A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Presents younger players with some basic puzzles to solve, developing their critical thinking, logic skills by walking them through not only what solution to a problem is, but also why that solution works.
While Tim, Pikachu are working together to solve a greater mystery, the duo constantly help out others in need. Recurring themes of friendship, teamwork, working to make things better for those around you.
Positive Role Models
Tim and Pikachu are both positive characters for kids. While their personalities are different, they work well together. They are dedicated, loyal, caring characters who build a strong friendship while working to make things better for others. Many supporting characters also positive, friendly.
Ease of Play
While game does a great job of setting up numerous mysteries, challenges for player to overcome, it also makes a point of walking players through most solutions. There's even an Easy mode available to help players out with more direct assistance any time they get stuck.
Violence & Scariness
Minor comical violence, but it's mostly tongue-in-cheek, cartoonish in nature.
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Products & Purchases
Spin-off of popular Pokémon franchise, which includes all kinds of tie-ins, including cartoons, books, toys, collectibles, movies, more. There's even a Detective Pikachu live-action film in development. Also compatible with some Nintendo amiibo figures, including an oversized Detective Pikachu figure designed specifically for the game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Detective Pikachu is an adventure game for the Nintendo 3DS system. Players are challenged to solve various cases through the use of observation, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking. The main characters in the game are strong positive influences, helping out others wherever possible, working through obstacles, and building the bonds of friendship. Younger players should have very little trouble with the game, as it tends to walk players through the solutions of most challenges, and it even includes an Easy mode to more directly help players progress through the story. The game is a spin-off of the wildly popular Pokémon game, and a movie with the same name is in development.
Is It Any Good?
This entertaining mystery adventure is perfect for young Pokéfans, especially because it presents an accessible, easy-to-follow tale that gives a sense of accomplishment. For 20-plus years, budding young trainers have captured, traded, trained, and bonded with their favorite Pokémon in a never-ending quest to be the very best ... like no one ever was. But Detective Pikachu leaves the gym battles behind, instead giving Pokéfans a glimpse at the world through the eyes of a wise-cracking, coffee-drinking Pikachu, and the one person in the world who can understand him. It's a story that's fascinating not just because of the plot's unfolding mystery, but also because of the unique insight it gives into the everyday relationships between Pokémon and humans. It's enlightening to see how the various Pokémon view one another, as well as their thoughts on the people they co-exist with.
The story in Detective Pikachu unfolds over the course of a series of chapters, each focusing on a new case for Tim and Pikachu to solve while uncovering pieces of a greater conspiracy. These are generally lighthearted adventures, and tailor-made for a younger audience. The game essentially walks players through each case, holding their hand and none-too-subtly directing them to the clues they need to find. Players are unable to progress until they've uncovered every scrap of information available, whether it's a vital clue or not, and once it's finally time to put all the pieces together, there's no penalty for getting it wrong short of trying a new combination of evidence. In fact, the whole process is almost too easy, and that's not accounting for the game's actual Easy mode option. While this might bore some older gamers, it's actually great for younger fans eager to feel a sense of accomplishment. And regardless of age, Detective Pikachu's story in combination with the characters' personalities never fails to entertain.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.