Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

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Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Professor Layton and the Lost Future
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.png
North American box art
Developer(s) Level-5
  • EU Nintendo of Europe
Director(s) Usuke Kumagai
Jun Suzuki
Producer(s) Akihiro Hino
Composer(s) Tomohito Nishiura
Series Professor Layton
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
  • JP November 27, 2008
  • NA September 12, 2010
  • AUS October 21, 2010
  • EU October 22, 2010
Genre(s) Puzzle, Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, known in Europe as Professor Layton and the Lost Future and in Japan as Reiton-kyōju to Saigo no Jikan Ryokō (レイトン教授と最後の時間旅行?, lit. Professor Layton and the Final Time Travel), is the third game and final game in the first trilogy of the Professor Layton puzzle game series by Level-5. It was first released in Japan in November 2008 and was later released in North America in September 2010 and in Europe and Australia in October 2010.


An early puzzle in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. The puzzle is solved via input on the bottom screen, while instructions are given on the top.

As with previous Professor Layton games, Unwound Future is an adventure game where the player solves puzzles offered by local citizens to progress the story forward, through dialogue and around 32 minutes of full motion video. The player moves about the game through still images of locations. The player can use the DS touchscreen to tap on non-player characters to start a dialog or to obtain a puzzle, and also can search anywhere on the background for hint coins, with some areas needing to be tapped several times to reveal a secret hint coin or puzzle. Puzzles are brainteasers of many varieties, including visual, math, and logic. There is no time limit to solve puzzles, and the player can get up to 3 hints at a cost of one hint coin each; a new feature in Unwound Future is a "super hint", costing 2 coins, that can only be bought after the other 3 hints have been revealed, but that nearly reveals the puzzle's solution. If the player is correct in solving the puzzle, they gain a number of "Picarats", a form of currency within the game. Guessing the incorrect answer will reduce the number of picarats the player can get on subsequent attempts. Players can visit certain areas in order to play undiscovered or unsolved puzzles that are left behind as the story progresses.

As part of rewards for solving puzzles, the player may play one of three mini-games that support additional puzzles in Layton's Trunk that can be attempted at any time. One mini-game is based on sticker books, placing the correct stickers at locations in the book to make the story make sense. Another requires training a parrot to carry items to a character using a series of ropes to act as perches or rebounding walls. The third mini-game is a toy car that the player must drive across specific tiles on a map using a series of directional indicators. Layton's Bag also contains details on the story, characters, and a list of completed puzzles the player can review and try again.

After completing the game, several other puzzle challenges become available in the game's bonus features, many more difficult than the main game puzzles. When the player has completed all the puzzles within the game, a final puzzle is revealed. Players may also access a number of bonus features depending on how many picarats that have accumulated throughout the game.

As with the previous two titles in the series, additional weekly puzzles were available for download via the Bonus menu, with one being released each week from the original release date, for 33 weeks.[citation needed] After 20 May 2014, it will not possible to download the additional content, as the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be terminated on that date.[1]


As Layton and Luke are invited to witness a demonstration of a time machine built by Dr. Alain Stahngun, the experiment goes awry, causing the disappearance of Stahngun and the prime minister, Bill Hawks. A week later, as numerous scientists have been reported missing, Layton and Luke receive a letter purporting to be from Luke ten years in the future, leading the two to a quaint clock shop in the London back alleys. Inside, the old couple show the two another time machine in the guise of a giant clock, and they find themselves in a drastically-changed quasi-steam punk London[2] ten years from their present, where they meet the Future Luke. He explains that in this future, Layton has become the head of a mafia-like mob known as the Family and taken control of London, and decides to assist him. After briefly returning to the past to look up some files pertaining to an accident which claimed the life of his girlfriend, Claire, ten years ago, Layton and Luke return to the future London, inadvertently bringing Flora, Inspector Chelmey and his assistant Barton with him. As the group investigates the whereabouts of Future Layton, Luke is reminded that he will soon be moving with his parents.

Arriving at the tower, the group learn that the Future Layton is Dr. Stahngun, whose true identity is Dimitri Allen. He reveals to have taken Bill hostage, revealing that they, along with Claire whom he also had feelings for, were working on a time machine ten years ago, but Bill's desire for money led to the accident that claimed Claire's life. This led to Dimitri's dedication to build a working time machine and return to the past so he can save Claire's life. He attempts to trap Layton, but this is foiled by the fact that Layton had gained the assistance of Don Paolo, who also had feelings for Claire. Together they infiltrate Dimitri's base of operations to free the other scientists, where Layton encounters Claire's near-identical sister, Celeste, who assists them. As everyone gathers at the Thames Arms restaurant, where Dimitri is also waiting for them, Layton manages to deduce that they are not actually in the future, but in a pseudo-replica of London built underground. He also deduces that Dimitri is but a pawn compared to the true mastermind, who is revealed to be the Future Luke, whose true identity is Clive, a boy who sought revenge against Dimitri and Bill and London in general as the explosion that killed Claire also took his parents away from him.

Kidnapping Flora, Clive escapes to his moving fortress, the true purpose behind kidnapping the scientists, which he brings to the surface to attack London. With help from Don Paolo, Layton and Luke manage to board the fortress and free Flora, later joined by Celeste. After deducing that they need to reverse the flow of power from the generator, they discover Bill is attached to the generator, wired to a bomb. With thanks to Claire's old watch, they manage to reroute the bomb, free Bill and reverse the power flow of the fortress, causing it to collapse. After using Don Paolo's modified Laytonmobile to get everyone to the ground, where Chelmey manages to evacuate the underground citizens, Layton returns to help Celeste rescue Clive from the fortress before it falls down into the fake future London and explodes.

As everyone safely regroups, Clive is put under arrest but promises to atone for his crimes, thanking Layton for comforting him as he did the day his parents were killed. It is then revealed that Celeste is actually Claire herself, who was teleported ten years into the future during the accident. However, her presence had become unstable and would soon send her back in time to the moment of her death, leading Dimitri to try to find a way to save her but to no avail. Accepting her fate, Claire has a tearful final reunion with Layton before bidding farewell disappearing back to her time. Layton, although crushed to lose Claire again, finally comes to terms with his loss and removes his hat out of respect to her. After the incident, Layton bids farewell to Luke as he boards a ship to his new home. Some time later, Layton receives a letter from Luke, inviting him to investigate another puzzling situation with him.


The game was released in Japan on November 27, 2008, and was the 15th best-selling game in 2008.[3] A western localization of the game was revealed at E3 2010, with a September 20, 2010, release date for North America, and an October 22, 2010 release date for Europe.[4] An English trailer was also shown. The North American release date was later pushed forward to September 12, 2010.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 86%[5]
Review scores
Publication Score A-[6]
Eurogamer 9/10[7]
Game Informer 8.25/10
GamePro 4/5
GameSpot 8.5/10[8]
GamesRadar 9/10
GameTrailers 8.6/10[9]
IGN 8.5/10[10]
Nintendo Power 9/10
Nintendo World Report 9/10[11]
ONM 93/100
PALGN 8.5/10[12] 8/10
Publication Award
Nintendo Power Best Puzzle Game, Finish Strong Award (2010) [13] Best Puzzle Game (2010) [14]

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future received critical acclaim and is considered the best game in the series so far. Video game talk show Good Game: Spawn Point's two presenters gave the game a 9 and 8.5 out of 10 praising the memo overlay feature and saying "If you're a Layton fan, then you're going to get exactly what you expect — which is some very polished and brilliant puzzle action."[15] Nintendo Power's review gave it a 9 out of 10, stating "I have no qualms calling this the best Professor Layton game yet",[16] and, in the 2010 Nintendo Power awards, it was recognized as both the best puzzle game and the game with the strongest ending released in 2010.[13]

As of December 2010, Unwound Future has sold 862,967 copies in Japan,[17] and more than 1.87 million copies in North America and Europe.[18] As of March 2011, its sales in North America and Europe totalled 1.97 million copies sold.[19]


