Parents' Guide to

Murder by Numbers

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fun mystery puzzler with a logical, likeable heroine.

Game Nintendo Switch , Windows 2020
Murder by Numbers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

There's an undeniable satisfaction that comes with solving a Picross-style brainteaser, and you'll get to solve plenty in this habit-forming mystery puzzler. Murder by Numbers eases rookies in with a tutorial and lots of tips explaining how its puzzles work. It might take a few minutes for the logic to click, but once it does, you'll likely find it hard to stop playing. Working out which cells need to be filled -- in part by deducing which cells can't be filled -- takes some time and patience, but there's always a logical path forward. Guessing is never required. Should you become stuck (likely because you made a mistake) you can always request a hint -- though at the cost of reducing your total points -- to put you back on the right path. Just don't expect the final images to closely resemble the objects they're meant to represent. The puzzle pictures are as pixelated as an 8-bit adventure game.

Contributing to the fun is the story, which plays out a bit like that of a Phoenix Wright mystery. The hand-drawn characters -- presented in a variety of still poses showing different emotions – aren't particularly profound or dynamic, but they tend to have big and memorable personalities, offering up a nice mix of jokes and clues as you chat with them. And conversations are generally pretty rapid, meaning you never spend too long before getting back to the puzzles. The weak link, perhaps, is finding puzzles. Thanks to SCOUT's high tech sensors, they're pretty easy to locate -- perhaps a little too easy. A bit more diversity and challenge in how you investigate scenes and discover evidence would have been appreciated. Still, Murder by Numbers is a terrific math-based picture puzzler with plenty of heart and gridded brain teasers to spare.

Game Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate