Detective Grimoire: Cute, Simple Fun

Introduction

I know that this is usually the time I would review a Nancy Drew game, but I just don’t have the next one finished yet. To be completely honest, I think I need a break from the Nancy Drew franchise, as playing them all in a row like I have been is beginning to take some of the fun out. I obviously love them, but they do tend to get a bit same-y after a while.

So what did I choose to play instead of Nancy Drew? Detective Grimoire. I know, I know: Playing another mystery game isn’t exactly the most dramatic change from Her Interactive’s portfolio, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for a mystery game.

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promotional artwork from Steam

Discovering the Game

After reviewing a couple of Nancy Drew games in Steam (Secrets Can Kill and Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon to be precise), Detective Grimoire began popping up in my recommended titles list. I clicked around the store page and thought it looked interesting, so I added it to my Wishlist, then forgot about it.

Well, Steam has started sending me emails whenever a game on my Wishlist is on sale, which I both love and hate. I love it because I get games I want for much less, and don’t miss out on the often short windows where their price drops, but I hate it because I wind up spending my fun money in teeny-tiny little bursts, turning Steam into a kind of permanent leak on my funds.

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Oh well. There are worse things.

Detective Grimoire popped up in my email as a game on sale, and since the price was so low, I snagged it immediately. I’m talking absolutely measly price-tag here. Like two dollars. How was I not going to buy it?

Short and Sweet

Despite its very short playtime — only 3 hours for a 100% — Detective Grimoire would have been worth its full price. It’s a tight little game that never gets boring, is beautiful to look at, and has mechanics that never get in the way. Mix all that with a good story and a killer soundtrack, and you’ve got a great game on your hands.

I was a smidge disappointed with the difficulty of the game, since I expected something a little harder. There’s not a lot of mystery-solving on the player’s part, since the game puts clues together for you. That being said, I know that I’m a bit of a mystery nerd, so even though I wanted more of a challenge, other players may find the game more accessible than some more subtle mystery titles.

Detective Grimoire clues put together
screenshot of clues being put together

The charm of the game more than makes up for the straightforwardness of the mystery. It has some basic puzzle elements and character interaction, neither of which are very difficult, but both are super fun. The characters are lovable and intriguing, which makes Detective Grimoire’s focus on talking a treat. And the voice-acting! Be still my heart! The voice-acting was superb.

I was also a huge fan of the art style, which honestly, is going to be a make-or-break thing for a lot of players. If you’re into casual gameplay and lighthearted stories, you probably won’t mind the quirky art style, since it fits with the mood of the game. But if you’re wanting something realistic, look elsewhere.

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screenshot showcasing art style/character design

Recommendation

Detective Grimoire is very short and very light, but showcases how great those kinds of games can be. I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes point-and-click adventures/mysteries, as well as anyone who just wants a little charm in their life.

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