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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – TurboGrafx CD

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – TurboGrafx CD

SherlockPlatform: Turbografx CD,

Developer: ICOM Simulations

Publisher: ICOM Simulations

Release Date (NA):

Genre: FMV, Action/Adventure

Nerd Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

*Note, this is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Volume I.

Sherlock Holmes… Who is this man? Well, if you don’t know, then you’re not American! Wait, what? Sherlock isn’t American? Oh. Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because he is popular in American culture too! So, yeah!

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which always struck me as odd consideringsherlock2 Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson are British and all of the stories take place in London. But anyway… (Cue the harmonica)… Holmes made his novel debut in 1887 in A Study in Scarlet. Doyle would write only three more novels about Holmes, but 55+ short stories were created that revolved entirely on Holmes and his innate logical reasoning which consisted of forensic science, process of elimination, logic, and more. Often referred to as the master of disguise, Sherlock Holmes was cunning and undetectable in his outfitted camouflage.

With all of that being said, what on earth has ICOM Simulations gotten us involved in here? At first glance Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective sounds like a very strange and interesting game. If you’re not into FMV games (and who really is?), then you’ll most certainly want to kill yourself right this second. But wait! Put that 16 oz hammer down. Let’s say, by chance, that you’re into adventure… mystery… and forensics……. are you? Then maybe it is worth giving Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective a go-round and determine for yourself if you have the skills and raw reasoning capabilities to help Holmes and Watson solve some of London’s stickiest cases…

Our sleuthy novel begins with the table of contents where you, the player, are given a multitude of options. Laid out like the contents table in a book, you can choose to read the following chapters: Instructions, Holmes’ Introduction, The Mummy’s Curse, The Mystified Murderess, The Tin Soldier, Load Game, or Save Game. Instead of moving from option to option, the d-pad functions as a sort of mouse and you move a cursor (appropriately animated as a hand holding an old wooden pipe). This sort of “cursor” option would prove ingenious as ICOM Simulations would later port this game to DVD in 1999 and players could easily use the directional buttons on the remote to control the game. Unfortunately, “DVD Games” would never quite pick up in popularity. You’d think they would have learned from the mistakes of the 3DO and CD-i when they attempted to be all-in-one home entertainment systems. But oh well. A lot less is lost by a failed DVD-game than an entire failed system.

Navigating the menus and getting the pointer (cursor) to function properly proved to be a little more challenging than I first sherlock-holmes-fmvanticipated. But let’s not let that detract from the overall experience of the game. Each case begins with a grainy FMV video featuring Holmes and Watson introducing the story to us in a rather decent setting with attire appropriate for the time period and decent acting. A lot of these FMV games featured some halfway decent acting from mostly unknown actors (other than the famous Double Switch featuring Cory Haim and the inimitable R. Lee Ermy). The introductory videos provide a few clues about the case, but it is tough to really decipher their riddles sometimes. You’ll need to listen carefully.

Following the video, we can now put our detective skills to work. We are presented with a map and some icons on the left and right side. There is no description as to what these icons are unless you go back to the main menu and go through the “introductory” screen. These icons provide you with a directory, a set of notes, a daily newspaper, a video clip with some clues, and a telegraph system (which is prompted when you click a name from the directory or your notes), a notebook of clues, and a judge’s gavel. In order to turn your case into the judge, you will need to have sufficient clues and evidence for him to take this to trial.

sherlock 2Making games like Sherlock Holmes is more like making a movie. The location scout, set designer, and casting agent did fairly decent jobs in this game. I can’t say they are spectacular, but they far exceed my original expectations. I was pretty gung-ho about playing this game, then I started and I was a little confused, but then I got excited as I started to uncover some clues. The sleuth detective aspects of the game remind me of Voyeur for the CD-i, but with much less adult content. Unfortunately for Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you can easily bypass “playing” the game by simply going through every clue. No real action is required on your part as once you uncover enough of the right clues, you’ll then have everything you need to win the game. It’s too easy to just click and click until you win. There is no skill required whatsoever. But it can be quite time consuming to dig through all of the names and newspaper articles. So it behooves you to pay close attention to the introductory video and any other specific clues you pick up on. Knowing the story helps.

However, with that being said Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective could still be incredibly fun for a non-spoiled kid. I don’t knowsherlock holmes map about any of you out there, but I loved anything mystery. I didn’t necessarily want to be a detective, but if I had this game as a kid, I would have loved it. It is easy enough to put together clues to help you win, but the process is somewhat confusing at first, and that might be the only thing that would keep this game from really shining for kids. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve but any child could overcome that as most are more patient with video games than any adult I’ve ever seen. But yea, I was a weird kid who liked weird slow games like this instead of Mortal Kombat or Killer Instinct.

There are three mysteries altogether. Those mysteries are:

  • The Mummy’s Curse: While reading the paper, Watson discovers the mysterious murder of three gentlemen. All claims are that these men were killed by a mummy since they found a mummy’s wrappings around the necks of all three men. One was killed in London, one was killed at sea, and the other killed in Egypt. All men were Englishmen, however, and that is why this case is of interest to Holmes and Watson. The London Times is creating quite a stir and the consulting detectives are on the case!
  • The Mystified Murderess: Mr. Gerald Locke walks into Holmes’ study to discuss the murder of Mr. Guy Clarendon, who was found murdered three days prior. Ms. Francis Nolan is being charged with the murder as she was found over the body with a pistol in her hand, but she has no recollection of purchasing a pistol or arriving at the hotel where Guy was murdered. Holmes and Watson believe there is no motive, and Gerald Locke claims that Guy Clarendon was not as distinguished as people would believe. Instead he was a heavy drinker and gambler. Mr. Locke has hired Holmes and Watson to investigate Ms. Nolan to determine if she is truly the murderer or if it is someone else!
  • The Tin Soldier: While sitting in their study, Holmes and Watson read about an English General who was murdered in his home with no witness descriptions of the murder. It was known that the general was involved in a story on about a missing diamond, and perhaps he was digging a little too close? Furthermore he was going through tough times in his marriage and he was involved in a Veteran Tontine. Could one of these be a motive for a killer? Or was the killer motivated by something else? Only you and the detectives can solve the case and bring justice!

I personally found the Mystified Murderess to be the most compelling story. It is well written and the script provides plenty of clues to assist in solving this case. The other stories are a little tougher to pick up clues on and don’t provide nearly as much satisfaction. They also don’t have quite the same interesting story as the Mystified Murderess. I actually couldn’t solve The Mummy’s Curse but I also sherlock holmesdidn’t spend too much time on it due to frustration.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a decent interactive detective game. Strong FMV elements lend to the overall feel, even though it’s not a wildly relevant game anymore as current technology has all-but outdated simple FMV titles. But interactive gameplay is still going strong with children and a game like this could be just the thing to shut up ol’ Charley in the backseat while you’re driving (oh, did I mention they ported this game to the iPad in 2012?). The save feature is a nice one and really helps you keep your sanity. I do wish they would have provided a little more interaction, like having the actors prompt the player to answer particular questions. But instead we are bystanders watching a story and we have to pick the clues out for ourselves. Other FMV games will certainly get you much more involved. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is decent best and definitely not for everyone. I started to get a little bored but I surprisingly still had a good time. The satisfaction you get when you solve a case is unlike anything.

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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