Like the previous two games, the game's music was composed by Tomohito Nishiura and later released in Japan, on an album titled Layton Kyoju to Saigo no Jikan Ryoko Original Soundtrack. Unwound Future's ending theme, "Time Travel'" was sung by Ann Sally in the original Japanese versions, while the international versions replaced it with an instrumental version. The soundtrack album replaces the vocal theme with a separate piano version, not included in either release of the game. gave the album an 8 out of 10 calling it the "best and most entertaining album in the trilogy, but criticized its "lack of memorability and entertainment outside of the game."[20] RPGFan Music responded favorably stating, "It all held my interest, from start to finish, through multiple listens."[21]

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Official Soundtrack
No. Title English Localization Length
1. "最後の時間旅行のテーマ <生演奏ヴァージョン>"   The Unwound Future (Live Version) 3:39
2. "謎3"   Puzzles Reinvented 2:12
3. "ロンドン2"   London Streets 3:04
4. "手がかりを求め"   Searching for Clues 1:53
5. "緊迫"   Tension 2:23
6. "ロンドン3"   More London Streets 3:51
7. "穏やかな町"   A Quiet Town 1:58
8. "カジノナンバー7"   The Gilded 7 Casino 2:42
9. "悲しみの中"   Sorrow 1:49
10. "不審"   Suspicion 2:34
11. "アジアンストリート"   Chinatown 1:58
12. "ナゾバトル"   Puzzle Battle 1:47
13. "記憶とともに"   Memories 3:00
14. "六角塔"   The Towering Pagoda 2:13
15. "教授の推理"   The Professor's Deductions 2:39
16. "ピンチ!"   Crisis 2:49
17. "科学研究所"   The Research Facility 1:52
18. "謎4"   Puzzles Reinvented 2 1:59
19. "巨大兵器"   The Mobile Fortress 4:00
20. "教授のカバン(絵本)"   The Picture Book 1:58
21. "教授のカバン(ミニカー)"   The Toy Car 1:55
22. "教授のカバン(パロちゃん)"   The Parrot 2:15
23. "時間旅行〜ピアノver.〜(Instrumental)"   Time Travel Piano ver.~Instrumental 3:15
24. "ロンドン3 <生演奏ヴァージョン>"   More London Streets (Live Version) 3:14
25. "科学研究所 <生演奏ヴァージョン>"   The Research Facility (Live Version) 2:33
26. "巨大兵器 <生演奏ヴァージョン>"   The Mobile Fortress (Live Version) 2:58
27. "六角塔 <ハイクオリティーヴァージョン>"   The Towering Pagoda (High Quality Version) 3:56
28. "教授のカバン(ミニカー) <ハイクオリティーヴァージョン>"   The Toy Car (High Quality Version) 3:17
Total length:


  1. ^ "Titles with additional downloadable content". Nintendo. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Review: Chill out with cool Nintendo DS games". CNN. 2006-08-04. 
  3. ^ "JAPANESE 2008 MARKET REPORT". MCVUK. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  4. ^ ""Professor Layton and the Unwound Future" at E3 2010". Nintendo of America. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  5. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Review". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Professor Layton and the Lost Future". 22 October 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Review for DS - GameSpot
  9. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future". GameTrailers. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Review". IGN. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Review - Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Professor Layton and The Lost Future Review - Nintendo DS Video Game Review - PAL Gaming Network
  13. ^ a b "The 2010 Nintendo Power Awards". Nintendo Power 265: 70–71. 2011. 
  14. ^ "1UP's 2010 Game Of The Year Awards". 1UP. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  15. ^ "Good Game: Spawn Point stories - Professor Layton and the Lost Future". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-11-13. 
  16. ^ Chris Hoffman (2010). "The Future's So Bright...". Nintendo Power 260: 87. 
  17. ^ "Professor Layton". Famitsu sales data. Garaph. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Financial Results Briefing for the Nine Month Period Ended December 2010 - Supplementary Information" (PDF). Nintendo. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  19. ^ "Supplementary Information about Earnings Release" (pdf). Nintendo. 2011-04-26. p. 10. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  20. ^ "Professor Layton and the Unwound Future Original Soundtrack: Review". Squareenixmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  21. ^ Gann, Patrick. "Professor Layton and the Last Time Travel OST". RPGFan Music. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 

External links[edit]