The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Layton’s Mystery Journey
It’s rare for a full-blown AAA multi-platform release to arrive on iOS first, and it’s even more rare for the iOS version to be in complete feature parity with its console or PC siblings. Well that’s exactly what has happened with Level-5’s newest game Layton’s Mystery Journey ($15.99), which arrived this week on iOS, Android, and the 3DS in Japan but won’t be coming to the rest of the world’s 3DS machines until October. It’s a strong sign from Level-5 that they want to take the mobile platform seriously for gaming, and Layton’s Mystery Journey comes with a serious premium price tag as well. Thankfully, this absolute gem of a game seems more than worth its entry fee.
The story of Layton’s Mystery Journey follows Katrielle Layton, the daughter of the titular Professor Hershel Layton, as she starts up her own detective agency and tries to solve the mystery of the disappearance of her father. You’ll be solving a whole lot more than just that though as it seems all of London have reason to seek out Kat for her detective skills. Like the entire Professor Layton series, Layton’s Mystery Journey is filled to the brim with colorful characters and humor. The quality of the animations and voice acting is second to none, and even within the first few minutes it’s hard not to fall head over heels for Kat and her merry group.
As for the actual content in Layton’s Mystery Journey, there is TONS of stuff on offer here. The description even boasts “The largest collection of puzzles in any Layton Series title" so you know there’s lots to do. In addition to the story campaign that’s filled with all sorts of neat puzzles, there’s also a Daily Puzzle feature which will allow you to download a new puzzle each day and store up to a full 365 of them. The Daily Puzzle includes 18 puzzles right off the bat, and as you beat them you’ll earn Museum Points which you can use to unlock a host of different items from across the entire previous six main entries in the Professor Layton series. Collect-aholics rejoice!
All of this comes with the base $15.99 purchase of Layton’s Mystery Journey, but there is some additional stuff you can buy via IAP if you wish. There are 17 different outfits for Kat that you can purchase for $1.99 each or as two bundles, one for $14.99 and one for $7.99. The outfits are purely cosmetic, but each one does come with a new puzzle to add to your collection. These additional puzzles are just that though, additions, and don’t hamper you in any way from enjoying the entire single-player story or the many Daily Puzzles. They’re just there if you want more Layton. It might sound expensive, but the base price plus the cost of both bundles puts the iOS version on par with the 3DS version’s $40 price tag. It’s actually even better on iOS as you don’t need to fork over all $40 bucks up front and can choose to buy things in pieces or not at all.
There’s been a lot of hemming and hawing over the pricing of Layton’s Mystery Journey, but I for one am excited to see a company approach mobile as a serious game platform and offer some seriously polished gameplay and loads of content for the same price as on other platforms. It can be a lot to spend in the world of mobile, but thoughts of the price tag wash right away once you lay your eyes on that gorgeous intro cutscene. It feels like it’s been quite some time since I’ve had this great of an experience with a mobile game. I love the quirky and smaller experiences that are abundant on the App Store, but there’s something to be said for a highly-polished experience like Layton’s Mystery Journey. What can I say? I’m in love with Lady Layton and it was a no-brainer when it came time to pick our Game of the Week with Layton’s Mystery Journey finally in our hands.