by Aziz Comi

One of the good things of being able to understand English is that you can enjoy video games more, especially video games that require you to listen to the dialogues and the story. One type of games that require you do this is detective games. Playing detective video games is an excellent way to improve your English while training your logic and deduction. Frogwares? latest detective video game, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment is a great example of this type of game. Frogwares? Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (2014) is an excellent game that allows you to challenge your brain in solving puzzles and connecting the dots to solve the mysteries.

Like any other detective games, Sherlock has to find evidences, interview witnesses, doing autopsies, examine evidences, and use his deduction and logic to find out what exactly happened in the cases. The game also allows you to accuse suspects, whether they are correct or not. Sherlock has a special ability in which he can profile a character to know more about him/her, as well as to find out whether he/she is lying or not.

An example of profiling a character in the game

The crimes that are mostly about murders always have interesting development as you progress through the cases. Whether it is death-by-harpoon, missing trains, or love affairs gone bad, the cases are always interesting to solve.
One of the other good things about the game is that you can try other endings instantly without having to play a case from the beginning. Since usually detective games have no strong replay value, this method of trying other endings instantly makes playing the game simpler yet better.
I really like the puzzles in the game because they are so varied. In all the six cases of the game, you will find kinds of different puzzles (except the lock picking) that you need to solve the cases. One puzzle requires you to experiment on chemistry while other puzzles require you to experiment on plants, and so on. Another cool thing about the game is sometimes Sherlock has to use his imagination to perform a simulation to help solving the cases.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments_20140925165210
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments_20140925165210

After finishing a deduction, you can choose whether to punish the suspect by sending him/her to jail, or, if you?re having sympathy with the suspect, you can also choose to absolve him/her, in which usually he/she will be banished from London for a while.
The game is not without negative points, though. Some of these are long and frequent loading time, limited use of costumes, and so on. His friend, Dr. Watson, is not really helpful in the game, every time we try to talk to him he would just reply by asking ?what should we do next, Holmes?? instead of having a more interesting dialogue with Holmes. It is also a shame that whenever Holmes accuses the wrong suspect, the police would just believe him or make passive comments on Holmes?s judgment. Another thing is that whenever Sherlock makes a mistake in accusing that a witness is lying, there?s no consequences whatsoever in the game. Instead of giving a hard time to Holmes, the game would just give you unlimited chances to expose their lies. The game has potentials to achieve greatness, yet it can only be as close as being great due to the game?s lack of consequences, in which it allows players to play the game recklessly and still be able to continue to the next level.

The poster
The poster

However, the weak points of the game do not stop it to be a good detective video game. It is still a game worth playing especially considering its epic sense of Britishness and interesting cases and puzzles. Overall, I give the game score 8.3 out of 10. If you?re a fan of detective games, then Sherlock Holmes ? Crimes and Punishments is worth your time.
Pros & Cons of Sherlock Holmes ? Crimes and Punishments

  1. Pros:
    Epic sense of “Britishness”
    Many kinds of different puzzles
    Interesting cases and developments in the stories
    Good dialogues
    Using deductions to connect the dots
    Profiling skill
    Performing simulations and experiments
    Having decisions to condemn or absolve the suspects
  2. Minus:
    No consequences when interviewing with a suspect
    Dr. Watson is not really helpful in the game
    The police ridiculously believes Holmes?s decision 100%
    No consequences when accusing the wrong suspect
    More of a one-go kind of game, average replay value
    Limited use of costume
    Long and frequent loading screens