Top positive review
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"Professor, I do believe there is an imposter in our midst!"
on 16 August 2011
Following the phenomenal success of the Professor Layton series, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later! If you have played and enjoyed the Layton games, then `May's Mysteries' could be for you! From the outset, it seems more than a tad similar. From the interaction of the characters, the puzzles, the type of story, bonus puzzles, hints, graphics, music, the similarities never end.
However, that's not to say this isn't an enjoyable game. If, like me, you can't wait for the release of the next Layton, May's Mysteries fills the gap nicely.
So what is the story about? It is a mystery set in a rather strange town called Dragonville where all the children have disappeared. May Stery and her brother Tery crash land nearby during a hot air balloon voyage and Tery sets off to find help. However, he too disappears and May sets off on a quest to find him. Along the way, she encounters many characters and has to complete puzzles to advance.
The puzzles, of course, move the story forward, and are interlaced with voiced animated video scenes. From what I have seen so far, though, you have to solve each puzzle to progress rather than saving it to come back to later if you are struggling.
Instead of a trunk, we have a purse. If you tap on the purse, it opens up other categories:
Questbook - lists all your tasks to complete. Some are central to the story, others are side quests.
Inventory - you collect items as you go along for use later.
Characters - a gallery of all the characters and background information.
Bonus Puzzles - you can unlock lots of bonus puzzles as you go along; great if you have a favourite type.
Story Puzzles - a list of those central to the main story as you come across them.
The types of puzzles include:
Hidden Objects - Write Answer - Colour Area - Connect Dots - Arrange - Check Answer - Matches - Placement - Sliding - Hidden Picture - Pouring - Crossing - Draw Line and more!
These are the usual types of puzzles but some of them I had not come across before and I have been struggling with the Rhythmic ones, in particular! There is also more of a variety of puzzles compared to Layton.
As with Layton, you lose points if you don't complete the puzzle successfully the first time. However, it seems that the puzzles have all the same number of points to begin with (30) rather than being rated according to difficulty. Each puzzle also has 2 hints. The annoying thing is that if you need to try again, you can't just go straight to the puzzle but have to go through the entire conversation again with the character. Also, when you do complete a puzzle, there is little or no explanation about it afterwards, a summing up, as it were. It would also have been useful if the creators had added a memo feature for working out answers.
While this game is not as polished or sophisticated as Layton, it is definitely a welcome addition to the DS games market. I have played for several hours now but feel I have barely touched the surface!
There are over 270 puzzles and mini games so May's Mysteries certainly fills the gap until the next Layton is launched.