Level 5 and Capcom join their forces by combining their two independent franchises into a new game. Capcom's top defense attorney, Phoenix Wright with his assistant, Maya, as well as Level 5's duo for knack of solving puzzles, professor Layton with his assistant, Luke Triton. Professor Layton gets a mysterious visit which pulls him to a wild chase of witches an magic... something neither Layton nor Luke believe in. At the same time, Phoenix Wright arrives with his assistant, Maya Fey, to an airfield in London on a case. While English courtroom presents some slight differences in how Phoenix defends his clients, he still pulls it off as masterfully as ever. Both Phoenix and Layton, independently, find themselves reading pages from a book called Historia Labyrinthia where they appear to be the characters in. What's more, they magically find themselves transported to the world described in the book.
Labyrinthia, a magical medieval city surrounded by tall walls, where magic exist and witches are being prosecuted and burned alive just for being what they are. Furthermore, Labyrinthia holds the Storyteller in high esteem, as he writes the story and events that transpire in the city, and what he writes cannot be altered. While Layton and Luke retain their memories, Phoenix and Maya find themselves working at the local bakery without remembering their life prior to being magically transported to Labyrinthia. When Espella Cantabella, a new friend of both Phoenix and Layton, is charged with being a witch, Phoenix Wright finds himself defending her in the courtroom where noone would ever dare to defend someone charged with being a witch. During the trial, while everyone laughs at a baker acting as a lawyer, ace attorney's memories try to surface and his top defense skills start to naturally appear in court, soon granting him the new name of Sir Blue Knight, due to his blue suit and sharp logic. As Phoenix and Layton both care for Espella, and want to find the way to return to their world, they team up in order to solve the mystery behind this place, uncover what witches are all about, and find a way home.
Being a crossover of Ace Attorney and Professor Layton franchises, the gameplay contains everything from both worlds, though with some unique tweaks in gameplay. Bottomline, it's about exploration, solving puzzles, and defending a client in a courtroom. In Professor Layton series, Luke and Layton are always together and they comment on everything and solve puzzles together. This time, there are four protagonists, and throughout the course of the story the player will have different party of characters during the exploration, and even solving puzzles. While exploring areas and traversing a map, the player can click on various objects (often comments will be given in turn by each character in the current party), talk to character, stumble into puzzles (some obligatory, but most optional), and collect hidden coins. While coins were always used to unlock hints to solving puzzles in the past, here they can also be used to unlock hints during the trials, often providing an indicator on the witness' testimony where Phoenix needs to objects, and if there is an item that needs to be presented, half of the wrong items will be deselected to help with the selection of the right clue.
Phoenix Wright is the only defense attorney here, and while everyone will get their hands on solving puzzles and exploring the town of Labyrinthia, only Phoenix gets to object in court. However, Maya, Luke, and Layton may be on his side of the bench to help with advice or ask some useful questions. Trials do consist of catching a witness in a lie or a contradiction with the clue at hand and presenting it to the judge. However, in this strange new land, accused aren't innocent until proven guilty, but rather guilty until proven innocent. Furthermore, several witnesses are questioned on the stand at the same time. This in turn adds a new feature where one of the witnesses can react to something the other witness said which lets Phoenix stop questioning the current witness and switching to another one to uncover more clues or gets to a new contradiction. Questioning multiple witnesses at the same time can also create contradictions between their own statements which too can be pressed on and objected. The game has full support for 3D screen depth, as is expected for a 3DS game, and features many animated cut-scenes which also have different depths and are comprised of animations within animations to give a more 3D feel to it. Voice-acting is present but is very limited and mostly appears during some key conversations. While this is not new for Professor Layton series where Luke and Layton had voice-overs since the beginning, for Ace Attorney series it's a fairly new experience since Phoenix never said anything more than "Objection!", "Hold It!" or "Take That!". Following the game's default dialogue speed and not exploring anything past what is required, the game still provides around 30 hours of gameplay.