Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room is a crime solving mystery game from Level-5, the team behind the well-known Professor Layton series on Nintendo DS. While this incarnation may only bear passing ties to the prof's previous adventures, it's still a solid adventure game that will remind you of Phoenix Wright in some ways. Which is a good thing!
Inspector Alfendi Layton is a bit of a genius investigator. His new assistant Lucy Baker isn't as sharp, but she shows a lot of promise. You help Lucy and Layton solve crimes one case at a time, each more unusual than the last. And seeing how the first mystery is about a strangled woman with her hand in a sandwich, that's saying something. Cases take place in several stages, with you working through the investigation at each turn. It starts with the crime scene, allowing you to zoom and pan around an exact recreation while you gather evidence. Suspects get questioned, clues are uncovered, and eventually you get to j'accuse someone and follow through to get to the heart of the matter.
Even though most of the investigation is "on rails", there's still a fair bit of challenge to be found in Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. It's more of an interactive mystery than a traditional game in some ways, but it's written and illustrated so well you'll get drawn in all the same. The free download offers up two mysteries to play through, each one taking about half an hour to complete, maybe longer. Two separate in-app purchases let you buy chapters three through nine, which is a hefty amount of content.
Be ready to do some honest crime solving with Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. Moderate leaps of logic aren't out of the question, just make sure they're, you know, logical!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 3. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.