The Newest Layton Game’s 3DS Pricing Is An Unsolved Mystery

The Newest Layton Game’s 3DS Pricing Is An Unsolved Mystery
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Sherl the dog from Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy, just before attempting to solve a puzzle.

Here’s a puzzle: Why does a game that, DLC included, costs $US39 ($50) on mobile in July cost $US48 ($61) on 3DS in October?

Background: The game in question is the puzzle-filled Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy. It’s the seventh major game in what used to be considered the Professor Layton series. Since this new one stars his daughter, the detective Katrielle Layton, let’s just call it the Layton series.

Clue #1: The mobile version of the game launched at $US16 ($20) but included 15 pieces of paid downloadable content that can be thought of as coming in two separate bundles.

Let’s call them DLC Pack A and DLC Pack B. Each piece of DLC consisted of an outfit for Katrielle and another puzzle and sold for $US2 ($3) a piece. All that optional DLC added up.

Players could download the first 10 outfits in a bundle called “Kat’s Clobber & Puzzles Set” for $US15 (instead of $US20 if they bought them individually) and could buy the other five in a bundle called “Kat’s Cosplay & Puzzles Set” for $US8 (instead of $US10).

If a player bought the base game and both DLC bundles, that would run them $US16 + $US15 + $US8 = $US39 ($50).

Photographic Exhibit: The game’s official website seems to suggest that the DLC outfits that are paid for in mobile are unlockable via “special coins” in the 3DS version. Strange, given that the 3DS version charges real money for some of them. Special coins indeed!

Clue #2: The 3DS version launched at $US40, already $US24 more than the mobile game, and $US1 more than the mobile game with both DLC packs. Surely it included all that paid DLC for free, right?

Clue #3: The first 10 pieces of the iOS game’s DLC — DLC Pack A — seem to be hidden in the 3DS version of the game as free content, though our resident puzzle-solver is five hours and three cases into the game and hasn’t found any of it.

The instruction manual indicates that some outfits in the game can be obtained by “special coins known as fashion farthings” and says such coins are “rare.” We think those coins unlock those first 10 bonus outfits.

Clue #4: The other collection of DLC — DLC Pack B — from the mobile game, is not included in the 3DS version. It’s for sale as paid DLC. The bundle costs $US8 ($10), or you can buy the individual parts for $US2 ($3) apiece.

To get DLC Pack B along with the base game, that would run $US40 + $US8 = $US48 ($61).

Investigation notes: A week ago, we asked a PR representative for the game why the 3DS game’s $US40 ($51) base price didn’t cover all of the content in the iOS version, DLC included.

We also asked why developer/publisher Level 5 seemed to be asking 3DS owners, who are already getting Layton’s Mystery Journey months later than mobile customers, to pay more for the same game. A week ago, the PR representative said they’d sent these questions to Level 5. A week later, despite follow-ups, we have no answer.

Solved it? Write your solution in the comments below.


  • So I bought the 3DS version without knowing about this price discrepancy between the iOS & 3DS versions. Do I feel bad? Meh. Not really? Let’s go through why:

    1). Depending on where you get the copy it may be cheaper.
    The iOS version in Australia is at a fixed $24.99. If you include the 2 DLC bundles the total then comes out to $60.97.
    The 3DS version already comes with the first DLC, so we only need to take the second bundle into account: $12. As for the physical game itself its price ranges. EB sells it for $59.95. JB sells it for $59. I bought mine though from at only $46.99. If I was to buy the DLC my total cost would only be $58.99.

    2). I prefer to play on the 3DS due to issues with phone versions.
    Whereas I can play the 3DS version for hours before needing to recharge, my iPhone will last only a fraction of that before prompting me that the battery is low.
    Whereas physical copies have allowed me to retain a save across multiple hardware changes, phone upgrades have caused me to lose my progress with multiple titles.
    Whereas I can still go back and replay all my old DS & 3DS titles with no issue, iOS updates stopped me from playing & completing ‘Layton Brothers: Mystery Room’ until barely two weeks ago.

    3). I personally prefer having a physical copy.
    Call me old-school, but I do like having my console games lining my shelves. My PC library may be 100% digital (and almost entirely on Steam), but for my consoles I really do like seeing my collection physically.

  • Layton’s Mystery Journey is profoundly disappointing for a Layton game, anyway. The puzzles are par for the course and I liked the main trio of characters, but it has a D-grade plot compared to most Layton games. It felt like they were trying really hard to cram it into an episodic format (for the purpose of breaking it up for sale on mobile devices) but the end result is a series of tiny, underwhelming stories that don’t give themselves enough time to go anywhere interesting.

    I’d honestly advise people to stay away from this one. Even big Layton fans.

  • The physical retailer margin is smaller than the margin on mobile. Rather than keep price parity for the consumer we see parity on margin for the publisher by raising the price to account for the smaller return.

    Wont somebody please think of the publishers!

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