== Nixon Computer ==

GAME CLEAR No. 156 -- Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir

video games game clear nintendo mages famicom switch

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir (2021, Switch)

Remake of: Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir (1988, Family Computer Disk System)
Original Developer: Tose Software, Nintendo R&D1
Original Publisher: Nintendo
Remake Developer: MAGES
Remake Publisher: Nintendo
Clear Date: 2/6/24


Lotta threads in ol’ Duder’s head

A couple years ago, Nintendo shadow dropped this game (and its sequel) during some Nintendo Direct or another, and I was immediately intrigued, but as with most shadow drops, I didn’t buy it immediately because I had other games to play at the time. Nevertheless, it’s not often that I’m presented with an old Nintendo IP I wasn’t previously aware of, so it caught my eye, and I set my mind on playing it eventually.

Famicom Detective Club is a visual novel (or adventure game, if you prefer) duology conceived and written by Yoshio Sakamoto, who would later create Metroid. Both of its entries are murder mystery stories that take place in small-town Japan. Like any good Japanese game of this ilk, they share an orphaned teenage protagonist whose name you choose. He is also a professional detective somehow.

But wait! If you thought that wasn’t tropey enough, he also has amnesia!

So you start The Missing Heir with the goal of recovering your memories. You first figure out that you were on an assignment as part of your detective duties looking into a murder case. See, an ultra-wealthy businesswoman has just passed away, and although the coroner determined it was ordinary heart failure, her butler smells foul play. He asks you to figure out who killed her.


So then you navigate menus for a few hours and eventually unravel and solve a grandery mystery involving the many parties invested in inhereting her fortune and business empire. And that’s the whole deal!

You’re sorta either into this thing or you’re not. It is, ultimately, a little whodunit written for the YA demographic. I was able to enjoy it as a bit of breezy pulp entertainment, but it’s not mindblowing stuff. This is a pass-the-time story, and in that regard, it succeeded. Really, I guess it’s pretty fitting for air travel since it probably pretty well approximates a cheap airport mystery paperback.

I will say that it is a rather beautifully rendered version of the old FDS title, though. I enjoyed wondering how they could’ve possibly presented some of the scenes on Famicom back in the day, and I’d love to have a look at some side-by-side comparisons. The soundtrack is pretty good too, and the game lets you take your pick of a modern arrangement or the original Famicom tunes.

But presentation aside, this is a 1988 menu exhaustion simulator. I’m no expert, but I’m sure the genre has much more exciting things to offer, such as perhaps fellow MAGES product Steins;Gate. The Missing Heir is a decent experience and a welcome localization for a Nintendo nerd like me, but it’s far from essential. But if you like these kinds of games or want to give a reasonably short one a try to see what you think, maybe give it a look.