A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Testament of Sherlock Holmes carries a "Mature" rating and is not intended for players younger than 17. There is plenty of blood and gore, including several mutilated corpses (which players must examine for clues), assault victims with bloody faces, and a cutscene of a man shooting himself in the head. Players explore the poorest parts of London, where they will see rampant poverty, starvation, and homelessness as well as drug and alcohol abuse.
What's it about?
In THE TESTAMENT OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, the famous Baker St. detective himself becomes the prime suspect in a string of gruesome murders involving a potent poison. As evidence mounts against Holmes, his increasingly bizarre and callous behavior threatens to alienate even his long-time partner and friend, Dr. Watson. In this point-and-click adventure, players switch between Holmes and Watson to search for clues, analyze evidence, and talk to witnesses and suspects. They then use the \"deduction board\" to arrive at the correct hypothesis. Players also play plenty of mini-games and solve puzzles.
Is it any good?
As a mystery adventure, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is both intellectually and artistically compelling. The game's Victorian London environments are detailed and immersive, with the gritty East End district of Whitechapel being a particular highlight. Players solve puzzles that are challenging but not frustratingly so, and hone their powers of observation and deduction in the true spirit of Sherlock Holmes. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes delivers an emotionally engaging storyline that tells of a growing rift between Holmes and Watson over a backdrop of gruesome murders. The story is framed as being retold by a group of young children who stumble upon Watson's diary in an attic, which comes across as a little hackneyed and intrudes on the otherwise serious and sinister tone; but it's the only slight misstep in an otherwise excellent game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. Watson feels used and manipulated for much of the story. Do you think Holmes is ultimately a good friend to Watson? Would Holmes make a good friend in real-life?
The game's Whitechapel District portrays characters that are hungry, destitute, and desperate. In what ways do we take better care of the vulnerable people in our society today?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading, using supporting evidence
Science: biology, chemistry, substance properties
Math: grouping, numbers, patterns
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, collecting data, deduction
Communication: asking questions, listening
Creativity: developing novel solutions
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Focus Home Interactive
- Release date: September 25, 2012
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Use of Drugs
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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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.