Professor Layton trailer and interview with creator Akihiro Hino

Professor Layton and the Curious Village for DSProfessor Layton and the Curious Village just released on February 11th in the United States.

The concept of the title is an adventure game that plays like a Sherlock Holmes mystery where challenging puzzles await conquering every step of the way. The game uses an outstanding animated film-style look and contains fully voiced cut-scenes that look like they could be ripped out of a TV series. The game was a big success for Nintendo in Japan and finally us American gamers have a chance to see what all the fuss was about (sadly the game doesn’t yet have a release date in Europe).

Here’s a trailer for Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Here is an interview with the series creator, Akihiro Hino, who serves as the President and CEO of Level-5, the developers behind the game.

Question 1 – What audience did you have in mind when you created Professor Layton?

I wanted everyone, from children to adults, to enjoy Professor Layton. Professor Layton is especially popular amongst women in Japan, but really has a large fan base across a wide range of consumers, both men and women. I received feedback from a wide range of audience.

Question 2 – Professor Layton’s story is based in London but why did you choose London? Where did you get the inspiration for Professor Layton’s character?

When I first conceptualized a “mystery game” the first thin that came to mind was Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to create a story with a brilliant English gentleman like Sherlock Homes solving mysteries. That’s how Professor Layton, the character was born and from there, we decided the story should take place in London. Just like Sherlock had Watson, we also decided Professor Layton needed an assistant and created Luke. I believed having an English gentleman and a clever child solve puzzles together brought an interesting dynamic to the story.

Question 3 – What were the main challenges in creating Professor Layton, keeping in mind this title should appeal to both the core and casual gamers?

I wanted Professor Layton to be a game where people who had never played videogames could try it and find that they enjoyed it! My goal was to create “a game that even moms could play so we made sure there are no cumbersome controls in the game. We made an effort to create an intuitive game where the player instinctively knows they only need to use the stylus to progress the storyline. On top of all the puzzles, we also included three mini-games. Professor Layton can be enjoyed from a wide range of angles and is also a title that can be enjoyed for a very long time.

Question 4 – What makes Professor Layton so exciting? What differentiates Professor Layton from other puzzle games?

The biggest difference from other puzzle games is that it’s an adventure game. there is much more to Professor Layton than just solving puzzles. it’s an adventure game where the player must solve the many mysteries taking place within an engrossing storyline. The concept of Professor Layton was “puzzles & story” so the title became a fusion of both the puzzle and story elements. Professor Layton offers two fascinating layers to the player because, by solving the puzzles, the player also slowly unravels the mystery of the overall storyline.

Do you have a message to gamers who are considering purchasing Professor Layton?

Please enjoy the many challenging puzzles that will stimulate your inner intellectual curiosity and entice you to follow the game’s adventure to it’s conclusion. I hope the player will enjoy the puzzles and also be fascinated by the beautiful animation and engaging story. Lastly, I hope the American consumers will enjoy the world of Professor Layton as much as the Japanese consumers have. — Via Nintendo