A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Stopping criminals, bringing them to justice vitally important. Methods, sarcasm limit positive results.
Positive Role Models
Holmes and Watson make sure justice is done. They can be snide, but constant pursuit of criminals, use of intelligence, deduction key personality traits.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn. Robust hint system, though challenge is in putting clues together correctly to solve mystery.
Violence & Scariness
Murders, violence described, shown by drawings, but no violence shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Implied affairs, but nothing shown.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Holmes sometimes smokes a pipe; drinks sometimes mentioned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a downloadable set of mysteries involving the famous sleuth and his assistant, Watson. Although each of the three stories involves murder, the murders themselves aren't graphically shown. They may be described by witnesses or by the main characters, and there's usually a drawn image showing what happened to victims. Otherwise, there's no objectionable content. Gameplay is simple to learn and get into, but figuring out the clues and putting them together in the right order may not be very easy for some younger players. Fortunately, the game has a robust help system, which can help gamers if they get particularly stuck.
Is It Any Good?
Based on the original 1991 title of the same name, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is an amusing test for player's deductive skills. Players have to weed through red-herring clues and incorrect leads to discover the truth, all of which takes time (and further reduces your final score). Of course, since you're testing your skill against that of Holmes, you want to uncover the mystery as quickly as possible, which means knowing when to send your irregulars to check for information, when to visit a suspect, and when to check the mock newspaper for clues.
Most investigation sections have video segments attached to them, helping develop each mystery's plot. The remastered clips have the feel of a second-rate BBC or PBS adaptation; the acting isn't nearly as good as in those productions, but it does make the gameplay feel a bit more immersive. If anything, Consulting Detective's largest and most harmful flaws lie in its brevity and lack of replayability. Skilled detectives can initially fly through the game within an hour or two, but clues and content don't change from one session to the next, so after one or two playthroughs, it's possible to fly through the course from start to finish in 15 minutes or less. But fans of mysteries may enjoy testing how well their reasoning stacks up next to Holmes'.
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.