Reviews Famicom Detective Club reviews thread


Well-known member
Jun 20, 2020

Metacritic (The Missing Heir) (74)
Metacritic (The Girl Who Stands Behind) (74)
OpenCritic (76)

Polygon (no score):
Famicom Detective Club reminded me why I love mystery games. It’s also current proof that the genre can be complex in its simplicity, and that it deserves its longevity.

GameMAG (9/10, review in Russian):
Famicom Detective Club holds your attention from first the first frames and to the credits, even if you know the genre like the back of your hand. Every piece of the story works in a tandem, creating a dark and twisted adventure with believable characters. Every session with Detective Club is an adventure of its own, and when you put the game down, it's hard to not delve on what will happen next.

Shindig (4.5/5):
The fact that Nintendo would remake Famicom Detective Club at all might be one of the most welcome and unexpected surprises of this year, and they’ve turned out remarkably well—dated puzzle design notwithstanding. An art style that combines the best parts of visual novel stills and fluid animation helps to lay the groundwork for a pair of truly engrossing detective stories. The way each mystery unfolds as you piece together the clues is nothing short of masterful, with the atmosphere, nuanced storytelling, and emotional underpinnings to tie it all together beautifully.

Digitally Downloaded (4.5/5):
The Famicom Detective Club games are excellent, highly traditional detective mystery stories. Some might see that as "quaint", "old", "antiquated" or even "simple." That's simply our cultural experience talking. The reality is that these games are highly relevant to the Japanese understanding and interest in the genre, entirely modern, and the core storytelling experience is so modern it's easy to forget that they're remakes of NES-era classics. Throw in some of the most stunning VN art from the very masters of the genre, and this little collection of two titles has every chance of becoming one of the sleeper hits of the year. And, who knows? If it finds the audience it deserves, it might just inspire Nintendo and Mages to make a new one. I'd be up for more Famicom Detective Club.

Areajugones (8.8/10, review in Spanish):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind provide us with two remarkable stories. Furthermore, artistically the game is impeccable, which is due to its polished anime-like graphics as well as its tracks and voice acting.

4Gamers (87/100, review in Dutch, DeepL translation):
Despite the sometimes too slow pace, both games are a true gift for all fans of the genre. A seasoned adventure game fan probably won't be bothered by the walls you can bump into and already knows well enough how the pixel hunt can go. For those new to the genre, it may well cause frustration. If you're in the mood for a solid dose of detective work: look no further. These classics are the games for you and they certainly live up to their legendary name.

God is a Geek (8.5/10):
Despite being developed over 30 years ago, the Famicom Detective Club duology feature some of the best stories in video games. The command selecting gameplay can feel a little dated and you’ll struggle to progress sometimes, but it’s worth it to find out whodunit. With murder most foul and plot twists aplenty, this double pack of visual novel goodness is well worth investigating. (8.5/10, review in Italian):
And it would be a shame that after reopening the Famicom Detective Club "case", Nintendo does not follow up on the saga, because here is the material and there are the characters to give life to a long and beautiful series of detective stories.

Shacknews (8/10):
It’s interesting to look back at the original Famicom Detective Club titles and see where we are now with these remakes. In terms of quality, art, animation, and other things, the remakes are nearly entirely new games. But in the narration and operation, they’re also entirely true to the 1988 and 1989 titles. Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind don’t exactly have a lot of true “gameplay” to them and there are no consequences for wrong decisions, but the story that plays out as you figure out what to do next and apply logic and reasoning to investigations is a thrilling romp. If you want a high-quality visual novel, a good mystery story to follow, and a time capsule of game design all in one, the Famicom Detective Club remakes feel like a solid call.

Nintendo Life (Missing Heir: 8/10, The Girl Who Stands Behind: 8/10):
The Famicom Detective Club remakes are living history, and a chance to catch up on what you missed out on, either by being too young, or not being able to speak Japanese. Though The Missing Heir has its faults, those faults are largely down to "that's just how games used to be", and it's held up remarkably well all the same.
The Girl Who Stands Behind is just as appealing and upgraded as The Missing Heir, and we really can't recommend one without the other, although you can play either separately. The story in The Girl Who Stands Behind is creepier, and the characters are more likeable, though they're also a little more forgettable at the same time. This double-bill of murder mystery games is a must-play for anyone who loves the genre.

NWTV (4/5, review in Dutch, DeepL translation):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind are two fun and compelling games that are sure to captivate fans of visual novels. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to play certain conversations twice to really discover everything, but you get used to that quickly and it won't be too much of a problem as a result.

