THE ACADEMY: THE FIRST RIDDLE Steam Review: Heading Back To Class In Pine Studio's New Puzzle Game

Pine Studios recently launched their Professor Layton/Harry Potter-inspired puzzle title on PC and mobile called The Academy: The First Riddle. The studio provided us with a steam key so check out our review!

Reviews Opinion

Fans of the Professor Layton series of video games and the Harry Potter franchise will not be disappointed with The Academy: The First Riddle. A wondrous and magical story is told using an academy (hence the title) as a focal point for the plot with puzzles and mystery laced throughout the entirety of the game.

Very seldom do I find myself genuinely challenged by puzzle-style video games but there are moments where The Academy: The First Riddle had me stumped - which is a very good thing. The purpose of video games is to overcome a challenge and often times I find myself disappointed by the brain-teasers and mini-puzzles in games, but Pine Studios knocked this title out of the park.

I won't spoil anything about the story itself, but I will say that it is fun-filled with plenty of silliness and unexpected antics and happenings to keep the player intrigued and immersed in the plot. Plenty of colorful characters are littered throughout the campus, providing the player with plenty of options for pals to chat with when not advancing the story.

The idea of the game is pretty straightforward: use your smarts to solve problems presented to you in classes such as History, Symbols, Machines, Music, and plenty more in addition to getting to the bottom of the mysteries which pop up around the school. Every question that is presented to the player is pretty tough on its own -- not to mention accompanied by an even more difficult question which can be skipped due to the increased challenge level. Luckily, there are chocolate bars scattered around the messy school campus, and consuming them offers a hint to assist with problem-solving.

Personally, the only issue I took with this title was the controls themselves. I loved everything that had to do with problem-solving and the challenging puzzles, but when it came time to navigate the campus in between courses it felt like little more than a chore.

If I could have chosen an option to just answer all of the questions, I'd be addicted to this game hardcore. With respect, I did review The Academy: The First Riddle on PC so it is possible that the game is easier to navigate on mobile.

I found the story of The Academy: The First Riddle to be engaging and the puzzles to be quite challenging. An interesting cast of characters peppers the mysterious school campus, laying exceptional intrigue and a perfect backdrop to a problem-solving based video game.

The Academy: The First Riddle: 9/10


The Academy: The First Riddle is a puzzle-packed adventure set in a school filled with mystery.

The Academy: The First Riddle is now available on PC and Mac via Steam, Google Play, and the App Store.
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