The Nintendo Switch is a great console for all kinds of games, from action games to long role-playing games to first-person shooters. It’s a portable console that can be used for a lot of different things. Given how popular the Switch is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has a lot of mystery and puzzle games.
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The subjects, themes, and tones of these games are all different, but they all have one thing in common: solving a complicated mystery. Here are some of the best mystery games for the Switch that you can play while curled up on the couch.
AI: The Somnium Files
AI: The Somnium Files is a mystery visual novel that can also be played as a point-and-click adventure game. It has great characters and multiple paths. You play as Kaname Date, a detective with a special ability whose job is to solve a string of brutal murders.
This game has great music and great writing. The dialogue and cutscenes are all voiced, which makes the experience feel more real. There’s also a flow chart in the menu that lets you go back in time to finish story paths you haven’t seen yet. This makes it easier to get to the different endings of the game.
Famicom Detective Club
There are two games in the Famicom Detective Club series, and both are available on the Nintendo Switch. They were first made for the Famicom Disk System, the SNES, and the Game Boy Advance, which are all older systems from Nintendo. This is the first time these detective games are available everywhere in the world. They have been updated and remade for the Switch.
In these games, you play as a young man who solves mysteries by looking for clues and asking different questions of different people. They have great music, voice acting in Japanese, and mysteries with lots of twists and turns around every corner.
Unavowed (Switch eShop)
Unavowed is the first game on this list, and it’s a bit more typical of a detective game. It’s a point-and-click game, like many games from the 1990s, but it’s also different. Wadjet Eye, the creators of modern point-and-click games, made Unavowed. In this game, you wake up after One Hell of a Night with no memories and have to use your detective skills to figure out what happened.
And it turns out that “One Hell of a Night” is more literal than figurative, because you didn’t pass out from being drunk. Instead, you passed out from being possessed by a demon, and now you need the help of the Unavowed, the supernatural detectives of the underground, to figure out what’s going on. Unavowed is a very well-made, polished, and up-to-date take on an old genre. It has some light RPG elements, like letting you choose your own party to go out into the field with.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)
Disco Elysium is more than just a detective game. It may be one of the best detective games ever made, even though it’s only a few years old. Your character wakes up with a splitting headache and doesn’t know where he is, who he is, or how to stop throwing up. With the help of your stylish, smart, and always patient sidekick, Kim Kitsuragi, you quickly start to piece together what happened. And you’ll soon wish you’d never gotten out of bed.
Disco Elysium can be intimidating at times because of how deeply it thinks about politics and philosophy, but its dry sense of humour and beautiful, one-of-a-kind palette knife painting style will win over almost anyone in the end.
Paradise Killer (Switch eShop)
Paradise Killer is the answer to the question, “What if there were a group of murderous avant-garde vaporwave drag queens?” No one has ever asked that question, but the answer is a murder mystery set in a strange paradise where the rulers have been brutally killed, and it’s up to you, Lady Love Dies, to figure out who did it.
The game has an open world and doesn’t have a set storyline, so you can do things in any order and at any time. You can even start the murder trial right away if you want to. But this style of investigation has no limits, which is both freeing and a little scary because you have to do all the work yourself instead of being gently pushed along by the game. Still, we have a lot of faith in you.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition (Switch eShop)
Trigger Happy Havoc, the first game in the Dan Gum Rompy series, is a great way to start the series. THH takes place in a school/death camp run by a crazy teddy bear. The main goal of the game is to stay alive in a brutal killing game by not getting killed by the other students.
It has parts of Battle Royale and the Zero Escape games, since all the students are trying to kill each other to win the big prize, which is their freedom. It also has more than a little bit of Saw in the way it focuses on gore and horrible deaths. Like Ace Attorney, every murder leads to a Class Trial, where all of the students try to figure out who did it and sentence the criminal to yet another horrible death. You can basically kill as much as you want, but don’t get caught!
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition (Switch eShop)
Goodbye Despair is arguably better in some ways than the first Doggone Romper game. It takes the “teens killing each other” plot to all kinds of new places, like a tropical island. Also, all the girls are wearing bikinis for a big part of the game this time.
Goodbye Despair has a lot of shocking turns, violent deaths, and confusing minigames, like a snowboarding minigame where you have to steer toward the answers to questions (why? ), and the annoying Hangman’s Gambit, where you play hangman with a mind-gun (don’t ask).
Return of the Obra Dinn (Switch eShop)
Now, the Return of the Obra Dinn is not a detective game in the strictest sense. It is a game about figuring out insurance claims. But calling one of the best detective games ever “an insurance claims adjuster game” won’t make anyone want to play it, even though everyone should.
Obra Dinn is a game made by Lucas Pope, who also made Papers, Please. On paper, it sounds like a very boring game: A man gets on a ship that has been missing for years and has suddenly washed up in port, only to find that the crew is all dead or missing. But with the help of a magic watch, he can see how they died so he can write down their names in his Big Book of Sailors. All of this is done to figure out how much to claim on the boat’s insurance. Sure!
But there’s so much more to Obra Dinn than its story: It is a series of beautiful black-and-white vignettes with great music that take you to strange places and force you, without words, to make huge leaps of logic to figure out who is who on this strange, cursed boat. It has to be played.