Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind Review — Don't Look Back

Famicom Detective Club is a fun adventure murder mystery game that will keep you engaged from start to finish.

Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind was released in 1989 on the Nintendo Famicom as a follow up to the first game, The Missing Heir. While it was released later than that game, The Girl Who Stands Behind is actually a prequel.

Once again, you follow the same protagonist who discovers a young girl has been murdered. Throughout, you’ll uncover clues that lead you down a rabbit hole of other mysteries, including one that involves a school rumor of a ghost girl haunting the local school. It’s a very intriguing narrative, and I do prefer it over the story in The Missing Heir.

Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind Review — Don't Look Back

The setting shifts to fit The Girl Who Stands Behind’s plot as well. The Missing Heir has plenty of beautiful and sunny backgrounds given its location, whereas here, in The Girl Who Stands Behind, the story takes place mostly at a school and is much more prone to climactic weather. This setting change is relevant too as the story incorporates more horror elements than The Missing Heir.

Gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as The Missing Heir’s: you sift through different menus and interact with characters to uncover various mysteries. However, there’s a small addition where you can pick out certain suspects from a list of characters when the story calls for it. Otherwise, it’s the same point and click adventure visual novel style.

Admittedly, the game is a bit trial and error in terms figuring out how to progress the plot, and so you’ll end up having to sometimes repeat the same prompt in order to trigger new dialogue. Thankfully, you can press the LB button to speed up the text you've already seen.

Once again, The Girl Who Stands Behind’s art style has been revamped for the modern age, and it looks great. As I mention in my review of The Missing Heir, the characters have subtle animation quirks behind the static backgrounds, making them feel alive. Both the voice acting and music are spectacular. Just like in The Missing Heir, you can also switch between the new orchestral soundtrack and the original Famicom one.

The same quality of life features are here too, which include a text log to read previous lines and a notebook to keep track of new information on characters as it's been discovered; there are no branching paths or anything of that nature, but being able to keep up with information is a nice touch.

Unfortunately, the lack of multiple endings or branching paths puts a damper on the game's replayability. Once you experience the story and its ending, there’s no real reason to go back.

Whether you should play The Missing Heir or The Girl Who Stands Behind first, you can go with either. They’re both independent stories and can be enjoyed without knowing the other. Both have the same protagonist and sidekick character, Ayumi.

Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind 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 Girl Who Stands Behind is an engrossing tale that fans of the visual novel and point-and-click adventure genre will enjoy. The updated art style and voice acting add much-needed layers of modernity to the game.

It’s a one-and-done experience, though, so manage your expectations accordingly. Regardless, this is definitely one ghostly adventure you won’t want to miss. 

[Note: Nintendo provided the copy of Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind used for this review.]

Our Rating
7
Famicom Detective Club is a fun adventure murder mystery game that will keep you engaged from start to finish.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Contributor

Published Jul. 1st 2021

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