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Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

A not inconsiderable game

Product: Sherlock Holmes Mysteries | Developer: Tall Chair | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, Film/ TV tie- in | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Sherlock Holmes Mysteries iPhone, thumbnail 1
The only thing danker and darker than a 19th century London back alley is the sticky soda-spilt floor of a movie theatre. Fortunately, you brave one without having your shoes stick to the other thanks to Sherlock Holmes Mysteries.

The game commissions you to solve two cases: "The Missing Memento" and "Case of the Innocent Man." Neither follows the events of Guy Ritchie's holiday adventure, which is great - there's no spoilage of the movie's plot and if you're already seen it, you're able to enjoy different cases in the same setting.

Curiouser and curiouser

The short, lame premise of "The Missing Memento" takes a backseat to the far longer and more engaging "Case of the Innocent Man," though both feature the same inventory-based adventure gameplay spiced up with rounds of tap boxing.

Parlours, jail cells, and seedy London alleyways have to be explored for clues and pieces of evidence essential for proving your client's innocence. Upon selecting a location from a map of central London, you're whisked away to an eye-catching 3D render of the area that you can pan fully by sliding a finger across the screen.

Simple deduction

Any objects of interest are highlighted the moment you pass over them, at which point a tap draws it into your inventory. From here you're able to solve objectives by placing gathering clues into Sherlock's mind.

When asked to discern a victim's cause of death, for example, observing the body enables you to collect the pieces of evidence - burn marks, time of death, etc. - needed to pinpoint the cause. Dragging the evidence from your inventory into the designated slots in Sherlock's mind and then pressing the "Solve" button.

Such a straightforward system avoids the confusion common with most adventure games that require combining items for obtuse puzzle solutions. Rather than test your cleverness in tinkering with items and odd puzzles, you're asked to deduce in a realistic, reasonable manner.


It requires readjustment and polish, though. At several junctures it's not made abundantly clear what you need to do to advance the game. Observation mini-games have no business being placed on a time limit. Some sequences demand fiddly menu work for the simplest of tasks.

Boxing at Sherlock's favourite pub - which should be a refreshing spot of action in the midst of a cerebral adventure - falls flat. It's not at all challenging: all that you need to do is tap the icons that appear to knock out your opponent and block his punches.

More effort appears to have been invested into polishing the presentation than gameplay. It makes for a lovely looking game, yet also one that isn't as clever as its namesake. Nevertheless, Sherlock Holmes Mysteries offers decent adventuring for a fraction of the price of a ticket to the movie.
Sherlock Holmes Mysteries
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 4 January 2010
A cursory look at the superb visuals of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries hints at a dazzling adventure, but a thorough investigation uncovers unpolished gameplay
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