If there is one thing we all love, it would be a good murder mystery. Detective Grimoire, as the name may seem to imply, is about a detective who is investigating a murder. And this murder victim happens to be an owner of a tourist attraction. Set in a swamp. With the main suspect being the legendary bog monster said attraction is based around.
The game is taken very lightly, as evident by the premise and simplistic (yet gorgeous) art style but do not take that as a fault, it is very charming. There is a lot of humour in the game, something that you don’t always see in this genre. I very much enjoyed the writing and interacting with the characters the game presents, even if some of them displayed quite clichéd tropes.
There are many suspects in the game which you have to talk to, one might argue this being the main part of the gameplay. Through talking to them and asking questions about the evidence you have so far gathered, you learn more facts about them and their peers. In your notebook, you are able to mark these facts as suspicious or not suspicious, to help you determine who the murderer is (the marking feature is purely to help the player and it is not required to progress). Upon discovering the right information, you unlock a ‘challenge question’ for the suspect. Instead of just listening to dialogue, you now have to piece together what you have learnt (by picking the correct options) in order to discover something new.
There are quite a few ways that Detective Grimoire helps break up the gameplay. In order to get access to certain areas, you must first solve a simple puzzle. These are typically quite easy, but as they are not the main focus of the game and doesn’t have any negative effect on the pacing. There is also the point and click aspect, which allows you to gather evidence and hear witty comments about your surroundings.
There are a few red herrings as to who murdered the tourist owner, and the revelations you find out later in the game are interesting, however by the culminating scenes you will definitely know what has happened. One mystery that is left unsolved is the character of a little girl who aids you in your investigation throughout. She is mysterious and begs for a follow up game for who she really is. There were parts, however, that I felt like she could have not been part of the story as she seemed like a mystical plot device to keep it moving.
Overall though, Detective Grimoire is a very enjoyable game, although a little on the short side – Purely from it’s portable routes. But for only £4.99, that is well worth the price. The voice acting is well done, and the animation and art of the characters is fantastic, not to mention the beautiful and varied environments and the simply stellar soundtrack. The story is interesting, and the characters themselves are rather endearing. But best of all, you actually do feel quite like a detective, discovering the mysteries surrounding Boggy’s Bog.
+ Lovely animation style
+ Stellar soundstrack
+ Great mystery
- Would have loved more for the desktop version