Check out these detective games, which include gritty episodic adventures and old-school point and click puzzle games. Each one has its own unique case-solving mechanics that will test even the most clever gumshoe.
This list of the best detective games for PC has everything you need if you want to mix sci-fi and fantasy into your mystery. You can also get a raw police procedural or a murder mystery with a bit of fantasy in it.
1. Broken Sword
When it comes to point-and-click adventure games like this one, Broken Sword isn’t as good as Monkey Island. But the game makes up for that by having clever puzzles that you’ll spend just enough time pondering before you come up with the right answer.
Following George Stobbart and Nico Collard, the Broken Sword series shows them getting sucked into dark conspiracies and long-running schemes. George and Nico get into all kinds of bad situations over the course of the show, and they meet and talk to all kinds of weird people wherever they go. Broken Sword is a great point-and-click adventure series that takes polite murder and intrigue to the romantic and beautiful cobbled streets of Paris and beyond.
2. The Wolf Among Us
As a child, we all dreamed about living in a place called Fabletown. It’s a dark place with lots of crime and a lot of grime. You play Detective Bigby, the Big Bad Wolf, when you act out the role of the Wolf. It’s your job to keep the town safe while you investigate the violent deaths of fairytale characters in this Telltale Games game. You’ll use dialogue choices as your main way to get to the bottom of the crimes.
People in your apartment aren’t taking their Glamour (an enchantment that hides fairytale characters from humans). A severed head has just arrived on your doorstep. You’ll see familiar characters, like Snow White, the Huntsman, and Sleeping Beauty, as you piece together the Fabletown killer’s plan over the next few months. Telltale games are known for their dark stories, and this one is no exception. There isn’t much in the way of case work, but just like in The Walking Dead, your decisions can have a big impact on the world around you.
3. The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
It tells the story of Detective Paul Prospero and his search for missing boy Ethan Carter in Wisconsin’s Red Creek Valley. It is a first-person game. Ethan Carter: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter shows off its Twin Peaks and Village of the Damned influences as you look for clues and recreate scenes with your paranormal observation skills in this game.
“The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is scary and haunting.” It contrasts the natural beauty of the area with the search for the missing boy before it’s too late. You can explore the valley in its entirety, allowing you to explore every corner and delve into the mysteries of Red Creek and what happened to Ethan Carter. You can also look into the history of Red Creek and what happened to him.
You’ll find tiny clues hidden in the most unlikely places, which will make you want to go off the beaten path more often to find more narrative tidbits. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter lets you make up your own conclusion based on all the evidence you find. This is different from many other detective games, which don’t let you do this.
4. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes And Punishments
If you can make the players think like the world’s best detective without giving them too many supernatural abilities, you’ve done a good job. Most of the time, you’re going to have to look for evidence, put it together, and figure out who did what.
When you need help, Holmes’ abilities from another world will come in handy. What makes Crimes and Punishments unique is how much freedom you have to get things wrong. There are times when you’ll wonder if you drew the right conclusions or missed a key piece of evidence as you wrap up a case.
There are a few glitches in the animations and graphics. The acting is good all the way through, and each case has a lot of mystery and grandeur that you would expect from the books. One of the best detective games isn’t the best Sherlock Holmes game we’ve played in a while. It’s also one of the best.
5. Discworld Noir
In the seedy underbelly of Ankh Morpork, private investigator Lewton is hired to look into a brutal murder in the city. He quickly gets caught up in a dark and sinister plot. Like the first two games in the Discworld series, Noir has its own unique style. Instead of wizardry and magic, werewolves and jazz bars are in place of wizardry and magic in this game, which is different from the first two games in the series.
While Rincewind has his trusty luggage to store things, Lewton has a notebook where he can write down all the clues and cross them off as they come up. This opens up new places and reveals new threats. There’s something eerie about the empty streets that run through Ankh Morpork, as well as the creepy people you’ll meet in its dark corners.
6. Grim Fandango
In the world of Grim Fandango, when you die and embark on your journey to the Land of the Dead, you’re assigned a travel agent who determines the mode of transport you take which is determined by how many good deeds you have completed in the Land of the Living. There is a conspiracy going on in the afterlife that Manny Cavelera has to find out about.
As a travel agent, Manny becomes a noir detective when he finds out that his boss has been cheating and putting people on long journeys to the Land of the Dead. This point-and-click detective game is both funny and dark. The people you meet have a lot of charm and humour, and each new chapter is a treat for the eyes as you visit new places in the afterlife.
A dystopian novel called “Orwell” is what you’d expect it to be called. You’re a government agent who has been given permission to look into people’s private lives, looking through private chats, emails, and social media profiles to find crimes against the state. There are enough twists and surprises in the movie to keep things interesting. It’s a spiralling conspiracy thriller that keeps things interesting.
8. The Painscreek Killings
Cult favourite The Painscreek Killings is one of the few games on this list where you have to be a detective. Many games on this list are good at making you feel like a detective. If you play as a journalist in an abandoned American town in the 1990s, you have to use your mind a lot to solve a series of crimes. You have to intuitively put clues together to get any kind of resolution out of it.
9. Telling Lies
It’s a follow-up to Her Story. You get to look at an archive of secretly recorded video calls made by four very different people. You don’t know these troubled souls at all. Their lives are a complete mystery to you. But by the end of the game, you’ll know them very well, and you’ll have found out some shocking things about their lives.