Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

aka: Sherlock Holmes no Tantei Kōza, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. I
Moby ID: 392
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

In this game, the player is cast into the roles of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest fictional detective of all times, and his friend and partner Dr. Watson, as they have to investigate and successfully solve three criminal cases:

  • The Mummy's Curse deals with the horrifying death of three men, who were apparently murdered by an ancient mummy;

  • The Mystified Murderess involves a woman who has been convicted for murdering her beloved one, but cannot seem to recall anything of what had happened to her;

  • The Tin Soldier concerns the murder of an old general, whose past must be investigated in order to find the killer.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective can be described as a hybrid of adventure game and simulation. Gameplay process involves traveling to various locations in London, interrogating suspects, gathering clues, checking out the newspapers, and eventually presenting all the evidence to the judge; if the latter finds the circumstances incriminating, he will accept the results of the investigation, and the case will be considered solved. Though the basic gameplay is rather typical for adventure games, the amount of real detective work and the focus of the game on purely case-related actions rather than exploration and manipulation of items makes it comparable to a simulation of a criminal investigation.

The game is notable for being one of the earliest "multimedia" titles, having been released on a CD ROM and featuring rather long (though windowed) video sequences with live actors as introductions and cutscenes, which frequently occur when the heroes investigate suspects.

Spellings

  • シャーロック・ホームズの探偵講座 - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (DOS version)

9 People

Programming
Graphics / 3D Programming
Libraries / Utilities
Use of the Sherlock Holmes characters by arrangement with
Voice Actors
Graphics / Artwork
Producer
Director
Writing / Dialogue / Story

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 36 ratings with 3 reviews)

The Game Is Afoot

The Good
Sherlock Holmes was one of the first "interactive movie" games to be released for the Sega CD.

It was in the go-go, 1990s that the "Next Level" of gaming was presumed to lie in interactive movies, which could only be profitably, developed for the CD-ROM format.

Naturally, the buzz in the early 1990s, was all about Sega's and Nintendo's upcoming CD-ROM technology.

CD-based games could store much more memory then a cartridge and still be profitable sold at roughly the same price as a video cartridge.

"OK", many video game developers were thinking, "What could CD game do to show off the great potential of the new medium?"

Well, digitized voice, much less video, was rare in the days of video cartridges and disks. So, one of the first things that game developers decided to do with the CD format was put lots of full motion video into games. What could possible go wrong?

Had Sherlock Holmes been published on a cartridge or disk, it would have had to be a more traditional, third or first-person perspective adventure game.

Yet, the CD format allowed the game's characters and sets to be brought to life with real actors, real sets and other trappings of a film or television production.

It may not seem like much today, but, back in the day, it was hard to watch the Sega CD full motion video and not be impressed by the "Next Level".

In the 1990s, the idea of a video game looking and sounding like a Hollywood blockbuster or allowing you to control the direction your own Hollywood film, seemed much less like science fiction.

The Bad
The "interactive movie" concept was not really interactive, and it was saddled with numerous budgetary and hardware limitations.

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, the player watches introductory video clips as well as the video clips that play whenever you visit a character.

You do not get to control what Holmes or Dr, Watson say or do in these video clips. The clips basically exist to lay out a set of series of clues.

Once you have enough clues you can go before the judge and, if you answer his questions correctly. you have won the case. Your reward? Another video clip wrapping up the case and moving onto the next one.

The game's point system in the system is not important, but it does encourage you to do the least amount of work. It is not the sort of system that is going to make you want to re-play the cases.

Once you complete the first case, you are onto the next one. Only three cases exist in the game and they will not tax your detective skills too much.

While the extensive usage of full motion video was revolutionary for 1992, it was difficult to overlook the problems with this format, beyond the limited degree of interactivity.

The video is not full-screen, but shown in a limited window. The acting is in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is better then other games of this sort, but it is not going to win any Academy Awards.

The game's period costumes and sets look good, although the hardware limitations of the Sega CD make it difficult to admire the production values.

The Sega CD could only display 64 colors on-screen out of a palette of 512. This was a limited standard for the "Next Level" in gaming, and it hurt the quality of the full motion video.

In the case of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, it is almost impossible to appreciate the production values that went into making this film.

Millions of dollars could have been spent recreating 19th century London, but the player has no way of being able to appreciate that by watching the video on the Sega CD.

The "Next Level" ended up being a small viewing window and video that was muddy and pixelated.

The Bottom Line
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective offers three cases to solve in a basic, adventure game format. In the early 1990s, the "Next Level" of gaming promised to be full motion video, and this is one of the forerunners in that respect. How much of that promise was delivered upon is something you will have to decide for yourself.

SEGA CD · by ETJB (428) · 2014

Interesting, at the very least.

The Good
While AFAIK not being the first ever CD-ROM game, it's definitely one of the first. I got this with the Creative Multimedia Kit (1x caddy-based CD-ROM drive, Sound Blaster Pro and software, some of which I still use to this day) and never got much of a chance to play with it (it disappeared a while later), I remember the full motion video which dazzled me, and the sound quality which was amazing for the time.

The game itself is also quite good (as far as I can remember...), but since I got this at 1993 (I was 9) it was very difficult for me to play it.

The Bad
Completely unreplayable.

The Bottom Line
A neat little game which is now completely outdated.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

A early example of what made CD games popular

The Good
The fact that it was at a decent FMV game, most FMV games that came later were either decent (Rebel Assault) or rather dull (Braindead 13)

The Bad
Once you complete it, what's the point of doing it all over again. Also the difficulty is high, which makes playing it again doubtful.

The Bottom Line
A decent FMV game which was very different for it's time

DOS · by Grant McLellan (584) · 2001

Trivia

Pack In title

This game was one of the games that were included in the early release versions of the Sega CD.

Awards

  • EGM
    • 1992 Buyer's Guide - Most Innovative Game

Analytics

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Related Games

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective - Volume II
Released 1992 on DOS, 1993 on SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD...
Sherlock Holmes Trilogy
Released 2007 on Windows
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
Released 2006 on Windows, 2013 on iPad
Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis
Released 2007 on Windows
Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper
Released 2009 on Windows, Xbox 360
Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring
Released 2004 on Windows, 2011 on Wii

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 392
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

CDTV added by Rola. SEGA CD added by Reptil3. FM Towns added by Sciere. DVD Player, VIS added by Kabushi. Macintosh added by Martin Smith. TurboGrafx CD added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Alaka, formercontrib, LepricahnsGold, Rik Hideto.

Game added November 7, 1999. Last modified January 17, 2024.