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Detective Pikachu 3DS Game Review

Reviewed by on Apr 04, 2018
Rating: 3 Star Rating

The latest spin-off in the Pokémon series has hit the 3DS. Check out Kidzworlds review of Detective Pikachu for more information on the new 3DS game!

By: Max Cannon

Though it often feels simple and repetitive, Detective Pikachu for the 3DS is definitely a one-of-a-kind game. Mashing up gameplay reminiscent of the Professor Layton series with the world of Pokémon presents a unique take on one of the world's most recognizable fictional characters. Some uneven pacing hurts the game's surprisingly lengthy story but the charm is enough to keep you engaged all the way through.

Pikachu with a New Personality

Gamers are undoubtedly familiar with Pikachu, primarily from his appearance in the Pokémon TV Show, but this interpretation of him is unlike anything you'd expect. Though he's only understood by our main character Tim Goodman, Detective Pikachu's voice is presented as speaking English to the player with a gruff New York-ish accent of an adult man. While the voice of Detective Pikachu was a point of contention before release (with a popular petition even requesting Danny DeVito to voice the character in the upcoming movie,) the new voice brings an unexpected charm that makes this the most compelling Pokémon character in years. 

Detective Pikachu: Get Ready to Crack the Case!

Our main character Tim Goodman arrives at Ryme City while on the hunt for his missing father. After getting paired up with Detective Pikachu to help find a missing necklace snatched up by some mischievous Pokémon, the pair team up to find Tim's missing father but that's not the only mystery worth solving. Why can Tim understand Detective Pikachu but not the other Pokémon? How did this Pikachu decide to start pursuing detective work? Playing through the story's 9 chapters will give you answers to some of these mysteries and clearly leave the door open for future entries into what'll hopefully become a larger franchise.

Detective Pikachu's personality is what makes the game as enjoyable as it is.Detective Pikachu's personality is what makes the game as enjoyable as it is.Courtesy of Nintendo

Cracking the Case 

Gameplay is centered around solving mysteries by examining evidence or talking to people and Pokémon to piece together your next steps. Though Tim can only understand Pikachu, our new Detective can communicate with Pokémon and relay that information back to us. Through conversations with both people and Pokémon you'll be able to gather testimony that'll point you in the right direction. While the conversations are entertaining to play though sometimes you'll know the solution immediately but still need to jump through each hoop that the game asks of you, luckily the story and characters are interesting enough to keep the busy work from feeling too tedious.

This Pikachu is much different than the Pikachu you're likely familiar with.This Pikachu is much different than the Pikachu you're likely familiar with.Courtesy of Nintendo

The game's story-centric presentation means that you'll spend a lot of time watching cutscenes but to keep players engaged there are those controversial quick time events. Button prompts will appear during cutscenes in a way that never feels annoying or too frequent, in fact, I don't think I missed a single one during my playthrough.

The puzzles are never complex enough to stump many players.The puzzles are never complex enough to stump many players.Courtesy of Nintendo

Final Thoughts

Detective Pikachu impresses with a heartfelt story and an original twist on a well-known character. While the gameplay is often simple, sometimes painfully so, the charm of the world and character is enough to keep players engaged. Let's hope we see more of this series!

Detective Pikachu: This is No Ordinary Pikachu!



  • Awesome Characters
  • Interesting Story
  • Promising Future


  • Simple Puzzles
  • Little Variety in Gameplay

Detective Pikachu Game Rating:3

Detective Pikachu Box ArtDetective Pikachu Box ArtCourtesy of Nintendo

Available for Nintendo 3DS

Have Your Say!

Are you going to be picking up Detective Pikachu? What do you think of this take on the famous Pokémon? Leave your thoughts below!