Cerealkillerz (8/10, review in German, DeepL translation):
Not every game ages well, but sometimes a brand new makeover is enough to propel the title into the modern era. In the case of Famicom Detective Club, unfortunately, this only partially works: On the one hand, a real effort has been made with the graphics to give the titles a new, modern coat of paint - and the result is quite respectable - but on the other hand, Nintendo wanted to stay as close as possible to the gameplay of the originals. Unfortunately, this game principle from Nintendo's early days has been overtaken several times by other genre representatives, and today it seems bulky and unintuitive. Nevertheless, those who want to experience a piece of Nintendo history or simply a well-written detective story are welcome to grab it.

RPG Site (8/10):
Frustrations aside, Famicom Detective Club still manages to captivate all the same. It’s a miracle that these two Nintendo classics were ever localized, let alone as a global simultaneous release with these remakes. It was a blast to join the Detective Club after so many years, and I can only hope one day we can see a similar remake for the series’ 3rd game, sales permitting. If you’re at all a fan of either the Visual Novel or Japanese Adventure game genres, you owe it to yourself to experience this vital part of their history.

Nintendo Insider (8/10):
Famicom Detective Club is not terribly complicated by modern standards. The games show their ages in spots, and can be frustrating to figure out, but this is absolutely the kind of murder mystery stories I’ve been looking for. The true strength of these remakes is how they made me feel nostalgic for an era of video games I wasn’t even alive during. They recapture the feeling of classic ADV titles while modernizing just enough of the experience to keep the games accessible. The mysteries offered are both fresh, yet comfortably late ’80s. Bigger budgeted “Visual Novels” are always welcome, and a push for them to be played worldwide is even better. I think Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind is the stronger of the two, but this is a great package all the same. If you’re fine with some tedium here and there, this is a glowing recommendation from me.

IGN Italia (8/10, review in Italian):
Despite the not-so-popular price and the game mechanics of their time, the Famicom Detective Club series is an interesting work and a video game restoration operation that could open the door to other similar episodes. Rebuilt from scratch, with beautiful two-dimensional graphics and enriched by the dubbing of all dialogues, the two games retain intact their charm and are proposed to new generations in a truly sumptuous. The genre of belonging, however, is to be taken into account, since the developers have done very little to modernize the playability of the work, which is - in the long run - slightly cumbersome. Although the interactivity is not comparable to the most modern investigative games, Famicom Detective Club has an undeniable vintage charm. Despite a few too many stereotypes, The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind are two stories that deserve to be experienced.

EGM (4/5):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is a captivating window not only into Nintendo’s past, but also into the past of adventure games as a whole. While it retains some of the gameplay frustrations that plagued the genre back in its earlier days, The Missing Heir offers a gripping murder mystery at its core, wrapped in video and audio upgrades that freshen up the experience for a whole new generation of would-be detectives.

My Nintendo News (Missing Heir: 7/10, The Girl Who Stands Behind: 8/10):
Being a detective was tough business. I was subjected to some uncomfortable murder scenes, countless awkward encounters, and my skills needed to pin down the culprit were stretched. But I had a lot of fun along the way, just more so with the prequel, The Girl Who Stands Behind. And taking a trip down memory lane with games that are deep within Nintendo’s provocative history was fascinating. I implore fans of visual novels to sit tight and sink your teeth into both stories – just be careful of who might be standing behind you watching your every move.

SpazioGames (7.9/10, review in Italian):
Famicom Detective Club is a blast from Nintendo's forgotten past, a package made with love and respect to the original material. These are nice mystery novels, somehow bogged down by old game design and an archaic UI. Still, we recommend them to all the fans of the genre.

The Games Machine (7.8/10, review in Italian):
Famicom Detective Club is not the new Ace Attorney that many were hoping for, that much is clear. The new graphic design makes a huge (and obvious) step forward compared to the original, but the investigation mechanics really feel the weight of the years and might not meet the favour of less patient players. Two good stories, but condemned to a lethargic narration despite their objective merits. Recommended for visual novel lovers and hardcore Nintendo fans.

Nintenderos (7.6/10, review in Spanish):
In this type of game where 95% of the time we are reading, knowing the language is important in order to fully enjoy the adventure. If you can read in English, Famicom Detective Club brings you two games for the price of one and two interesting stories on Nintendo Switch.

Destructoid (Missing Heir: 7/10, The Girl Who Stands Behind: 7.5/10):
I was worried both of these games would only be considered good from a historic standpoint, that they would be celebrated solely due to their longstanding absence outside of Japan. But thankfully, both Famicom Detective Club games stand on their own even thirty years after their initial release. These are two beautiful, gripping games that show the timelessness of a well-written mystery.

