We love a good puzzle here at Everybody Plays - and when it comes to puzzles, there are no finer games than the Professor Layton series. Guaranteed to keep you up at night with that one last, head-scratching, brain teaser, each Professor Layton game is an event in its own right, with an involving story, great characters, and, most importantly, some dastardly puzzles. If you've got even a passing interest in puzzles, you really should have picked one of these up by now.
And so, with our puzzling fixation now officially out of the closet, it may come as no surprise that we were rather happy when Nintendo announced the fourth chapter will be making it's way to our DS' very soon. This latest iteration, Professor Layton and the Last Specter should bring the UK/USA up to speed with the Layton franchise, ready for Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle launching on the 3DS at some point in the future.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter will act as a prequel to the other three games, and tells of how Luke and the Professor first met. Attracted to the village of Mist Haley the inquisitive Professor's heard about the giant shadowy being terrorising the town. Legend has it that the ghost is supposed to protect the town once he's summoned by a mystical flute - and it's up to Layton, Luke and the Professor's colleague Emmy Atava to find out why things have suddenly changed.
Interestingly, the Japanese version of the game came with an epic 100-hour role playing game, entitled 'London Life' that unlocked after you'd finished the main story. Put together by Brownie Brown, who made the awesomely under-rated Magical Starsign for the DS, the game has you creating your own Londoner, and helping the other inhabitants out by performing various tasks for them - which unlocks more of London for you to visit. It certainly sounds like an interesting diversion from the usual Layton puzzles - and if it's not present and correct when we finish the UK version, there'll be hell to pay.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter is due out in America this autumn - and as we seem to get them roughly a month later, it shouldn't be long after it'll arrive in the UK and we can start working our way through it's 170 puzzles. And then 100 hours of RPG. And we thought the previous games were good value...