Jan 29, 2014Detective Grimoire was one of my favorite online mystery games. Not only was the mystery intriguing, but the characters were all memorable and unique, offering dozens of conversation topics and realistic interrogations. However, my greatest enjoyment of the game came from the fact that you felt in the driver's seat. You were the one who found the clues, pieced them together, and made yourDetective Grimoire was one of my favorite online mystery games. Not only was the mystery intriguing, but the characters were all memorable and unique, offering dozens of conversation topics and realistic interrogations. However, my greatest enjoyment of the game came from the fact that you felt in the driver's seat. You were the one who found the clues, pieced them together, and made your deductions with no help from a nagging narrator or omniscient plot-spoiler. That being said, I was elated to find Detective Grimoire on the App Store, since I assumed that the trailer I had seen years ago never came to fruition. So, is Grimoire's spiritual successor a worthy sequel or a lackluster app?
For starters, when I first saw the design of the app I didn't know what to think. The backgrounds and atmosphere looked unbelievable, with a beautiful color scheme and that perfect blend of abstraction. My problem was with the minimalistic designs of the characters. Unlike the relatively more realistic models of the original game, this Grimoire has an overwhelmingly cartoonish and simplistic approach to the characters. Very little shading or detail is done on the models, which I assumed would be a major letdown considering a majority of the gameplay involves talking with the characters. However, I was surprised at how much I grew to love the design and fluid animations each character possessed, as well as the top-notch voice work that accompanied each one. Edwyn Tiong, a moderately famous voice in online gaming, flawlessly voices Grimoire, possessing a delightful mix of sarcasm and cluelessness that made the character memorable in the original. In fact, the entire cast is stellar, each providing life and emotion to their characters, no matter how insignificant their role is to the narrative. This, along with a mesmerizing, yet haunting, score creates the perfect atmosphere for the mystery.
The gameplay is also top-notch, though lacks the intuitiveness of its predecessor. You still play the role of the detective, interviewing witnesses, finding clues scattered about the dilapidated swamp, and piecing together deductions until the murderer has revealed itself. However, in this game you are much more restricted in your detective work. There is no way to fail and the game always tells you where to go next, unlike the original where you explored until everything you needed had been found. Additionally, the mystery is much less perplexing than in the original game. Once you encounter the villain, you know it's going to be the villain simply because none of the other suspects had the motivation for murder. While in the original game there were tense relationships between suspects, bitter feuds, and backstabbing that left no one safe from interrogation, people are eliminated after mere seconds into their conversations due to the sheer improbability of them committing a crime. There are other minor flaws, such as game freezing and bugs, but none significantly detract from the experience. Despite these let-downs, interrogation and discovering clues are still a blast due to the incredibly witty dialogue and Grimoire's undeniable charm, keeping the gameplay fresh from your first steps off the boat to the mysterious cliffhanger.
In the end, Detective Grimoire's first iOS experience is a success. Despite the occasional bug and the freedom that made the original game so memorable, Grimoire's beautiful atmosphere, addictive detective work, and incredible voice-overs make it a necessity for any gamers longing for an engaging mystery.
Feb 7, 2015I made a metacritic account just for this game. This game far exceeded my expectations. The voice acting,animation, and characters were brilliantly done and while it was a bit short I fully enjoyed solving this mystery and eagerly await when I can play the sequel.