When Level-5 released Layton’s Mystery Journey ($15.99) back in July of last year, it was interesting for several reasons. First was that, at least outside of Japan, it was releasing exclusively on iOS and Android first, with a Nintendo 3DS version arriving a few months later. It’s not often you see a big brand like the Layton series releasing a brand new game on mobile first. Second was that Layton’s Mystery Journey on iOS and Android was a fully premium game, and although it was sold in piecemeal fashion with all of its additional puzzles and cosmetic items available as separate IAP purchases, if you ended up buying everything the price would equal what Level-5 was charging for the game on the Nintendo 3DS. Pricing parity is another thing you don’t often see between console and mobile releases of the same game. In fact, I’d argue the mobile way of pricing Layton’s Mystery Journey was superior as you’d get the entire base game for $16 and then could choose to buy or not buy any of the additional content as you saw fit. Nintendo 3DS owners had to plop down the full price for everything included whether they wanted those additional things or not.
Anyway, despite all that Layton’s Mystery Journey still clocked in at what’s considered the higher pricing spectrum on mobile, even for just the base game. That means there’s a lot of folks out there who may have been interested in the game but weren’t quite willing to part with the cash to find out if it’s something they’d enjoy. Level-5 has an answer for those people today with the release of Layton’s Mystery Journey Starter Kit (Free). Essentially it’s just a lite version of Layton’s Mystery Journey which allows you to play through the full first case of the game, entitled The Hand That Feeds, and then purchase the rest of the game as IAP if you want. Furthermore, that IAP is split into several options. Case Collection 1 includes cases 2-4 and costs $4.99, Case Collection 2 includes cases 5-8 and costs $5.99, Case Collection 3 includes cases 9-12 and also costs $5.99, or you can buy the Full Kit which includes cases 2-12 at a price of $15.99, the same as the paid version. The additional outfit and puzzle packs are also available and priced the same as in the paid version.
I pretty much adore this type of pricing model as it gives people a real taste of the game for free to determine if it’s something they’d even enjoy, and then if they do it gives them all sorts of options about how they’d like to pay for more of it. If you’re the type that takes games slow you may want to buy a Case Collection here and there as you work your way through the game. If you want to plow through everything all at once, the Full Kit is the better option and will save you a buck. If you end up not liking what you played in the free version, well you’re not out anything but time. Historically the free + premium unlock model has not proven to be very successful financially, which is probably why this Starter Kit is arriving so long after the game’s original release. However, if you were on the fence before now you can try out Layton’s Mystery Journey risk-free, and if you need more information about the game then check out our 5 star review as well as our Game of the Week post to see why we enjoyed this charming game so much.
Link to Forum Discussion: Layton’s Mystery Journey (by Level-5 Inc.)
Note: Level-5 uses different app ID numbers for different regions, so please use the links below based on which region you’re in: