Professor Layton and the New World of Steam
Image: Nintendo Life

The wait for what many would refer to as another proper Professor Layton title has been a long one. The initial DS trilogy captured (and then broke) our hearts before the prequels came around and kept our love for the series going across a further three games — even if the jump to the 3D art style took some getting used to.

But the last one of these, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, was way back in 2013, an eye-watering ten years ago. Sure, we had Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy ported over to Switch in 2019, but that was always going to be more of a spinoff from the main story with no Hershel, no Luke, and (arguably) no intrigue on the puzzles.

Fortunately, the long wait will soon be over (well, soon-ish). Professor Layton and the New World of Steam was announced out of the blue back in the February Nintendo Direct showcase with a tiny little teaser to boot. This was then expanded upon in Level-5's two Vision 2023 presentations, where we got a closer look at what the game has in store as well as the all-important release window.

Below, we have assembled a rundown of everything that we know so far about the New World of Steam. So grab your cup of fruity tea, make sure that you've got all your Hint Coins in order, and let's dive into the evidence...

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam FAQs

When is it coming out?

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam World
Image: Level-5

Deep breath. Level-5 has announced that Layton's next adventure is set to release in 2025.

This was revealed in the studio's Vision 2023 November Showcase, where studio head Akihiro Hino stated that work on all of the game's puzzles has been completed and "production is progressing quite smoothly".

Will it release outside Japan?

Yes! After Level-5 announced back in 2020 that no more of its major games would be seeing a console release outside of Japan, we were a little concerned about this one.

But the Vision 2023 showcase said it loud and clear: Professor Layton and the New World of Steam will receive an international release.

Is there a trailer?

Why yes, there is. Many, in fact. You can check out the full trailer from both Vision 2023 presentations as well as the February Nintendo Direct teaser below:

Who's making the puzzles?

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam QuizKnock
Image: Level-5

QuizKnock will be handling puzzle duties this time around.

Following the death of Akira Tago (the creator of the first six games' puzzles), this was always going to be a big signing, but it looks like QuizKnock will be cut out for it. The group is probably best known for its puzzle and riddle-centric YouTube channel and will be designing a fresh batch of head-scratchers for the latest game.

Where does it sit in the Layton timeline?

Chronologically, this is the latest title in the mainline Layton franchise. The game takes place one year after the events of the third game in the series, Professor Layton and the Lost Future, following Luke's letter from that game's post-credits scene.

This is many years prior to Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy.

What's it about?

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam Luke
Image: Level-5

As we had theorised, the 'New World' of the title is America, and the game will see Hershel Layton making a trip across the pond to reunite with Luke.

The game will take place in the city of Steam Bison, an area that has managed to achieve great technological advancements due to its development of highly advanced steam engines.

As for what the central mystery will entail, we can't be sure yet. The end of the latest trailer seemed to hint at a mysterious gunslinger on the loose, potentially pointing towards a murder investigation — it wouldn't be the first time that the series has explored the subject, after all.

The trailer states that the city will develop with the number of puzzles that you solve which could be the suggestion of a new mechanic, or rather just a re-wording of the "you need to have solved X number of puzzles to pass" that we have seen before.

What we do know is that Layton is not seen as the renowned detective that he is in London, so prepare for 'Detective Luke' to take a more prominent role in this one.

Will it have the same voice cast?

Partially (in Japan at least). We know that Yo Oizumi will be returning to voice Hershel Layton once again in the Japanese recording, while Mio Imada will be taking on the role of Luke Triton.

The Western voice cast has not been announced just yet.

Is it releasing on Switch?

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam - Steam Bison
Image: Level-5

As far as we know, yes it is. The game was initially announced for Switch, but the 2025 release date has us wondering whether this might end up on Nintendo's next console (whatever that may be).

There is every chance that this could be a cross-gen release — assuming the 'Switch 2' is out by 2025 — but the chances that this is released exclusively on old hardware doesn't seem likely.

Is Katrielle going to appear?

Given that the game takes place roughly four years prior to Katrielle's birth, it's not looking likely that she'll appear in this one. Then again, with a series like Layton, time travel is always a possibility...

Keep an eye on this guide for future updates on the New World of Steam and take to the comments to let us know what features, characters, and story elements you'd like to see in the next instalment.