Unwound Future astounds and delivers


The credits roll, you watch the epilogue, then you close your DS and stare into space for a moment, your head swimming with thoughts of loved ones, partings, and things you’d do differently in life if you had a second chance. All you can say is, “Wow.”

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is that kind of game—A surprising, emotion-grabbing, one-hundred-percent satisfying work of wonder. I can’t believe something so epic just took place on my Ol’ Fat Blue’s tiny little DS screens.

Most of the game is an entertaining romp through crazy encounters, amazing locales and preposterous action sequences intertwined with an onslaught of maddening puzzles.

And that would have been enough…

But, in its final chapters, Unwound Future soars through many great plot twists, leading to a final bombshell that—in terms of emotional punch—ranks right up there with the finales of FF X, Wind Waker, Kingdom Hearts and FF VII’s first disc. You don’t need to have played the first two Layton games: If you’re new to the series, you’ll only miss out on a few minor in-jokes.

This game’s finale is so powerful, in fact, that it gives new fuel to the question that won’t go away: Are games art? Certainly, they contain art, but what of the final product?

All I know is, I just spent twenty hours enjoying wonderful illustrations and animation, excellent acting, witty writing and an awesome musical score. It all culminated in one the most emotional entertainment experiences I’ve ever had. It’s certainly art to me.

As far as I’m concerned, Layton has become one of Nintendo’s very best characters. I hope the company has many more adventures planned…and they’d better include the Professor in the next Smash Brothers!

Have any of our readers finished this adventure? What did you think? (No spoilers, please).


  1. Finished it about a day ago, and predicted this very reaction =)

    Of all of Nintendo’s “mascots,” I have to say Layton is my favorite. Unwound Future merely cements the fact that a game can be enjoyable, witty, and still pull at your heartstrings.

    I was bordering on tears by the end of Diabolical Box. Imagine how I was during the Epilogue.

    Totally related note: I can’t wait to have the Prequel Trilogy localized and over here. Devil’s Flute and Mask of Miracle can’t come soon enough!

  2. Marcus —

    I’m very happy to say your prediction was right on target!

    I totally agree about the prequels: Can’t wait! The Eternal Diva movie looks like a lot of fun, too.

  3. I played through this game similar to the other two. At first, I started playing it enjoying the puzzles, then the story just seemed to get better and better, and near the end, the puzzles just seem to get in the way. If I couldn’t find a solution in a short time, I walk through’ed it just so I could get to the end of the story.

    I did enjoy the game and looking forward to any and all future Layton releases. I wonder what sort of puzzles will be thought of for the 3DS versions.

  4. Does anybody know if Nintendo actually has any legal right over the Professor Layton characters? I know they publish the games, but does Level 5 have all the rights? Well, regardless of all that, Professor Layton certainly feels like he belongs as a Nintendo character.

    I just finished the game and it’s just as fantastic as the other two. There were specific things in the game that I really liked and specific questions I still have, but I can’t mention any of them because they would be huge spoilers. Anyway, I can’t wait for the next game to be localized.

    I also feel that I must brag that I got Professor Layton and the Unwound Future for only $9.99 brand new. I got it off of Amazon with free shipping and used the $20 credit I got from Metroid: Other M (nuts to all the Other M hate; I enjoyed the hell out of it). But getting a Professor Layton game for only $9.99 feels like stealing.

  5. It is awesome. Period. Although, that picture is spoiler enough. 😛

  6. Great article, really makes me want to pick up the series. I’m not really puzzler but I think that it’s something my wife and I could play together.

  7. Well, this was the last Nintendo published Layton game since the 3DS one is to be published directly by Level 5 and when the 4th game is released on DS it will probably be released by Level 5 as well.

  8. I just finished last night. Pretty powerful stuff, but as is typical with Layton games, they threw in a bunch of new character names and “oh-ho, it’s you!” moments that just didn’t quite blow my mind as much as I thought it would.

    But still easily one of the best games/stories this year!