  50. Gaming's politest protagonist returns with another generously stocked portable puzzle compendium.
  51. 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.
  52. The same old formula works well, even if the plot and the setting are not catchy as the Curious Village's ones.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    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]
  56. The sense of achievement when you solve certain puzzles is extremely rewarding.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. Professor Layton And The Diabolical will certaintly please fans of the original, as well as newcomers seeking a solid puzzle solving experience.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Edge Magazine
    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]
  63. games(TM)
    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]

Awards & Rankings

#14 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#9 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 97
  2. Negative: 3 out of 97
  1. Nov 28, 2017
    Una obra mestra dentro de la saga Layton.Recomendable para todos aquellos fans de ella.Puzzles dificiles y una historia simplemente increibleUna obra mestra dentro de la saga Layton.Recomendable para todos aquellos fans de ella.Puzzles dificiles y una historia simplemente increible alrededor de un pueblo perdido en la niebla. Full Review »
  2. May 3, 2019
    The artstyle has improved compared to the last game to an even higher level. There are more soundtracks and the story is still great. The onlyThe artstyle has improved compared to the last game to an even higher level. There are more soundtracks and the story is still great. The only reason I won't give this game a higher rating is because in my country you can only get the dutch version of this game. Its fine but the voice acting isn't as good as the english version. I wish they offered an option to change the voices to the english ones. Full Review »
  3. Jul 18, 2017
    Posiblemente este es el juego que recuerdo con menos cariño de la saga layton, pero sin duda me ha gustado mucho. El segundo de la saga laytonPosiblemente este es el juego que recuerdo con menos cariño de la saga layton, pero sin duda me ha gustado mucho. El segundo de la saga layton con sus puzzles de una calidad perfecta como siempre. Tiene algunos defectos graves como el de las notas opacas, pero dejando eso de lado un juego magnífico de una saga magnífica. Con una historia muy buena. Full Review »