Being a detective seem like a pretty glamorous job. Fighting for justice with the powers of reason and deduction, all whilst wearing a snazzy coat and smoking a pipe; or something like that. The reality (or lack thereof) of the situation seems more grim than that, or at least that’s what the majority of detective related games would have you believe. Piecing together clues and questioning suspects and witnesses gets trying after a while. Here are ten games that demonstrate this fact by driving you a little bit insane.
10. Sam and Max: Hit the Road
Sam and Max are faced with some bizarre cases, with Hit the Road being many gamers’ first exposure to the dynamic duo. Hit the Road is now considered a certified classic in the point and click hall fame but, whilst its wit is as sharp as ever, some of the game’s puzzles are showing signs of age. When I say showing signs of age I mean that, just like the games of our collective youths, they’re bloody hard. And obscure. And abstract. Pretty much everything that can frustrate the modern age point and clicker.
9. L.A. Noire
Us gamers are subjected to some serious conditioning. We are always ready to jump right back in and retry the moment we fail. L.A. Noire breaks so many years of this behavioural loop by not giving us the chance to re-tread our steps. Failed an interrogation? Missed a vital clue? Too bad, you’ll have to make do. The game is well balanced and paced, but it’s heart-breaking when you get it wrong and know you must live with the mistakes you’ve made.
Granted, Ryo Hazuki isn’t a detective as such, but he certainly does his fair share of investigating. In his continuing (but extremely delayed) search for Lan Di and the Chi Yo Men, Ryo does just as much detective work as the best of them. And he does martial arts, which immediately makes him a bad ass. The reason Shenmue can be frustrating is because of its pace. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful and well crafted games ever made, but searching for sailors can only stay novel for so long.