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Games with good "Detective Mechanics"

vortex

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I liked Batman: Origins the most for detective part. There is a room where you identify Joker as the real murderer.
 

Jack Of Owls

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I have very limited experience in this sub-genre of adventure gaming but did quite enjoy the detective aspects of Police Quest 3, especially the part where I interview a homeless woman trying to identity a suspect through a mix and match of police sketches. I heard it's a weaker entry than parts 1 or 2 so perhaps I would enjoy PQ1 and PQ2 even more.
 

Zombra

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Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Added Black Closet (2015). Nice take on information gathering based on utilizing a team of operatives with varying skill levels to interrogate witnesses, shadow suspects, and search for clues. New revelations in each case unlock new avenues of investigation; e.g. a suspect might mention something suspicious about a location, so now you can search that location. Most cases are randomly generated and some turn out to be false alarms, and all have time limits. Procedural casework provides the foundation over which the main storyline and scripted cases are woven. The main game uses premade agents but there is also a "bonus mode" in which you can use custom characters, set your own time limit, and see how long you can last, if you don't want to bother with the main story or the "visual novel" elements.
 

V_K

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I was getting kinda excited reading this, and then I went to Steam and learned that it was set in a high school. Ugh. Japs and their high school fetish.
 

Zombra

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Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Sinking Island is ... a classic whodunit: you have to find who killed the millionaire before the island sinks. I played it long ago but you combine different testimonies and items in your inventory to see who is lying.
Another game that seems to use such mechanics is Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders, but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet.
I played The ABC Murders recently. It doesn't have any real detective mechanics as described. Really it's just another adventure game with lock puzzles. But it is still fun and worth playing imo due to its funny reward system, where you have to act "like the real Poirot would" to score points on the ego meter. Progress through the game is childishly easy but the ego system kept me awake and paying attention throughout. A cute, relaxed yet engaging experience.

I was getting kinda excited reading this, and then I went to Steam and learned that it was set in a high school. Ugh. Japs and their high school fetish.
A real detective goes where the crime is.
 

ValeVelKal

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Detective Case and the Clown Bot (2 independant episodes) definitely qualifies in "detective mechanics". It is a rather bad game, but it is pretty fun sometimes, and it is definitely a curiosity too (and a Portuguese game, rare enough to be noted).

Whispers of a Machine (same dev as Kathy Rain) => Highly recommend. Play it. You are quite literally a detective with Cyberpunk powers investigating a murder in some isolated city.
Not sure why Kathy Rain is in your list though. Good game ? Yes. Detective ? No.

In a different genre, Orwell : Ignorance is Strength and Orwell : Keeping an Eye on you is being a detective... consolidating information only based on what the "targets" have left on the Internet. Not really good to be honest, but still a game original enough you should test it. The first one ("Keeping an Eye on You") is better IMO.
 
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ValeVelKal

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Playing through the Phoenix Wright trilogy now and kinda loving it. Sure it could do with a little less weaboo and a little more failure state - would be especially nice if you could actually miss clues during the investigation phases. But the main mechanic of picking witness testimony apart line by line and confronting it with collected evidence to find holes and contradictions is absolutely brilliant.
IF you want the story to carry on even after missing clues or sending an innocent man to the guillotine because well, sorry, that's the way I used the clues, try Aviary Attorney.

Actually, AA is DEFINITELY a Detective game, much more than Phoenix Wright. Sad it is so short.
 

Raghar

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I was getting kinda excited reading this, and then I went to Steam and learned that it was set in a high school. Ugh. Japs and their high school fetish.
Hanako games are not from Japan. Georgina Bensley is founder, and she doesn't look like a Japanese.
 

V_K

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Actually, AA is DEFINITELY a Detective game, much more than Phoenix Wright. Sad it is so short.
I actually like that PW isn't strictly a detective game. It gives it clearer failure states. Playing a detective, the big problem is how to let the player know that he failed, i.e. accused the wrong person, that would not feel arbitrary or artificial. Playing a defence attorney is more straightforward - you get your defendant off the hook, you succeed; you don't, you fail.
 

