Detective Pikachu is an adventure game for the 3DS that is developed by Creatures, Inc. and published by The Pokémon Company. The game is unique from the previous Pokémon installments by using quick-time events (QTE) and logic puzzles throughout the game to solve the cases. Plus, who would have thought to make a Pikachu love coffee and be a detective?!
The story takes place two months after Tim Goodman’s father, Harry, goes missing after being hot on the trail of a drug called “R.” So Tim Goodman arrives in Ryme City to investigate and shortly encounters his father’s Pikachu… who can now talk and is a coffee addict?! The game progresses by solving each case, and at first, you would assume that they’re all unrelated until a couple chapters in where it’s revealed how each case is linked to another.
As for the ending, it alludes to a possible sequel, but it is a self-contained story that does not really need a sequel unless Creatures, Inc. decides to develop one. Plus, you can see a photo “epilogue” of the characters after their cases were solved.
The gameplay reminds me of Ace Attorney and Ace Attorney Investigations where the player can investigate the surroundings to find clues and gather testimonies from people. The difference is, in Detective Pikachu, the player can also use Pikachu to talk to the other Pokémon to gain more clues to solve the case. Then to solve each case and progress through the story, Tim and Pikachu will have to deduce how the incident occurred and find the culprit by playing through a logic puzzle game.
Be warned though, during the cutscenes, the player will not be able to take a quick break because you may need to complete a couple QTE. They’re simple and it is very difficult to fail them. If by chance you do, you’ll be able to try again.
The characters are more of your everyday interaction types, where some are more memorable than others. The most memorable character is, of course, Pikachu who is a coffee lover and has a deep voice that startled many fans when the game was first revealed. Unfortunately, there is barely any character development, but that’s to be expected for this game.
A bolt of… No… That’s not it…
Of course, the game does have some faults. I wished that the difficulty of the cases would be a tad bit more challenging because it is fairly easy to solve them. Yes, I know it is created for kids, but just a tad bit more challenge would have been nice. The challenging part of the game was during the auction sequence where I had to win two items. It was a tad more challenging than other actions but it was easily doable.
Also, for a game that includes logic puzzle games, I wished more of it was used during the cases. I was slightly disappointed these puzzles weren’t used as much as I hoped. I hope that if there is a sequel, more logic puzzle games would be included.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping to replay this game, there is fairly little end-game content. Most of the end-game content is the Pika Prompts that require the Detective Pikachu amiibo, or replaying the cases to unlock any missing Pika Prompts (which are adorable to view).
Overall, the game is unique and fun. If you are wanting to play a game similar to Ace Attorney Investigations (and enjoy the Pokémon series) but more laid back, then you can pick up Detective Pikachu! Just be mindful that if you’re a veteran of the Ace Attorney series, then the game may be a bit too easy.