Week #12: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

With Professor Layton and the New World of Steam is coming soon, I feel like it’s a good time to enjoy the first one: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Release: 2007

Original console: Nintendo DS

Developer(s): Level-5

Publisher(s): Nintendo

Genre(s): Puzzle

Series: Professor Layton

Recommended handhelds to play: Nintendo DSi XL, Nintendo 2DS

Best for

  • People who love puzzle games overall

When you want to sit back and immerse yourself in solving puzzles, the whole Professor Layton series is a great option.

Each puzzle is ordered from easy to difficult, and sometimes it doesn’t take you much time to find out the solution. Other time, however, you could be angry for not finding the answer for days.

  • People who want the next story in Professor Layton

People who has finished the Professor Layton and the Curious Village should continue with the Diabolical Box, as it is the chronological next adventure.

  • People who want a relax, short game

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is certainly longer than the first title of the series: Professor Layton and the Curious Village, but it is still a short game with short puzzles. If you want a relax game with a recap already in the inventory to check what’s going on, this game is for you.

The character design is classic cartoon

Worst for

  • People who want to emulate this game on a retro emulator

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is perhaps one of the many games that is strictly required to play with a Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS. Without dual-screen and stylus, the game is sometimes really difficult to enjoy. So, at least buy an original hardware for this game.

  • People who hate a confusing story

Really, but spoiler alert: the second chapter in Professor Layton has a very confusing story that many fans don’t like. If you’re jumping to this game as the first in its series, you will hate the whole series. Just don’t try.

Recommended handhelds to play

I only recommend either Nintendo DSi XL or Nintendo 2DS to enjoy a DS game. Nintendo DSi XL is always the best way to enjoy a DS game, with pixel-perfect IPS dual screens. While the Nintendo 2DS doesn’t have such big and crispy display, it has C-Pad (a concaved analog stick) for moving your character, and I think the 2DS is the most comfortable handheld to hold at the moment.

There are too many retro handheld emulators that can play DS system well, but they pack dual 3.5-inch screen in a maximum of 6-inch screen, and I don’t really enjoy trying that. After all, I always recommend using the native handheld for its own system, unless you want convenient features like save states or fast forwarding.

If you want to buy the Android version of this game, then you can try any decent Android retro handheld emulators at the moment, for example the Retroid Pocket 2S and Retroid Pocket 3 Plus.