ValeVelKal

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Actually, AA is DEFINITELY a Detective game, much more than Phoenix Wright. Sad it is so short.
I actually like that PW isn't strictly a detective game. It gives it clearer failure states. Playing a detective, the big problem is how to let the player know that he failed, i.e. accused the wrong person, that would not feel arbitrary or artificial. Playing a defence attorney is more straightforward - you get your defendant off the hook, you succeed; you don't, you fail.
Play AA, and then try to play PW again after that and come report whether you could :p.
 

V_K

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Play AA, and then try to play PW again after that and come report whether you could :p.
I'm not saying PW is perfect - I have a fair share of annoyances with it, especially the sequels - just that I find "defence attorney game" more structurally sustainable than "detective game", and PW should be commended for inventing this genre. Going by the title, AA should also be in this camp, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.
 

V_K

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So I played Crimes and Punishments (the first 4 cases), and I'm... not impressed? Like, the deduction system is nice and all, but all the cases are so straightforward, you could only fail them on purpose, to see what the consequences would be. I've actually almost failed the first case because I just couldn't believe the solution was so obvious. And all the minigames are just annoying - either boil down to QTEs or just unchallenging busywork. It's good that you can skip them, but it doesn't speak very well of the game that you want to skip most of its gameplay.
 

V_K

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I guess I'm just more in the Agatha Christie camp of detectiving - I like the culprit to be the person you'd least suspect, with lots of red herrings and one vital clue that completely pulls the rug from under the case. But it is of course hard to construct a case that would do this and still be fair to the player. I guess that's why I enjoyed PW games more - they construct the "straight" version for you and let you poke holes in it, allowing for more twists and turns.
Did you play The Council?
It's funny that you say that - i did get some Council vibes from C&P, mostly the way both games handle exploration I guess. I like The Council a lot, it does have some stimulating bits though I wouldn't call it super challenging.
 

Zombra

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I get the impression that Inspector Waffles is an old school point-and-click with no detective mechanics - not a "detective game" but an "adventure game with a detective in it".
 

ValeVelKal

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I get the impression that Inspector Waffles is an old school point-and-click with no detective mechanics - not a "detective game" but an "adventure game with a detective in it".
Well you put "the Shivah" in your list - Inspector Waffles is more detectivy than the Shivah

You are still missing :



and in particular, real mechanics like DNA testing, footprint detection, etc :

 

Alpan

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Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Wrath
Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders and Paradise Killer (both of which have their own Codex threads) should be on this list.


 

Zombra

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Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Agreed, sorry I haven't done the work of updating the OP, sorta lost the juice after 4 years. It's still good to see more entries being suggested.
 

HoboForEternity

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Not exactly detective, but red strings club have you extracting information by playing as a barkeep.

You serve them drinks to get them into specific mindset and make them blab. Interesting mechanics and some empathy, attention and understanding of someone's characters and emotions are required. It was pretty interesting.

The con is the drink serving minigame is annoying and require a lot of mouse accuracy. There are other annoying minigame too but overall nice story, 5 hours long. Not much ending varation though.
 

HoboForEternity

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Also i just started this:



So far pretty fun. The title is self explanatory. You don't go to crime scenes and dicking around but you interrogate people.


Conversation system remind me of deus ex: HR with more dialogue options. It's similar in a way there is heartbeat meter and pupil dilation indicator to tell emotional state of the person. You can either try to empathyze with them or scare them to make the blab.

You can also turn off the recording device for more . . Advanced interrogation method. Off the record stuff usually involving nifty stuff in your standard toolboxes.

This flows into the broader aspect of the game where you head an investigation teams to do field work. You have budget and assign tasks to your agents to gather evidences and pursue leads. There is an over arching story that might play out in various ways depending on how you do the tasks. Like spending money on PR so you have good reputation. You also deal with journalists and write official statement so you can frame each cases in certain way.

I don't know yet how this will play out in the long term as i just started but maybe for example if you write too detailed press report, the organization you are after will have more info about your operation so they will be harder to catch, but people will trust you more etc. Really promising start.
 

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