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Sanma no Meitantei (or, Sanma the Great Detective) casts the player as the assistant to the famous Japanese comedian and television personality Sanma Akashiya (who for the purposes of this game is apparently also a renowned private detective). A party at the villa of a wealthy company president is marred by the death of a guest and the disappearance of a priceless diamond, the Star of Africa, and Sanma is called on to investigate. As the plot progresses, the player opens up various locations around Osaka, where the player encounters a seemingly endless stream of suspicious characters - most of whom just happen to be other well known real-life comedians (all of whom worked for the same studio as Sanma at that time).

Gameplay follows the standard adventure game first-person menu driven model (Look, Examine, Take, Use, etc.). There is also a pointer to examine specific points of interest, and a third-person map used to move between locations. The game features various action-oriented minigames which must be passed to advance the plot, most notably a parody of Namco's own Galaxian.


Sanma no Meitantei NES "Space Crab"--a game that bears more than a passing resemblance to Galaxian.  (It even plays the original music.)
Sanma no Meitantei NES ...and filing their pictures into this convenient dossier.
Sanma no Meitantei NES You'll be running into quite a few of Sanma's fellow comedians on this case...
Sanma no Meitantei NES Dance gymnastics were so popular in the eighties, not even murder mystery minigames were safe.

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Alternate Titles

  • "さんまの名探偵" -- Japanese spelling

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Heliophage (588) added Sanma no Meitantei (NES) on Mar 22, 2013