Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
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  1. Oct 17, 2011
    Another fine addition to the celebrated series and one of the last quality puzzle games for Nintendo's DS. Don't miss it.
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    It is the beginning of a new trilogy that has the true potential to surpass the first one. Someone said that the DS was dead? Level-5 certainly disagrees.
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    The inclusion of Emmy is certainly a great idea, and the wonderful mini-games and side game of London Life are much needed diversions that help break up any monotony earned by just solving puzzles.
  4. Oct 17, 2011
    I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend London Life as a standalone release, but as a freebie with a solid story-driven puzzler it's a no-brainer. In fact, the question of whether or not The Last Specter is worth a purchase is the easiest Layton puzzle answer of all.
  5. Dec 30, 2011
    Excellent presentation, compelling story and gameplay and value for money, Professor Layton and the Last Spectre is both a fitting sendoff for the DS and a great new beginning for the Layton series.
  6. Nov 28, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter is an awesome new adventure with Hershel Layton, packed with tons of riddles in an stunning storyline.
  7. Nov 23, 2011
    In the case of where everything is already done right, the lack of change isn't that bad. With a great new story, this is Layton's finest adventure yet.
  8. The result is another mesmerising entry to the series. There's little incentive to replay it after you've finished, but it's one of the most enjoyable narrative rides in gaming today, and it burns bright and strong while it lasts.
  9. Nov 20, 2011
    Minor tweaks and a top notch spit shine sets it up as the best designed Layton yet, even if it doesn't really push the series forward or outside of its comfort zone. Its charming, quirky, fun, and the puzzling will put your brain meat to the test at times.
  10. Nov 4, 2011
    The Spectre's Call is definitely the second best out of the four entries in the Professor Layton series so far, though, and a fantastic treat just in time for the holiday period.
  11. 90
    Professor Layton's escapades are a known commodity by now. The Last Specter does nothing to dilute the brand, offering the same polished gameplay and presentation the series is known for. Throw in London Life, and it is the most robust game in the franchise, more or less containing two games in one.
  12. Oct 24, 2011
    Another Professor Layton game, another bit of puzzling brilliance. Some of the brain teasers feel a bit recycled - instead of foxes and chickens, you're shuttling dogs and cats across the river, for example - but there's more than enough variety to warrant doggedly tracking down every last one. But if you only solve the ones you need to move the story forward, that's ok, too.
  13. Oct 20, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter is a very solid game, especially for those who prefer thinking over reflexes in their games.
  14. Oct 18, 2011
    Another top-quality game in a truly brilliant series. It challenges your mind in a way very few games seriously attempt to do, and the feeling you get when you solve a particularly difficult puzzle is less one of relief than it is a desire to leap ahead in the game and find the next one. Playing this game is its own reward, and we'd have it no other way.
  15. Oct 18, 2011
    While it doesn't change much from Layton's previous adventures, the small tweaks (and the generous extras) make this my favorite Layton game to-date. The series is one of the few remaining champions of the graphic adventure, and, fortunately, they're doing a damn fine job of keeping that genre relevant for a modern audience.
  16. Oct 17, 2011
    From top to bottom, this is the most expertly put-together Layton game in the series.
  17. Dec 16, 2011
    You'll get what you expect in the new Layton game. Some great puzzles and a beautiful story are offering some great fun. German players had to wait two years after the japanese release of the game. Layton Life is not included in the european version.
  18. Oct 31, 2011
    I love this series, and even if they developed a Layton title comprised entirely of sliding block puzzles, I would still play. Such thoughtlessness is only fantasy, of course, because Level-5 pours their heart into this series. Regardless of how much heart they muster, however, the Layton formula just doesn't have infinite vitality, and with The Last Specter, a bit of wear is finally starting to show.
  19. Oct 22, 2011
    Despite starting to show signs of age, Professor Layton and The Last Specter is a tremendous value. For under $30 you get a story mode that easily lasts over 10 hours, fun mini-games, bonus content, weekly downloadable puzzles, and an all-new RPG that will keep you coming back to this one for a while.
  20. Oct 19, 2011
    The amount of content available in this game is quite impressive.
  21. Oct 19, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter continues to push the high production values of the cartoon mystery series while still providing a slew of enjoyable puzzles along the way.
  22. Oct 16, 2011
    The Layton series has held up remarkably well over the years, and The Last Specter is no exception, but that's not to say Professor Layton isn't getting a bit long in the tooth. The next installment will need some innovations lest the series run the risk of stagnating.
