Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations is part graphic novel and part solo game. One of five titles in Van Ryder Games’ Graphic Novel Adventures series. Explore the rest of the collection to discover the different adventures that await you.
While reading Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations, you will flip between pages to inspect different areas of the crime scene, interrogate suspects, and solve puzzles. The first investigation is conducted by Watson and is almost a tutorial (not that one is really needed). The other 3 investigations can be conducted by either Watson or Holmes. Playing as Watson is the easier difficulty level since you can ask witnesses more questions, get hints from Sherlock, and examine bodies. Sherlock Holmes can ask less questions, but has the power of deduction. Be wary of which questions you choose to ask, or you might upset your witness.
It would be easy to describe the Graphic Novel Adventures as the graphic novel format of Choose Your Own Adventure books, however they are actually more than that. It isn’t just a matter of flipping between pages and reading what happens. You actually need to pay attention to details in the frames to get clues on solving each investigation. There are also little puzzles along that way that might reveal helpful information if you can solve them. These are the aspects I really enjoyed about this graphic novel game. When you notice something someone is wearing (for example) and that helps narrow down the suspect list, you feel like Sherlock Holmes on the trail of a criminal deducing clues from seemingly nothing.
The one thing I would caution is to manage expectations. If you expect a fun solo game with some light puzzles played throughout a graphic novel, you’ll be very pleased with what you get. However, if you expect a quality graphic novel with lots of storytelling, you might be let down. There is a story told throughout Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations, but it is fairly simplistic. You are mostly just going from room to room and questioning witnesses. There is a lot of flipping between pages (I mean a LOT), and I often had fingers marking off 2 or 3 other pages. It isn’t a continuous read, such as reading several pages, making a choice, then reading several pages more before the next choice is presented. You are constantly flipping pages, often only reading single panels on a page. At least that is how it was in the Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel Adventure, the other four graphic novels have different authors and could have much deeper storytelling. If you are looking for a solo game first and foremost, the graphic novel aspect will just be a bonus.
Who Should Buy Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations?
This graphic novel adventure is absolutely worth getting for any Sherlock Holmes fan. I consume anything and everything Sherlock, he is by far my favorite literary character. While this graphic novel isn’t even close to my favorite incarnation of Sherlock, the satisfaction of making deductions by observing everything in the panel will be greatly enjoyed by fans of the famed detective. It’s why I also enjoy board games like Chronicles of Crime.
Parents will have a great time reading this graphic novel with their kids and involving them in how the investigation progresses. For the kids to be able to see the story and choose where to turn next would be great fun. I still remember being read classic Sherlock stories as a child. Though intended as a solo game, I think it would work well as an activity parents play/read through with their kids.
What About the Other Graphic Novel Adventures?
If you are interested in some of the other Graphic Novel Adventures, here are links to reviews of the other stories.
Become a werewolf in Loup Garou and fight other monsters.
Navigate through a dangerous mansion where your daughter is being held Captive.
Manage a small town in the wild west as Mayor in Your Town.
Play as a bounty hunter in Tears of a Goddess trying to recover stolen sprouts. (VIDEO)