Professor Plum in the kitchen with the candlestick? Or the black-painted men in the park with the poison that turns 17-year-old amateur sleuths into ankle-biting miniature detectives?
This is the story of Shinichi Kudo, a boy whose natural curiosity leads to him being shrunk by mysterious criminals. Rather than cry about his fate, or even enjoy the chance of acing his exams and generally being the smartest kid in primary school (which he probably was anyway), Shinichi devotes his newly reset life to helping his former girlfriend’s father - himself a professional detective, albeit a bad one - get the credit for solving crimes and, maybe, exposing the culprits.
Above: It always starts with a body
That the anime series is still going, almost 500 episodes later, is a strong clue that Shinichi - or Conan, as he calls himself to hide his true identity - will be no closer to finding the truth at the end of this game.
We’ll have to assume that’s the case, as we couldn’t quite muster the enthusiasm to slog through the entirety of a game as dull and annoying as this one. It’s a bit plodding, and fans of the anime are going to be disappointed - not to mention confused, if they don’t have working knowledge of Japanese.
Above: Talk the talk, or better yet: read it
The main part of the game involves walking around and talking to people. That’s all. You can’t interrogate them or anything like that, you just trigger a few pages of text and move on to the next person. After listening to absolutely everyone, you get to mark their faces on a sort of billboard that will, eventually, point the way to the guilty party.
It’s completely unchallenging because it doesn’t seem to let you make any mistakes. The process of deduction is nothing more than an exercise in trial and error.
Exploration is hampered by a bizarre camera angle that shows a great view of the floor and not much else. The low-detail locations look same-y, and identical characters seem to crop up all over the place. Only certain ones are crucial to the plot, and you won’t know who they are unless you’re a fan. Even then, you can’t just speak to them whenever you please. Instead, you’ll have to try both methods of getting a response - pressing A to have a chat or holding B to use a magnifying glass and then have a chat - before you’ll know if they’re currently active.
With some embarrassingly bad minigames thrown in, this one really is elementary.