Title: Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
Platform: iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
Category: Puzzle, Adventure
Release Date: July 20, 2017 (iOS, Android), October 6, 2017 (Nintendo 3DS), November 8, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game: Received it for Christmas 2019 on the Nintendo Switch
Layton’s Mystery Journey — or Lady Layton, as we’ve been calling it — has been a game that’s been on our radar since it was announced for the 3DS. We’ve enjoyed the few Professor Layton games we’ve played, and we were looking forward to seeing what Lady Layton was all about.
Lady Layton, of course, is not Professor Layton himself. However, we enjoy the puzzles and characters so we were interested in seeing how Lady Layton presented herself after playing so much Professor Layton.
Lady Layton has similar gameplay mechanics as the Professor Layton series. Navigating through different scenes, you point and click on the environment to interact with objects and people, finding clues to the current mystery as well as short puzzles that bolster the gameplay. While you don’t directly control the main character’s movements, you are able to go between scenes via the handy map.
All you need is the ability to point-and-click with your Joy-Con and have enough brain power to solve some puzzles. Lady Layton is part visual novel where the characters interact. We took turns reading dialogue from certain characters though some parts were voice-acted with a short anime cut scene here and there.
That’s pretty much all there is to the gameplay mechanics. Some puzzles include literally rotating pieces to solve them, others include more mathematics, and still some are more logic puzzles. Aside from the puzzles and main storylines, there are also a plethora of minigames that tie in to the few cases — puzzles that have to do with shopping or food or Sherl the canine sidekick — as well as a wardrobe change function for Katrielle. We didn’t really explore these options too much, to be honest, as we weren’t too interested in them.
I play the Layton games mostly for the puzzles. In this particular game, however, the puzzles were too easy. Normally there are puzzles we get stuck on and need to use our hint coins a lot or rope our parents in to help us. The majority of the puzzles in this game we breezed right there. There were only a handful of puzzles we got stuck on.
We did feel a bit more bored by the majority of the puzzles than we have in other Professor Layton games, yes. This game felt like there was a lot more fluff rather than substance when it came to the actual gameplay.
Yes, it was pretty light-hearted for the most part. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed the banter between the characters. Overall, though, the main gameplay could have issued a little more of a challenge for me.
The graphics of the game are cute, the same style that has been used for previous Professor Layton games to keep them connected. While some of the more exaggerated designs for characters I could do without, the art style is engaging and keeps me interested in continuing the story.
I enjoy the art style. I think it’s charming overall. There are certainly some interesting looking people but it’s fun nonetheless.
The music for this game is cozy. Relaxing and soft, the tunes do well being paired with the characters — the main cast being comprised of a gentlewoman and her eager, polite assistant — and the locations of the game. I enjoyed the music, but it was low-key for a game about solving crimes.
I agree that it was low-key for a crime-solving game. Then again, none of the “crimes” were dire so it seemed as though the music fit. Lady Layton is a fairly light-hearted game. The music was catchy regardless though.
The title of this game is Katrielle and The Millionaires’ Conspiracy, which gives one the impression that there is a larger, overarching story amid the multiple cases that this game provides. Within the dozen cases that the game provides, the “millionaires” are introduced but there is no larger case that you are always trying to discover. Each case is individual before it brings all the characters together during the last case of the game.
I don’t mind having multiple cases throughout the game. Having 12 cases to solve seems fun. However, other than the characters, none of the cases had anything to do with… anything, really. The cases introduced the characters but never hinted at a bigger conspiracy until the final case. Even then, the solution seemed out of the blue.
The solution both seemed like it came out of the blue, but it wasn’t particularly surprising either. We had guessed who the true culprit was before the answer came about and, even now, there are parts of the last case that don’t make sense to me for the culprit to be who they were. The story could have been a lot stronger when it came to the characters. The characters themselves were interesting enough, but there wasn’t enough of a plot to really show their strengths.
Not to mention that Sherl, a talking dog, approached Kat the beginning of the game wondering who he was and how he got turned into a dog. Supposedly, he was human at one time and has no memory. That mystery was never answered. After the credits, it hinted at a sequel, but I would have liked more mention of that. Once he initially asked for her help figuring out who he is, his “case” was never mentioned again throughout the entire game.
The cases themselves are fairly linear, with the one outcome each. Likewise, the puzzles usually only have a couple of ways to reach the answers as well, if they have more than one way to the outcome in the first place. The only replayability this game may have is if the player missed some puzzles and wanted to go and find them again. There are some minigames to play as well but nothing that we found particularly striking.
I’m not sure if this is a game I’d pick up again. The puzzles were fun but pretty easy compared to the Professor Layton games. The mini-games weren’t great and overall, each case didn’t allow you to solve it alongside Kat. It made some parts boring. The game was okay overall and the characters were certainly enjoyable.
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy gets…
3 out of 5 lives.