Layton's Mystery Journey is a full-blown DS game on mobile, there's no denying that.
Given its rather steep price point for, however, is it really worth it for a puzzler?
Let's go on an adventure
Layton's Mystery Journey starts off with a series of cutscenes. There's a repeating nightmare Katrielle has regarding her missing father, and one showing her first day on the job.
Anyone who's familiar with the series, or who watches their fair share of anime, will know that the animation is as high quality as the voice acting.
The game then switches from these cutscenes to the more familiar DS-style layout. Here you interact with characters, move a magnifying glass around the screen, and see what clues, surprises, and hint coins are hidden about the place.
During an investigation you can travel across the map using your bike and check out leads in other areas. There are also mini-puzzles to complete, as well as story-based ones, though these tend to be slightly easier.
The puzzles and challenges in general are a mix between riddles and basic logic, and they're surprisingly hard.
The controls are straight forward though - you're pointing and tapping or dragging things into position. When solving a shape-based puzzle you can also rotate the object you're trying to fathom.
Another neat addition is that when you leave the game and re-enter, you'll get a quick recap of how your investigation's going so far.
One thing that does seem to break you out of the immersion is its constant switch from landscape (for its cinematics) to portrait (for its interactive portion). Perhaps it's not as noticeable on a phone, but it's an odd change on tablet.
It's also quite a slow game. For me, that's not really an issue, as I enjoy reading text and getting more involved with the story, but if you're looking for something fast-paced and action-packed this one won't be for you.
But, Layton's Mystery Journey is a fantastic puzzler which captures the essence of the Layton games while repackaging it perfectly for mobile.
It may seem steep in price but you can also download Daily Puzzles. Eventually you can get 365 of them, to add to the one already in the game.
From the quality of the animations, the quality of the audio, the quality of the performance, and the quality of its puzzles, it's a joy for lovers of the genre.