Adventure Corner: London Detective Mysteria
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column we romance the sons of famous detectives in London Detective Mysteria. Who did Sam Wachter romance in her first playthrough? Let’s find out.
London Detective Mysteria
XSEED Games managed to squeeze out one more release before the end of 2018, an otome game where players get to romance beautiful and cunning detectives. London Detective Mysteria was developed and released in Japan in 2013 by Karin Entertainment for the PlayStation Portable, with a self-published Vita port coming in 2016. Players take on the role of Emily Whiteley, a detective-in-training who lives with her handsome butler and is on a journey to uncover who murdered her parents. Along the way, she befriends the sons of famous “literary” detectives.
First off, I want to comment on how entertaining and sharp the localization is. There’s a lot of creative and humorous dialogue throughout, and the energy that has been put into the cast of characters is fantastic. Watson in particular stole my heart on numerous occasions for just being plain adorkable, while Herlock, who I romanced in my first playthrough is cunning as he is difficult to engage with. With five different bachelors, each with their own cheekiness, it’s a hard call as who should be romanced first.
The biggest surprise and most well-written of the cast, is our heroine Emily, who upon first glance doesn’t seem like she’d have much of a backbone. While most otome heroines tend to behave like utterly pathetic doormats, Emily is one of the rare cases that exist where she is brimming with personality, sarcasm, and sharp wit. She’s charming and someone I think players would be able to relate to. She builds so much courage and strength throughout the main story and her transformation into a detective is remarkable as well.
Both the individual cases and overarching storyline of London Detective Mysteria are highly entertaining throughout. My only complaint with this game is the existence of timed choices, which is a frustrating component, especially when one is trying to think through the given clues. While it may seem realistic in some cases to need to make a snap judgement, it sucks the fun from the storytelling, and in some cases the timed element adds zero to the decision process. In other instances — such as at the end of every chapter Emily when will ask the player if she should read, write in her diary, or go to sleep — it makes no sense whatsoever. While some may enjoy the timed element, I found it cumbersome, useless, and going so far as take away some of my enjoyment.
I loved my time with London Detective Mysteria and really did have a hard time figuring out whodunit and who to date. I’m currently working my way through a second playthrough shooting for either Watson or Jack’s ending. I haven’t decided which of the dashing detectives has truly stolen my heart and my time. There are sixteen endings to unlock with five bachelors to romance. There’s definitely a lot to love about London Detective Mysteria, and if you can get over the timed element like I did, there’s a lot of content to explore. — Sam Wachter