  23. Dec 7, 2011
    Despite the lack of innovations and the exclusion of London Life from the european version, Professor Layton and the Last Specter is a rich and well orchestrated adventure. A nice start for a new trilogy.
  24. Dec 6, 2011
    Another great adventure: the good variety of puzzles, the storyline and small innovations ensure a high-level experience.
  25. Dec 2, 2011
    It is a very fun adventure, a must-have for those who have a Nintendo DS and have never tried a Professor Layton adventure. For those who did, the formula keeps working and engaging, but they'll have the feeling of having playing this before, although the story of the game will keep them going forward.
  26. Nov 25, 2011
    Layton comes back for another year, as always, but he doesn't fail. 170 new puzzles, dozens of extras, mystery, crazy characters and mind challenges. It's the same game, but bigger. Although, regrettably, in Europe version isn't London Life mode.
  27. Nov 7, 2011
    Series veterans who are itching for more puzzles and anyone new to the genre will have plenty here to enjoy.
  28. Oct 18, 2011
    London Life will ensure plenty of gameplay to bridge the gap to the next 3DS Layton chapter.
  29. Nintendo Power
    Oct 6, 2011
    Layton's London life probably isn't deep enough to turn any series nonbelievers into fans, but when added to the winning formula of puzzles and exploration, it helps cement Professor Layton and the Last Specter as another fine entry in the franchise. [Oct 2011, p.82]
  30. Nov 25, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter is another good entry in the franchise. The loss of London Life mode is a pity.
  31. Games Master UK
    Nov 20, 2011
    The fourth Layton doesn't try anything too drastic, but the missing mode is a real shame. [Christmas 2011, p.80]
  32. Nov 2, 2011
    Probably best to play the other ones first, but still a fine puzzler if you haven't. [Nov 2011, p.54]
  33. Oct 10, 2011
    The Last Spectre doesn't mess with what has made the series popular. The charm, colorful art, orchestral soundtrack, and of course the puzzles remain intact.
  34. Pelit (Finland)
    Jan 10, 2012
    Professor Layton comes again and the result resembles cloning. Although the puzzles, the plot and the setting are fresh, there's a feeling that I have seen this before. I didn't get bored, but I certainly understand the critique. [Jan 2012]
  35. Feb 6, 2012
    Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call is, as the rest of the games in the series, a very entertaining way to keep your brain fit. 170 puzzles test your noggin on various themes such as visual memory, logic and mathematics, and it's all wrapped up in a beautiful package.
  36. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 19, 2012
    Maybe this puzzle-solving game is the last reason to find your long forgotten Nintendo DS – you will be amazed by the contents the developers were able to put on a single cartridge. [Christmas 2011]
  37. Jan 12, 2012
    Even though the prequel to professor's first three games is not as spectacular and the formula seems a little worn out, it can still deliver some great puzzle-solving hours. Oh, and the absence of the London Life mini-game from the European version is inexcusable.
  38. Dec 6, 2011
    Same formula, another clever and engaging story… but why the European version of the game doesn't have the London Life extra-RPG?
  39. Dec 5, 2011
    The formula still holds in this game, but for a fifth iteration some new blood is needed. See this as a swan song for the DS, competent and still fun. But we're ready for the 3DS version now.
  40. Nov 30, 2011
    Level 5 once again excels in doing entertaining riddles to solve.
  41. Nov 28, 2011
    This journey back to the roots of Professor Layton is as much a way of discovering his past as it is one to draft a first sum-up of the series before it moves to the 3DS pastures for a new trilogy. Confident about its formula, Level-5 offers treasures of riddles throughout an adventure that focuses on characters rather than on the plot, as enticing as it may prove to be. So, even though the formula doesn't really evolve, it still concludes this run with subtle touches here and there to improve the lot.
  42. Nov 24, 2011
    And bravo to Nintendo for keeping this franchise on the standard DS rather than – for the time being, at least – adding that third dimension.
  43. Nov 22, 2011
    The loss of London Life leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, but its absence doesn't affect the main game which is probably the best of the series so far.
  44. Nov 11, 2011
    Aside from some of the underwhelming additions, Professor Layton and the Last Specter is yet another extremely competent puzzle-adventure game.
  45. Oct 25, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter is yet another absorbing outing for the puzzle-solving English gentleman and his friends.
