Title: London Detective Mysteria
Developer: Karin Entertainment
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: XSEED Games
Genre: Visual Novel
I’m sure that London Detective Mysteria is a visual novel that otome fans were looking forward to this year. I was especially excited when the release date for PC finally got announced after the PS Vita release. The premise of London Detective Mysteria already had my interest as the idea stems from becoming a capable detective while being surrounded by handsome detectives. Sure, it’s a huge bonus that every guy is super adorable, to say the least, and I have to admit I had trouble deciding on who to romance first since they’re pretty much pure eye-candy.
The story follows Emily Whiteley who lost her parents but has a lovely butler, Pendelton, who looks out for her. She attends a birthday party of the Majesty the Queen and just happens to be eavesdropping while the sons of Holmes and Watson are trying to solve a case from the queen. Evidently, her cat is missing which was an important gift to her. Emily finds out that the queen was once very close to her deceased mother and thus, she decides to help her along with the two famous detectives. After solving the case, the queen wants to meet Emily again and ends up giving her a ring only trusted detectives of the queen posses along with an offer to visit a famous detective school her parents used to attend.
Each chapter feels like an episode where different events take place. This means that each case only lasts for the entirety of the chapter and is completed once the chapter is done. Although it isn’t a bad feature per se, I was a bit disappointed that the cases didn’t last long and were solved so quickly. I didn’t have enough time to digest one case as the next one already began. Throughout each case, I felt like a connection between the characters were missing although it works out well with its episodic presentation.
Something I noticed is that the romance starts off slow in the common route, solving crimes is the priority of the story. Sweet moments fall short and although they are indeed implemented in the game, some chapters don’t contain romance or any scenes where you can tell you’re going to get closer to your desired guy. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing though since the romance eventually rolls out and the story balances romance and crime just fine. You should be aware that if you’re not really into detectives and their cases, you might become bored after a while as it is the main focus in the game.
There are five different love interests available to romance although you can also develop friendships with side characters as well. For the main love interests, you can look up your status anytime and see how much affection you have with each guy which will influence your ending as well.
During the dialog, players able to increase their detective grade by selecting correct answers to responses, and when they do, a chibi version of Emily shows up in the right corner. I found this feature cute and it felt rewarding selecting the right choice. I especially liked selecting the correct love choice to see a note with a heart pop up. Something I found a little bit disappointing is that you don’t actually solve a crime by yourself but just select the right answers of who is suspicious after talking to all suspects. Additionally, there is a time limit on every choice, although you can easily return to the last choice to choose a different answer if you feel like you’ve messed up. I felt like the time limit was a nice change although, as you can tell, it was pretty pointless if you can just rewind every time and redo the choice. To me, it was like the purpose got nullified by adding another feature.
The artwork of London Detective Mysteria is beautiful and so stunning that when each CG got displayed I forgot to advance with the text. Although this game does not contain any animation, there are multiple facial expressions available which managed to describe the characters feeling well. Additionally, when a character is talking their sprite gets displayed next to the text so I immediately knew who was talking without having to actually read their name. A very nice feature here is that the facial expression changes with their reaction so it is impossible to get confused by the same sprite. Even Emily has her own sprite and this game offers voice audio for her, which is optionable. The soundtrack is lovely, to say the least, and perfectly fit into its theme.
London Detective Mysteria is an otome game through and through although it offers a nice balance with individual cases in episodic storytelling. Those, who are not interested in reading through crime themes, will likely get bored reading the events of London Detective Mysteria. With that said, it will be the perfect game if you happen to enjoy this genre and the added romance makes it all the better.
London Detective Mysteria doesn’t make it is necessary to romance one of the male interests. So you can just deepen your friendship with instead. The game is an all-around lovely visual novel, where you can solve unique cases and admire some handsome detectives at the same time.
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