Sherlock Holmes – Cases Ranked (Frogwares Games)

A bit of a random ranking today, but I absolutely bloody love the new Sherlock Holmes series that Frogwares is developing. There are two games in the series so far, with an intriguing prequel game on the way. There’s just something about these recent games that I adore, from the delightful cases to the delectable deduction system. How would I rank all of the cases?

Just a disclaimer: I’m only going to rank the cases from the two most recent Sherlock games – “Crimes & Punishments” and “The Devil’s Daughter”.

Also also: I’ll try and categorise the games with a nice tag next to the title, e.g. CP5 = “Crimes and Punishments” Case 5, DD3 = “The Devil’s Daughter” Case 3 etc.

You can check out some of my other lists below:

Meh

11 – Fever Dreams (DD5)

It’s amazing to me how drastic the difference is between the two Sherlock Frogwares games. On the one hand, “Crimes & Punishments” is the best Sherlock game around, but after a recent replay “The Devil’s Daughter” felt like it was worse in almost every department.

The biggest disappointment of the game has to be the finale – it’s a big, show-stopping spectacle, I’ll give them that, but there’s hardly any detective gameplay. It was a huge kick in the nuts to go from 6 stellar cases in the first game to 4 alright cases and a tacked-on finale in the subsequent release.

I was thinking of putting this in the “Bad” tier for how much it annoyed me, but at least the graveyard puzzle (where you have to pinpoint 4 graves) was a nice challenge.

10 – Prey Tell (DD1)

If the last case in “The Devil’s Daughter” closed the game with a whimper, then the first case hardly hit the ground running.

The mystery and story etc. are all fine, but the individual puzzles are infuriating – both the Wiggins tailing section and the gunman escape are easily two of my least favourite moments in the entire series, and they happen almost back to back.

OK

9 – Infamy (DD3)

Similarly disappointing as the other 2 cases I’ve mentioned, but there are actually a couple of things I like about this one.

The character of Orson makes for a fun addition, and I like how he interferes with Sherlock’s deductions, making the case slightly more challenging. Also, the bomb defusal section is quite good, albeit not as dramatic as it could have been.

There are still a couple of sections that drag this down, though – the barfight scene is alright on paper, but ends up just being mindless trial and error, and the stealth sections near the end have no place in a Sherlock game.

Good

8 – A Half Moon Walk (CP6)

Strangely enough, the last cases in both games seem to be my least favourite. It would have been nice if “Crimes & Punishments”, an already excellent game, had a thrilling conclusion, but instead we got the most by-the-book case of the lot.

At least the story with “The Merry Men” got its conclusion, and the final Home Alone-esque trapping section is admittedly quite fun.

7 – The Abbey Grange Affair (CP4)

Very much a short, filler case, “The Abbey Grange Affair” makes up in story what it lacks in length.

You quickly discover that this supposedly simple case of theft and murder is not quite what it seems, and it leads to one of the hardest moral choices in the series.

Great

6 – Chain Reaction (DD4)

There are only a couple of “Devil’s Daughter” cases that I would ever consider replaying, and I admire the audacity of this one’s premise.

When a huge traffic accident causes a chain reaction, Sherlock has to pinpoint where it all started. The initial investigation is fun, (the sewer bit is a bit meh), and the final deductions are heart-breaking. Easily the hardest moral choice in the series, this one mentally wrecked me.

This is also a good time to mention – is it just me who thinks that this Sherlock looks like John Hamm? It can’t just be me who thinks that?!? He didn’t voice the character, so I have no idea how they were allowed to copy his face!

5 – A Study in Green (DD2)

To me, this is easily the best case from the second game – mainly because it feels like it would fit with the first game.

The mystery is the best of the lot, the investigation is great, and the conclusions are subversive and satisfying to uncover. That’s not to say this isn’t without its faults, though – the temple puzzles at the end are unbelievably stupid at times, and stops this from being an amazing case.

4 – The Fate of Black Peter (CP1)

Take notes, Frogwares, THIS is how you start your Sherlock game.

We’re expertly introduced to each character, the mystery is laid out nicely, and for a tutorial level it doesn’t hold back at all. The case itself is fantastic, with lots of great deductions to warm you up to the system; granted, the killer becomes quite obvious near the end, but it’s a fun journey to undertake, and it got me very excited to play the game.

Amazing

3 – Blood Bath (CP3)

Out of the six cases in the first game, I reckon half of them are amazing Sherlock adventures, and each one tested my deductive capabilities to the max.

This one starts off simply enough – a murder in a Roman baths, hardly riveting stuff but intriguing nonetheless. This case really opens up when you delve into the archaeological digs, and you start to realise that the past and the present are seemingly connected. An amazing case with some amazing puzzles.

2 – The Kew Gardens Drama (CP5)

To be honest, they should have just made this case the final one. It has everything I want from a great Sherlock mystery – a fun scene of the crime to explore, some equally mysterious and suspicious suspects, and enough twists and turns to keep anyone engaged.

It’s the ending of this one that really stuck with me, and the twist conclusion that revealed the murder wasn’t quite what it seemed left me genuinely shocked.

1 – Riddle On The Rails (CP2)

If the first case in the game got me intrigued by the premise, then this one cemented “Crimes & Punishments” as the greatest videogame outing by the Great Detective.

This has probably the best set-up of the lot – a mysterious disappearing train, political unrest, and some of the hardest deductions in any detective game I’ve played.

This case really pushed me to the limit, and I was determined to uncover every nook and cranny to find each clue. Even then, the solution isn’t obvious at all, and it gave me immense satisfaction to finally deduce what really happened on these fated rails. This is Sherlock at his scintillating best.

Aaaaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog pots below:

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