3DS Review: Detective Pikachu

Gotta Solve ‘Em All…

As Tim Goodman, you will partner with a self-proclaimed “great detective” Pikachu to solve strange occurrences all over Ryme City. Together you must investigate, take notes, and meet up with other Pokémon to unravel the city’s greatest mysteries. Tim is searching for his missing father in Ryme City, but instead encounters a witty, tough-talking Pikachu! Along the way, experience over 150 fun-filled animated cutscenes starring this unique Pikachu, providing helpful hints or talking up a storm. You can also tap the extra-large Detective Pikachu amiibo™ figure to access all cutscenes up until the current chapter played. As you investigate crime scenes, gather testimonies, uncover information, and interact with Pokémon to solve cases. You’ll have to put your detective skills to the test to foil the mastermind behind the disturbances in Ryme City. All in a day’s work for detective Pikachu.

I honestly didn’t know what to think when I first heard of Detective Pikachu, it sounded like the weirdest spin-off since Mario is Missing. Let’s hope it’s not anywhere near as terrible as that one…

Well, luckily Detective Pikachu is a superb spin-off which sees our Yellow friend join forces with Tim Goodman who can understand Pikachu, something no-one else in Ryme City can do. People and Pokémon have been living in harmony, but there have been some incidents of strange Pokémon behaviour and Tim’s father has also gone missing, so the two join forces to solve the mysteries of the city.

Solving these can result in gameplay that feels like a mixture between Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, plus add in some mini-games for good measure and you have a solid combination that works surprisingly well. Sure, the game isn’t particularly difficult but it’s charming nonetheless and a welcome addition to the Pokémon franchise. Pikachu’s voice-acting is full of witty comments that you wouldn’t expect to hear from him, which is why I can see Ryan Reynolds’ voice-over working with the film version.

The game will last around 8-9 hours and there’s little reason to return, but the experience itself is well worth the price of admission. Detective Pikachu is an odd choice for the series, but one that works well and easily makes me want a sequel.

The Verdict

Detective Pikachu may not tread any new ground for the detective genre, but it does for the Pokémon franchise and pulls it off remarkably well. Definitely one for puzzle fans and Pokémon fans alike.

Score: 8.5