  46. Oct 21, 2011
    If you live in actual London, however, your cartridge doesn't come with London Life. Japan, North America, and Australia get this rather huge bonus; the U.K. and the rest of Europe don't. It's the kind of tedious, infuriating localisation strategy that Nintendo still holds over from the 8-bit era, when it was possible to keep people on distant shores from knowing they were getting the short end of the stick.
  47. Oct 17, 2011
    Like the rest of the Layton series, it's hard to imagine anyone who likes to use his or her brain not enjoying Professor Layton and the Last Specter. If you liked any of the other games in the Professor Layton series – nay, if you've ever enjoyed one brain teaser in your whole life – The Last Specter will undoubtedly delight.
  48. Oct 17, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter improved on its forebears, in both perceptible and imperceptible ways. I like all the other Laytons, but I like this one just a little better.
  49. Dec 5, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter continues the successful Layton franchise with another solid entry full of puzzles and mysteries to be solved.
  50. Nov 14, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Last Specter is easily the weakest entry in the Professor Layton canon to date. While the gameplay remains as robust as ever, the surrounding elements don't complement or support it quite as well as they have in the past.
  51. Nov 7, 2011
    Despite the story in this outing leaving me lukewarm, I'm still interested in seeing where the story takes Layton, Luke and Emmy. Level 5 has done such a great job making the characters so delightful to hang out with, that even a subpar addition by Layton standards still makes for a good puzzle game.
  52. Jan 9, 2012
    Overall the latest entry in the Professor Layton series in unlikely to convert those who haven't enjoyed the other games in the series, but if you are a fan then this is a great entry with a good variety of puzzles and an intriguing and involving story that gets better as the game goes on.
  53. Dec 5, 2011
    Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call is more of the same great puzzling gameplay, but it's definitely starting to lose its appeal.
  54. Nov 28, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  55. Nov 16, 2011
    The absence of London Life is particularly grating, as it's arguably the lone element of Spectre's Call (or rather, Last Specter) that tries to do something new. The game we're left with will still please the Professor's long-term supporters, but it's clear that the next instalment needs to bring in a fresh idea or two. Simply being Laytonesque won't cut it anymore.
  56. Oct 20, 2011
    In short, Last Specter is the best Layton yet. The inclusion of a warp system, lack of matchstick puzzles, and memorable cast makes it just a notch better than the Curious Village. However, the series still inconveniences players who play primarily for the story or those, like me, who want to enjoy the story first and puzzles later. There are many players who feel a need to complete every puzzle as they progress. These players won't run into the problem of puzzle tollways or losing track of a previous puzzle's location. However, until the series finds a way to accommodate both types of players, I can't say the game is a must-have for all.
  57. games(TM)
    Jan 9, 2012
    Just another day at the office for Layton and chums. [Issue#117, p.121]
  58. Dec 1, 2011
    The Layton charm is undoubtedly still present, but it's not enough to carry the series by itself. Upon solving certain puzzles, Layton exclaims 'I love the thrill of a good solution'. So do we, Hershel, so do we. And in this Layton game, sadly, that thrill is all too rare.

Awards & Rankings

#10 Most Discussed DS Game of 2011
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 91
  2. Negative: 5 out of 91
  1. Nov 28, 2017
    Probablemente una de las mejores historias del Profesor Layton.Original y algo mas oscura de lo habitual.Sin embargo,eso no es un puntoProbablemente una de las mejores historias del Profesor Layton.Original y algo mas oscura de lo habitual.Sin embargo,eso no es un punto negativo.Puzzles con buena dificultad Full Review »
  2. Dec 13, 2011
    Professor Layton and Spectre's Call is a great adventure for all owners of the Nintendo DS will not let go. With a good variety of puzzlesProfessor Layton and Spectre's Call is a great adventure for all owners of the Nintendo DS will not let go. With a good variety of puzzles some, thanks to unaa plot very engaging and small news, the series "Professor Layton" This year guarantees quality. Although fans will have a sense of déjà vu rather strongly, because of some of the ideas seen in previous chapters, this latest chapter is a must for any fan of the Professor. The premise of the story, which serve as the prequel trilogy, the chapter ended with last year, Professor Layton and Lure of the spectrum is a particularly recommended for all those who want to know for the first time the protagonists of the series. While waiting for the next chapter for Nintendo 3DS, this chapter can be considered the best in the series, thanks to an ever increasing difficulty and prohibitive!
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 3, 2023
    Another Scooby-Doo style point and click adventure full of simple brainteasers aimed squarely at younger gamers.