Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir Review — Buried Treasure 30 Years Later

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is a fun adventure game that does show its age, but it'll captivate you until the end.

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir first released in 1988 on the Nintendo Famicom. Now, over 30 years later, the game has received a glorious remake on Nintendo Switch. This is also the first time that it has been localized for a Western audience, along with its prequel, The Girl Who Stands Behind.

The Missing Heir provides a gripping narrative from the start, following a young protagonist who is part of the Utsugi Detective Agency. He’s called upon to solve a murder mystery in a mansion in the Japanese countryside. The matriarch of a wealthy family dies unexpectedly after reading her will, and that’s where the suspicion lies.

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir Review — Buried Treasure 30 Years Later

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is all about the narrative and is a rather simple point-and-click adventure game sharing similarities with games in the visual novel genre. It really doesn't have any gameplay elements besides clicking through menus and the protagonist asking the cast questions to see what he can uncover. Activating certain dialogue can lead to other revelations that advance the plot.

One of the best aspects of Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is its art style. It’s been redrawn for modern appeal, and it looks absolutely wonderful. The lines are clean, and the characters exhibit subtle animations throughout, such as slightly nodding their heads, with the most intense scenes in the game are animated expertly. While some might argue that the animations are a bit stiff, it certainly adds a certain charm to the overall presentation as these are remakes of 30-year-old games.

The Japanese voice acting is superb as well. Each character has lines full of emotion that elevate the entire story. Although, I am a bit disappointed that there wasn’t an English dub considered for this version, but it’s understandable given how niche the release is.

There are some welcome quality of life features included in this remake, such as a chat lag so you can reread previous lines, as well as a notebook that is continuously updated with new info on each character in the cast as new information comes to light.

There are no multiple endings or different paths, such as those in series like Zero Escape. However, if you’ve enjoyed other straightforward visual novels like Steins;Gate or ones in the otome genre like Code: Realize, Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir might just be up your alley.

It is, however, recommended you pick up The Girl Who Stands Behind for the full experience.

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Great story and characters
  • Fantastic art

Cons

  • The genre isn't for everyone as it involves more reading than gameplay
  • Little replayability

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir does show its age at times, but that’s part of the game’s history and charm. The updated art style and great voice acting only help to make the experience better.

The game, as well as its prequel, is an acquired taste, but fans who come into the game with proper expectations will find themselves a fun adventure.

[Note: Nintendo provided the copy of Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir used for this review.]

Our Rating
7
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is a fun adventure game that does show its age, but it'll captivate you until the end.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Contributor

Published May. 26th 2021

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