Murder by Numbers Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Summary: Los Angeles, 1996. Honor Mizrahi was just an actress on a hit TV detective show. But when her boss ends up dead just minutes after he fires her,she finds herself starring in her own murder mystery. Teaming up with SCOUT, a reconnaissance robot thrown away after a mysterious incident, sheLos Angeles, 1996. Honor Mizrahi was just an actress on a hit TV detective show. But when her boss ends up dead just minutes after he fires her,she finds herself starring in her own murder mystery. Teaming up with SCOUT, a reconnaissance robot thrown away after a mysterious incident, she sets out to clear her name - and a new detective duo is born!

    Investigate a range of murders across TV studios, glitzy award shows, drag clubs, and more - all set to an energetic soundtrack from famed composer Masakazu Sugimori (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Ghost Trick and Viewtiful Joe).

    Uncover a dark conspiracy by interrogating a wild range of weird and wonderful characters, designed by the incomparable Hato Moa, creator of Hatoful Boyfriend.
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Murder by Numbers - Special Animated Intro Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Mar 10, 2020
    100
    If you want to train your brain in more ways than one, enjoy a murder mystery that'll keep you on your toes until the very end, and view some pretty wild 90s fashion designs, Murder By Numbers is the game for you.
  2. Mar 11, 2020
    90
    Murder By Numbers puts you into the heart of a detective drama with fun characters to hook you into the story and puzzles that give your brain a decent workout.
  3. Apr 13, 2020
    90
    Murder by Numbers is a weird and wonderful recipe that successfully merges nanogram puzzles with some light detective mechanics and an entertaining murder mystery-style visual novel. The end result is a truly original experience and one that takes an otherwise straightforward puzzle-type and moves it in an exciting and surprising new direction.
  4. Mar 6, 2020
    80
    Murder by Numbers has all the logic of picross with the look and feel of your favorite childhood cartoon.
  5. Apr 1, 2020
    70
    Murder By Numbers puts a narrative-heavy spin on the Picross experience and accompanies it with enough difficulty setting that even a mathematically challenged fool like me to get engrossed in the grid-filling action for hours on end. Unfortunately, so much of the story is tainted by unlikeable characters and a constant barrage of eye-rolling references that take away from the otherwise unique style of the world. I was still engaged enough with the mystery and addictive soundtrack to see the game through, but the number of times I had to pause the game and walk away after reading another miserable 90s reference soured the experience.
  6. Mar 15, 2020
    70
    Murder by Numbers is a very interesting idea, that brings the Picross puzzles and the narrative adventures together. It has a slow start, but it’s once you’re in, you won’t be able to get out.
  7. 60
    A highly unlikely combination of Ace Attorney and Picross but despite the game’s best efforts it’s a mixture that never really gels together.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Mar 7, 2020
    8
    I'm really enjoying my time with it. It's nice to play a story-heavy game that doesn't feel like it was written by a 13 year old JapaneseI'm really enjoying my time with it. It's nice to play a story-heavy game that doesn't feel like it was written by a 13 year old Japanese girl. Worth a pickup for Phoenix Wright & Picross fans. My only gripes are that I missed some of the dialog until I slowed it down. Also, the puzzles have no touchscreen option that I'm aware of and the thumbstick is not precise. Expand
  2. Apr 6, 2020
    5
    Buy only if you enjoy picross... If you had a pleasure experiencing masterful Phoenix Wright, the story here has nothing to offer and theBuy only if you enjoy picross... If you had a pleasure experiencing masterful Phoenix Wright, the story here has nothing to offer and the dialogues are among weakest I saw in VN. No shocks, no twists,everything's quite predictible and safe or you just don't care. Characters are not that interesting either, Visual design is fine, but models lack variety. Price is fine though... Expand
  3. Mar 18, 2020
    5
    I went in really excited because I a) love murder mysteries, b) love Ace Attorney, and c) love picross puzzles. Unfortunately, this did notI went in really excited because I a) love murder mysteries, b) love Ace Attorney, and c) love picross puzzles. Unfortunately, this did not scratch any of those itches well. I think this could be a decent I.P. but there were a lot of things that made this an underwhelming experience.

    First, the story is incredibly weak. There are so many "twists" I could see coming from a mile away. It has none of the surprises a good mystery should. Moreover, the murders are so unceremonious. They just sorta happen and the cases are super dull. You're not trying to solve some insane murder, you're just sort of bumming around look for clues to who did it (even though the player almost certainly knows because the murderer is obvious to any Ace Attorney player). The overarching plot is ok but not great. Also, the side characters that show up are so boring, especially in comparison to Ace Attorney which has such colorful casts.

    Second, the soundtrack is a MASSIVE letdown. Masakazu Sugimori is responsible for two of my favourite soundtracks of all time and this is such a bland set from him. It feels like Ace Attorney with no style. It doesn't sound like it was composed by a veteran like him.

    Third, the pacing is really bad. It's like three minutes of plot followed by a 10 minute picross, multiplied by a couple dozen times and it wears down on you. Ace Attorney elements are almost non-existent. No interrogations, barely any careful piecing together of murders. Just an endless onslaught of picross puzzles that began to wear me down due to the poor pacing and lack of variety. There needs to be more game here. Not just a bunch of picross puzzles with a story.

    Finally, and this is what I consider to be the nail in the coffin, the picross puzzles aren't good. One of the coolest things about a picross puzzle is that you get to create a really nice piece of pixel art. In this game, none of the pieces look great when complete and I can't tell what they are half the time because it relies on coloring in after completion to reveal what it is. The puzzles look ugly. Even when filled with color, it's hard to tell what half of them look like and I have to read the title to get what it's supposed to be.

    I realize this is a harsh review but when you're catering to such a niche audience, you have to have a good grasp on why that audience exists. This game lacks so much of what makes a good mystery, Ace Attorney game, and picross puzzle and the only things saving it from being an absolute trainwreck are a good main cast, decent character design, and some really progressive details like a woman of color as the lead (without constantly bringing it up to showcase it) and an honest and respectful look at the drag scene.

    If the devs are willing to take these critiques to heart, I believe they could continue with a sequel, refine the hell out of it, and come out the other side with a phenomenal little gem in the indie scene. But I have to say... as far as this one is concerned, I recommend skipping it. It won't give you what you're looking for.
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  4. Mar 15, 2020
    4
    Just a picross game with irrelevant text arround it. This game doesnt give you any reason to read the story. Theres no mystery, no clues toJust a picross game with irrelevant text arround it. This game doesnt give you any reason to read the story. Theres no mystery, no clues to find. You can finish the game skipping all dialog with the max rating. Artstyle is Ok tho. Expand
  5. Jul 4, 2020
    3
    I WANT to give this a solid 8 out of 10 for great music, fun (if predictable) stories similar to something you'd see in Phoenix Wright, andI WANT to give this a solid 8 out of 10 for great music, fun (if predictable) stories similar to something you'd see in Phoenix Wright, and great art design.

    Unfortunately, in the third case there is apparently an easily missable puzzle. If you miss completing it, you're locked out of unlocking additional puzzles (and story content) without replaying the entire case. This is several hours of repetitive work. Some quick searches reveal people have been complaining about this since March, and it's July and they've not done anything to fix this.

    Very disappointing I can't rate this higher, but in such a straight-forward game that clearly mimics something like Phoenix Wright in it's design, this is inexcusable design.
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