News of a Japanese adventure game coming to the Nintendo DS is becoming relatively common, though it's often uncertain at first that they will ever release in English markets. After the February 2007 release of Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village in Japan, similar doubts began to arise that we would ever see the game translated. Now, however, word has come out of Nintendo's E3 presentation that the game will be released in North America under the name Professor Layton and the Curious Village in December.
Mr. Allen Reinford, a wealthy man, dies leaving a mysterious will referring to a 'Golden Fruit,' the discovery of which will lead to Reinford's fortune. His puzzled family asks for the help of English archaeologist Professor Layton and his assistant Luke to find this fruit. The challenge consists of large numbers of logic, spatial and mathematical puzzles, interspersed with exploration of the village, which will provide more information that will hopefully lead to Reinford's Golden Fruit.
The game's puzzles, reminiscent of DS titles like Brain Age and Brain Training, were designed by Akira Tago. Although less famous elsewhere around the world, Tago is the writer of the series of Head Exercises quiz books, which are extremely popular in Japan. Many of the puzzles come directly from the books while some were written by Tago specifically for the game.
While there isn't yet an English website for Curious Village, the official Japanese website shows the characters, screenshots and a trailer highlighting the animation and puzzles. The game is set for release in North America on December 3, 2007.