So, fun fact: Layton Brothers: Mystery Room wasn't always a Layton game. It also wasn't always an iPhone and iPad joint. It started out as an entry in the Atamania series, and Level 5 had it scheduled for release across the Nintendo DS. At some point between 2009 and now, for whatever reason, it morphed into the title that's hitting the App Store at around 11PM EST tonight.
Folks don't seem to know the whys behind the IP flip-flop, but boy doesn't a Layton game that you can play on your phone seem so much more appealing? And, yeah, it's alright. In brief, Mystery Room is a whodunnit game that tasks you with investigating crime scenes and figuring out what went down. The first case, for example, has you investigating why a strangled woman put her hand in a sandwich before she died. Weird.
For the most part, puzzling out the mystery is highly mechanical: you'll be given files on the folks involved in a case and get to fiddle around with the crime scenes, slowly zooming in and out of highlighted areas and tapping on other highlighted areas to pick up more "clues." As a case plods along, more information is dished out via cut-scenes and interviews with the culprits. Eventually, you'll be given the opportunity to pick who you think did the bad deed.
A shaky translation kinda kills the narrative momentum at times, but otherwise this is a pretty mechanically solid game. Also it actually feels like an iOS game. The touch input feels good and natural, unlike a lot of other adventure style games we've seen on iPad or iPhone.
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room hits later tonight on the App Store. If you're following it on our app [Free], you'll get a notification when it hits.
International App Store Link: Layton Brothers: Mystery Room, Free With IAP Missions
Watch Button Watch App