Meristation (7.5/10, review in Spanish):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind are two very important works for the visual novel genre in general and for Nintendo in particular. We want more daring exercises like these, because the extravagance and sophistication of its proposal help us to interpret the current context. Know our past to understand the present and glimpse the future. Probably not the best visual novels on the market, but they are two methodological examples whose story now boasts a merit that is difficult to calculate. Something very difficult was achieved with so little: creating an atmosphere of mystery surrounded by two gripping stories, well-written characters and a suspense that is not resolved until the very end. The shadow of the detective club is very long. (7.5/10):
The remake of both games in the Famicom Detective Club series is primarily two good and interesting stories from more than three decades ago, with a relatively simple layer of adventure and detective for the present time. Although going on the beaten schemes, it is still nice to spend some time with them.

WellPlayed (7/10):
To tie up this investigation (sorry, I mean review), at times Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind’s thirty-plus-year-old gameplay mechanics don’t really feel like they hold up in the modern day, but that doesn’t take away from its intriguing characters and pair of thrilling stories that’ll truly keep you guessing as to who you think is lying to save their own skin and who really is just an innocent bystander.

HobbyConsolas (7/10, review in Spanish, DeepL translation):
An interesting example of how to bring mystery novels to the world of video games, although its somewhat clumsy pace and English texts may be a handicap for many.

Critical Hit (7/10):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind are well-told and compelling mystery games presented in a loving remake that improves on the original titles while sometimes remaining a little too faithful to outdated designs.

Press Start Australia (7/10):
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind are both well written adventure games with engaging stories. A striking visual overhaul does a great job of bringing both games into the twenty first century, without a doubt. Though this isn’t enough to do the same for the gameplay, which could have used a bit more streamlining.

Impulsegamer (3.5/5):
Both Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind are fascinating remaster projects. They both tell deep, interesting stories and they both look and sound like state-of-the-art visual novels, but both games play like a clunky edutainment adventure game you might find on a primary school computer. Despite the ceaseless issues that I have with the clunky gameplay, I enjoyed my time with both The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind. The narratives are compelling enough for me to brush aside some archaic gameplay flaws, and both games have a tremendous aesthetic that hooked me from the start.

GamesRadar (3/5):
I would love for this to be the start of Nintendo producing more visual novels, especially if they use Famicom Detective club as a jumping-off point and explore more supernatural themes similar to The Girl Who Stands Behind. I think there’s so much more to see of the main protagonist, Ayumi, and the rest of Utsugi Detective Agency but just feel that the gameplay would need to be reworked to include more interactivity in order for it to work better as a detective game and less like a Nintendo Switch anime.

Siliconera (Missing Heir: 6/10, The Girl Who Stands Behind: 6/10):
As long as you clear the hurdles in Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind, you’ll find a game with next-level animation that makes it feel at times like an interactive anime.
Famicom Detective Club is an oddity for Nintendo. It’s a game for a passionate niche. This game isn’t for everyone, but it wouldn’t be for anyone if it tried to make that pivot.

Metro GameCentral (6/10):
Whether these remakes were just an opportunistic attempt to fill the Switch’s release schedules or part of a wider move to revive the series remains to be seen but taken on their own merits the games are difficult to recommend without a number of caveats. It’s certainly a style of game that deserves to be seen more of, but ideally without the burden of also being a retro curiosity.

GAMINGbible (6/10):
There's a good game here - two, indeed - with fascinating stories and enough things to enjoy overall, but only if you're a patient, analytical soul with the perseverance of a merry Sherlock Holmes. Otherwise, Famicom Detective Club is up there with the most frustrating things I've ever done, and I worked in the Civil Service.

Twinfinite (3/5):
Anyone that has been dying to play the series or doesn’t mind a standard graphic novel will probably enjoy playing The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind. New players may also enjoy it, but don’t be too surprised if you find its guessing game gameplay to be too frustrating to enjoy things.

Vooks (3/5):
I hope that this remake/revamp is the precursor to a new follow-up sequel being announced. There is still a place for the Famicom Detective Club. The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind look and sound great thanks to the remake, but unfortunately, the game portion is an unintuitive, obtuse slogfest. Both games work well as murder mysteries; the story and characters are a highlight. Players who want to play the games as close to the originals as possible will get a kick out of this piece of Nintendo history, while it might frustrate everyone else. Regardless, it is nice to see Nintendo give a classic game such a lavish update.

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