Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes Game Poster Image
Realistic-looking detective adventure has mature themes.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Mature in its themes and imagery, but you play as a law-abiding detective who tries to crack tough cases, including disappearances, murders, and thefts.

Positive Role Models & Representations

With Watson's help, Sherlock Holmes notices the smallest details and deduces facts about a person or situation. Holmes may talk down to people, but he helps solve crimes.

Ease of Play

Not difficult to control, and players can take their time to master Holmes' movement and object manipulation. Analog sticks and buttons are used to examine clues and solve cases.


Shows more of the aftermath of violence rather than violence itself -- beaten bodies, a gunshot wound to the head, a non-interactive scene with a woman drinking poison -- but still could be disturbing for younger kids. Ample amounts of blood; some corpses are mutilated; cuts, bruises, gunshot wounds, and more. Holmes can perform an autopsy.


Sherlock Holmes books, movies, TV shows, and more are in stores. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One storyline centers on an opium den, which shows (and makes reference to) opium, pipes, and a "cocaine-like" white powder. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes is an adventure game with some mature content. The game contains graphic imagery, including violence and blood, as Sherlock Holmes investigates crimes scenes and performs autopsies. The player is treated to flashbacks tied to what happened during the crime. The near-photographic images include corpses, cuts and bruises, and gunshot wounds, as well as story scenes of murder and suicide. There are drug references and related imagery in one of the quests. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEagle13 November 6, 2014

It's Amazing, save a few game errors DEFINITELY not for kids

It's smart, plus you get the choice to absolve or condemn the person .. and the absolve option is sometimes truly heart warming. but it's NOT for a ch... Continue reading
Parent Written byErick Khaile Zent October 10, 2014


This game is so inappropriate I had to give it back to Target , Evrything is awful , except the graphics , I really think as a adult you shouldn't bye it,... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byuser218331 April 23, 2020


If you have played this game you would know that the violence is minimized and it it no worse than the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes. This is a great I would r... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDiamondmaster October 1, 2017

Should've been T

It's got some iffy moments, but it should've gotten a T rating. Its violent, yes. It's dark, yes. But adults only? No. It's very light, but... Continue reading

What's it about?

CRIMES & PUNISHMENTS: SHERLOCK HOLMES is a mature detective thriller in which you play the famous fictitious detective in Victorian-era London. With the help of his confidante and colleague Dr. Watson, Holmes vows to solve six mysteries, including a murder, a missing person, high-profile theft, and more. By talking with witnesses and suspects, collecting and analyzing evidence, and carefully searching through scenes, Holmes must use logic and deduction to pinpoint the suspect. Some extra gameplay elements include performing an autopsy, using Holmes' "sixth sense," and more.

Is it any good?

The sixth game in Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes series, Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes is a challenging head-scratcher with the most impressive graphics in the series to date (the developer switched from an in-house engine to the Epic Unreal Engine 3 for a much more realistic, atmospheric, and immersive world). The third-person game might not be ideal for those with little patience -- it’s a slower-paced adventure with many characters, locations, and evidence to sift through -- but it proves to be an engrossing experience for those who prefer brains over brawn.

Some gamers may criticize some endings of the half-dozen missions because Holmes sometimes relies more on circumstantial evidence than hard facts, but most gamers will excuse these situations (if they catch them at all). It would have been nice if these cases were tied together for an added "aha" moment. Still, overall, players who prefer a story-driven game with memorable characters, tense gameplay, and great graphics will really like the game that's afoot with this Sherlock adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how games such as Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments encourage critical thinking, deduction, and extrapolation. Do you think you could use Holmes' deductive skills to analyze things in your day-to-day life? How can you best use your critical-thinking skills to solve problems?

  • Talk about how the violence in this game differs from others. Due to the nature of Holmes' cases and the character himself, there's an expected degree of violence. Does that make the scenes more palatable than those in shooters or other violent games?

  • Discuss the character of Sherlock Holmes. The iconic detective has been in all kinds of media, from books to television shows, movies, and games. How does this depiction of the character match up to other popular versions?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

Themes & Topics

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