Layton Brothers Mystery Room
Free on Apple iOS
Akin to the Capcom classic, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, but slightly better, Layton Brothers Mystery Room is a who-dunnit solver game with cartoon characters and wise cracks.
You investigate murders by examining crime scenes within time limits, interviewing witnesses and making deductions based on the the clues and testimonies you’ve gathered.
The game revolves around Detective Constable Lucy Baker, new assistant to the maverick Inspector Alfendi Layton, and their quest to solve various cases which are out of the ordinary way (Lucy is passed off onto Layton due to some bad exam results). Ostensibly, the game is set in Scotland Yard, evidenced by Lucy’s fairly bizarre accent which I guess is an attempt at Yorkshire?
The game has a good sense of humour, albeit fairly gentle, with things like special graphics for Inspector Layton’s habit of predicting the probability of Lucy’s suspects being the culprit (think slashing anime emoticons, close ups on his eyes frowning in concentration, and then the percentage spelled out slowly onscreen).
The graphics are good – fairly anime but with clear colours and edges, and relatively few gratuitous female shots, thankfully (something Phoenix Wright can’t really claim).
The game has a number of cases to solve and saves as it goes; it’s absorbing enough to play and does require some deduction on the part of the user, although bystanders will think you’ve gone made when you start saying things like “Why WAS her hand in the sandwich?!”)
As you interview witnesses, you’ll see arrows with statements supporting whatever you or the witness are saying, aimed at people. When you are leading a successful prosecution and you uncover witness lies, your arrows will break the grinning stone heart thing that hovers above the witness; weird and kinda freaky, but there you go.
At any rate, the game is free, fun and looks good; perfect for some long Tube rides or a lazy afternoon.