The Game Slush Pile

Retro Mystery Club Switch Game Review

Retro Mystery Club Vol.1: The Ise-Shima Case is an 8-bit detective that would fit right at home on this NES, minus the handy smart phone, which wouldn’t exist for years when the NES was around. You are a detective and you get a case with your partner Ken about a dead guy in a park. This will eventually lead you to the Ise-Shima region of Japan, where you get embroiled in a conspiracy involving pearls. The story, honestly, is pretty good. It reminds me of the twists and turns of a Phoenix Wright game, minus the courtroom drama. The game is completely linear and should take about 3-4 hours to complete.

Yes, you have to eat shark Jerky for some reason.

The game play in Retro Mystery Club consists of a screen and the menu about. You ask someone questions, investigate the area, show people something, call people over and use the smartphone. You change locations via the change location button, duh. Your smart phone has contacts(to call and text), a camera, save your game and an actual game(you can only play once). What you do is usually pretty linear and self explanatory, though it can get confusing at times. Early on, you have a train station locker key. You have to visit two different stations, run into dead ends in both, then go back to the restaurant you got the key from, only to find the correct lockers to open.

What does this have to do with anything?

My biggest complaint though, it that Retro Mystery Club Vol. 1: The Ise-Shima Case acts as a tourist guide for Ise-Shima, using real places and routes to get places and lovingly describes everything from food to the actual roads you take to get certain places. I don’t care. I’m not Japanese. I probably won’t ever visit Japan. Get to the plot! Thankfully it eventually does. Also there’s pointless scene involving, you, your partner and two young women in a hot springs(which also get detailed to the point I had to google if they were real, and there are hot springs there). It serves no purpose and doesn’t really go anywhere.

About as saucy as it gets. Nothing happens.

Despite my complaints, I wouldn’t have spent close to four hours completing Retro Mystery Club if the story ultimately was not a competently told mystery story full of twists and turns. It’s not Agatha Christie, but it’ll do as a time waster. The “Vol. 1” suggests there are Retro Mystery Club games on the way. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s coming, as long its not another tourist brochure.

Overall: Retro Mystery Club Vol. 1: The Ise-Shima Case is better if you’re Japanese, but I still highly enjoyed the story!

Verdict: Recommended

E-Shop Page

PlatformNintendo Switch
Release Date9/14/23
ESRB RatingT

Also by Shinyuden/Happy Meal: Menseki: Area Maze Puzzles.