Developer & Publisher: Frogwares
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Also Available On: PC, PlayStation, and Xbox
The Nintendo Switch is now home to many ports, all of which vary significantly in quality due to the console’s limitations. Still, most of them are worth jumping into due to the hybrid console’s handheld nature. Occasionally the Switch gets a port that doesn’t seem to make any compromise, and Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is one of those.
For those who aren’t familiar with the original 2014 release, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is an adventure game that allows the player the freedom to be the iconic detective. There are a few creative decisions that make this depiction of Holmes stand out from others, but this is a mostly faithful adaptation. The six cases that players take on throughout the game vary from adaptations of popular stories and original tales that borrow elements. Both the adapted and original stories are intriguing throughout, and while the bigger picture isn’t anything special, players will likely always be engaged with the story in front of them.
Unlike most games with detective mechanics, players can actually make the wrong deductions and fail to solve a case. Players are free to choose the questions they ask and decide on how to interpret the answers that they receive. Players will use the resources they have and the clues they find to make the most logical decisions. If the player spends too much time thinking about a case, important leads may pass them by, inevitably resulting in failure. If players fail a case, they will simply need to live with it and move on with the game.
Fortunately, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments isn’t remarkably hard, letting just about anyone feel like an actual detective. With a keen enough eye everyone will find success, and failing rarely feels unfair. The game’s puzzles are sometimes frustrating though, sometimes expecting players to make deductions that simply aren’t logical. This isn’t uncommon of puzzle games, so fans of that genre likely won’t be surprised by this.
As a port, the Nintendo Switch version hardly misses a beat. The visuals look fantastic, and returning players won’t likely notice a downgrade in the visuals at all. Despite being a game from 2014, this is actually one of the best looking games on the Nintendo Switch. The game’s framerate holds up throughout the experience too, ensuring that it runs as good as it looks. The game does suffer from some long loading times, especially when quick traveling between locations. Otherwise, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is a delight here.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is a stellar game for detectives who are like to solve mysteries on the go. This is one of the few ports on the Nintendo Switch without any compromise, which in itself is worth celebrating. It won’t hold the player’s hands, but that’s what makes Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments so special.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is a stellar game for detectives who are like to solve mysteries on the go.