Professor Layton and the Curious Village…and also Nietzsche is there

laytonthumbI love video games. Even though they seem intent on devouring me whole and leaving me a mindless zombie. Their seductive flashing lights and endorphin releasing game play could easily pull me in way more than it already does if I didn’t put some self regulations in place.

This is why I was very surprised to watch myself order a Nintendo DS
a few months ago.  Somehow under the cover of educatoinal games as well as eye exercises this portable gaming device slipped in under my radar.  This is bad.  This thing has more gaming power than all the systems I had as a child combined and I can take it outside.  I could, in theory, go sit in the park and tell myself I’m being outdoorsy while I play video games.

Tis a slippery slope.

Anyway, after I got bored of the educational crap I bought this Professor Layton game.

The game is all about riddles.  Based on a flimsy pretext, which we’ll go into in a second, you run around in the weirdest god damned village in the world being assaulted by lunatics who won’t so much as sell you an apple without making you solve a matchstick puzzle first.

It’s great fun, especially since I love riddles, but the pretext that I mentioned…holy cow does it get weird. I mean, I get it. Your game is all riddles but you want to embed that in a story so it doesn’t seem so drab.  And I can get how figuring out subtle ways for 180 riddles to get thrown at the player might be difficult.  But I found this guy a little creepy:


And, yes, that opening somehow segues into him asking you a riddle.  Of course Gordon up there was nothing compared to the lovely Martha:


No, Martha, you didn’t mention that.  Also I never asked you anything remotely pertaining to your freaky man-wants (and yes the above conversation does somehow work back around to riddles).

The riddle-hungry village does, believe it or not, sort of get explained by the end.  But that only furthered my utter amazement at the things this game was throwing at me. The explanation is really something.

We’ll end this here with two more screen shots from the game and I’ll just say that my hat goes off to you, oh Professor Layton creators, for designing a game where you move matchsticks around, solve an olde timey murder mystery and delve into the philosophical ramifications of artificial intelligence with a small boy: