Playing with Professor Layton has always been a solitary experience. Well, until now. It turns out Level-5 is going to be collaborating with DeNA to make it a more social experience. See, the Professor Layton adventure and puzzle series is going to merge with DeNA’s Kaito Royale a mission-based, social RPG. The result is an entirely new game called Professor Layton Royale that will be an adventure RPG people can play on their phones.
While details about how Professor Layton Royale will play are scant, due to it not being released on Japanese cell phones and smartphones until Fall 2011, it seems like it will be very similar to Kaito Royale. In Kaito Royale, players put together groups of Macho, Intelligent and Sexy type thieves in order to accomplish missions and defeat bosses, either alone or with friends. Players are also able to steal from one another. Level-5 and DeNA have already confirmed that players can choose from detective, thief and citizen character classes. Perhaps there will be puzzles and mysteries to solve and each character class will have a different skill set that is needed to complete a case. That way, it’d encourage people with different characters to work together.
Professor Layton Royale is going to be a free-to-play game that will first be released in Japan, and later be localized in other regions. If you have a cell phone or smartphone that will be able to access DeNA’s Mobage service, you’ll be able to play. As with almost all free-to-play ventures, there will be a cash shop where people can spend real money on items that will give them an edge, wave social requirements or make the game less challenging.
So, would you play? I’m not so sure. I really love the current Professor Layton game format, and can’t imagine it carrying over to a social networking game. But, if it’s free and I have a phone that will be compatible with it, I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. Besides, I’m so used to playing Professor Layton games on a DS that I can’t even imagine the series on any other platform without screenshots or a trailer.