The Feb. 8 Nintendo Direct was chock full of exciting announcements regarding Nintendo Switch games releasing in 2023. From a slew of classic Game Boy titles coming to Nintendo Switch Online to more news about the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the Direct seemingly had it all. One announcement near the tail end of the 40-minute event came as a major surprise to fans: the long-awaited next installment in the Professor Layton series.
Since the release of Layton’s Mystery Journey in 2017 and Katri’s Puzzle-Solving Files in 2018, little news has been shared regarding the future of the Layton series. When questioned, series creator Akihiro Hino indicated that he was interested in making another game, but that it was planned to be under the Mystery Journey label and would feature Katrielle and other new characters. For these reasons, fans were absolutely shocked when a new game starring Hershel himself was announced during the Nintendo Direct today.
The newest entry in the Professor Layton series, “Professor Layton and The New World of steam” is in the works!
— Layton Series (@LaytonSeries) February 8, 2023
The new game is called Professor Layton and the New World of Steam. The brief trailer shown during the Direct indicates that the game will feature Hershel Layton solving a new mystery in a steampunk-inspired setting. Little else was revealed, although an official Tweet from the @LaytonSeries account revealed that Luke Triton, Layton’s primary assistant, would also be returning. It has not yet been confirmed if any other returning cast members, including Katrielle and her associates, will appear in the game.
Professor Layton is a series of mystery puzzle games about the titular gentleman, Hershel Layton, who travels around with his assistant Luke solving tricky puzzles and clever crimes. As of 2023, there are six games in the series starring Hershel, one featuring his daughter Katrielle, and one crossover with the Phoenix Wright series. The Professor also appeared in the feature film Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva. A spinoff game, Layton Brothers: Mystery Room, was released in 2012 for smart phones, and stars a new member of the Layton family, Alfendi. An animated spinoff of Mystery Journey, titled Katri’s Puzzle-Solving Files, focused on Katrielle’s search for the missing Professor.
So far, New World of Steam does not have an official release date, although it will likely release sometime in 2023. Hopefully, more information regarding the Gentleman Professor’s triumphant return will be revealed in the future. Welcome back, Professor! Stay tuned to GameLuster for more gaming news.