By , on July 8, 2013
Last modified 5 years, 11 months ago

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Inventive mysteries.
  • Cases string together nicely.
  • Great music and sound design.
  • Charming as heck.


  • Might be too linear for some.
  • Some grammatical errors throughout.
  • A flat fee would have been nice.


An interesting and charming spin-off to the Professor Layton games that gives you more than enough reason to don your deerstalker and get sleuthing.

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If you own a Nintendo DS, chances are you've heard of the Professor Layton games. If not, they're a series of puzzle adventures in which Hershel Layton and his apprentices solve mysteries, riddles, and logic problems. A hallmark of the series has been its charming art style, memorable music, and likeable characters. Thankfully, all of this applies to iOS spin-off Layton Brothers: Mystery Room as well.

You control Lucy Baker, a rookie cop who works for the enigmatic Alfendi Layton, one of the great professor's sons. It's up to the pair to solve murder mysteries by questioning suspects, investigating the crime scene, and identifying the criminal responsible.

In spirit, this game plays more like a title in the Ace Attorney series. You scour the crime scene for clues, answer your mentor's questions, and look over the case files to find a solution. Most of the questions are multiple choice, and you generally get a hint before you ever put your deduction hat on. And, if you mess up, you just have another go. It's linear, and a little on the easy side, but it's still pretty engaging stuff.

The slick presentation certainly doesn't hurt. The music is also a delight, adding a blues and jazz accompanyment your sleuthing. The characters are not voice acted, but given how Lucy is portrayed as a cockney, complete with horrible slang, this may be for the best. Characters are drawn in the classic Layton style, and really pop on retina displays.

Here's where things get confusing. The game is free to download, and the first two cases will cost you nothing. If you wish to continue after that, the next four cases will cost you $2.99. If you're still interested, the final three cases can be your for $1.99. There is an over-arcing story throughout the episodes, so to ask you for two payments during the campaign, rather than a one-off fee, is a little odd.

If you're a fan of adventure games like the Ace Attorney series, Layton Brothers: Mystery Room is an easy recommendation. Given the core differences in mechanic and tone, it's tough to know whether Layton lovers will enjoy this offering as much. Still, it costs nothing to give it a go. And who knows, you might be charmed enough by the mysteries and quirky characters to see how the tale plays out.


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