Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Agatha Christie-Hercule Poirot: First Case Review (Switch)

Mystery fans will be on the lookout for Hercule Poirot: the first case following the horrific crime scene of the ABC murder. The Belgian detective recently arrived at Switch in courtesy of French publisher Microids, but the developer is Blazing Griffin, who worked with Ardennian Gamshu in a very different way.

ABC Murders at Artefact Studio tried to put you in Scandinavian sluice hound shoes, but First Cases, well, you, I’m reading Poirot’s novel. If you’re hoping to solve the puzzle yourself, and neither Blazing Griffin nor Microise has done enough to discourage that expectation, before Chapter 2, you’ll have a frustrated mustache. A visual novel that demonstrates the strength of Agatha Christie’s timeless creativity.

The first case tells the story of a new Poirot, including all the beloved metaphors of upper class plots, romance, feuds, and of course the reckless personal slaughter for our entertainment. Use a thumbstick to roam Poirot in a fixed perspective 3D setting, explore the scene, talk to people and tell the story factually. This structure is supported by the second interface, Mind Maps. In a mind map, all facts are organized and planned in a logical diagram. Loops are walks / surveys / conversations to add facts to a map. Then connect the facts on the map to encourage Poirot’s reasoning and increase your chances of exploring the world.

This arrangement allows The First Cases to be played like a highly interactive visual novel rather than an adventure game. Your progress is inevitable and not really attributed to your wisdom, but instead of giving up its agency, you get stuck in one dull puzzle for years, the frustration of an adventure game. I will escape. Mind maps provide an opportunity to show some understanding and logical thinking, but use to-do lists and markers to explicitly display prompts to show connections you’ve already tried. Implicitly, connections are often clued by clean lines. You will see it on the map. We sometimes went through trial and error, but the game makes this very bearable and keeps turning the pages just like a good book.

This mapping of story details is beautifully suited to the classic detective genre, which is all about well-defined mysteries and clues to readers and a stable supply of red herring. Using this schematic study of the plot, it’s easy to imagine Poirot classifying ideas and connecting loose ends. Or it’s easy to imagine doing the same thing that Agatha Christie writes. It also helps us with a more modern span of attention than Christie originally wrote by summarizing conversation-related content and adding it to the map. Already knowing what Poirot did would slightly overturn the classic denowment, but it would be easier and more harmful to talk to the audience once and then tell them what they were saying. Pantomime of touching a person with a finger is not so much fun.

The possibilities are great, but not everything works perfectly. Mind maps employ a system that shows the fact that question marks must be connected to something. This helps without problems, which is essential for the excellent usability of the system, but it can be read as if you really need to answer the written question. In fact, you may only need to find relevant facts and not be able to answer your question at all. For example, early in the game, you need to guess that a particular room is closed because the staff is preparing for the event. You will see two locked doors and you will be asked why they are locked, but you will not be able to connect them to the fact that the staff is busy until you connect them to each other.

These trial-and-error clickfests are thrown into a particularly eerie relief when Poirot finally connects his muddy footprints to an adjacent muddy puddle and yells at himself. “The moment of genius!” In fact, you have to learn how to read the language of the game, but this doesn’t really match the intuitive plain English reading. Overcoming that hurdle, it’s consistent, but it’s a real obstacle to player onboarding.

Unfortunately, there are many more drawbacks. The cast of the characters is properly prominent in the game interface (another tab next to the mind map), but in the game world there is no real existence other than as a golem that distributes dialogue, set as logic. Appears and disappears in the plot requires. They stand, stare, and shake in a cave room meaninglessly until Poirot’s mere thoughts transform the world into the next state. Poirot’s “order and method” exists and is correct, but lacks the mind and soul.

There are many good points there. The visuals, even simple, are attractive on large and small screens. There is stuttering, but it is rare and not too annoying. Voice actors are widespread and entertaining, if not necessarily intentional. Especially some of the accents are irresistible hamee.The mind map interface is smooth and satisfying and overall felt The content of the game is like getting used to mystery novels – perfect.


First Cases is a major shift from Poirot’s last outing, ABC Murders, published by Microise. Comfortably step into the realm of visual novels, throw away the mysteries that hinder the flow of the story, and your fantasy is to enjoy Poirot novels, not Hercule Poirot. With Switch, you can enjoy it in the wingback of a majestic home library or in the bed-sit toilet, just like a great book. For storytelling, the game format is ideal and even original. A trademark of the connection between events, evidence and character psychology, Christie Web is planned right in front of you – take a closer look at the diagram or stroll through the well-presented settings. The main limitation of the game is the inanimate world and weekday writing, which cannot give a well-mechanized story the brilliance of life. Still, puzzle-loving gamers shouldn’t get this, but visual novel fans and Heracles heads can’t put it down.