[Nintendo Switch] Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The First Cases Review
What a year it’s been for detective games. It’s time to check out the origins of Hercule Poirot in our Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases review!
Discover the early cases of the legendary detective Hercule Poirot.
Discover an untold crime story from the mysterious youth of the famous detective Hercule Poirot.
In his early years as a detective, Hercule Poirot is invited to a reception by the influential Van den Bosch family, for the announcement of their daughter’s engagement. But tensions amongst the guests run high as a snowstorm descends on the town, trapping everyone inside the manor. The happy event is soon marred by the murder of one of the guests…
In the right place at the right time, Poirot immediately begins to investigate. What buried secrets and deadly rivalries will he uncover?
2021 has been a big year for detective games. Along with Lost Judgment, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, and Murder Mystery Machine, another contender has entered the battle: Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases. If you’re unfamiliar with the work of author Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot is the most famous of her characters, appearing in more than 30 novels, with adaptations of her work and, therefore, this particular character on radio, TV, movies, and video games.
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases you play as Hercule Poirot during his early years. He’s still a police officer at this point and hasn’t risen to the role of detective yet. If you’re new to the source material – as is my case – then that makes this game a great starting point to get to learn more about Hercule Poirot and the universe created by Agatha Christie.
The first thing you’ll be doing for Poirot’s first proper case is, as expected, to solve a murder! Without spoiling things too much, I will mention that the way the game presents each environment to you and how each character is written makes for an entertaining adventure experience. The cast of characters is great. There are definitely tropes and stereotypes, but they still manage to offer something interesting to the narrative.
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases plays very similarly to old-school point-and-click adventure games. You’ll wander around environments in an isometric view and click your way through each area as you gather new clues and evidence. Once you have located enough, you’ll be able to start constructing your Mind Map – something I’ve seen in several games this year – as you link clues and evidence together to discover new information.
Now here is where Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases shows its fun side while, at the same time, ending up feeling a bit frustrating. Interacting with each character and going down the different conversation paths you can take as you gather new information and find items that open up new lines of questioning, you’ll be having a good time. Going around the environments with the old-school point and click gameplay mechanics felt like comfort food, even if the whole game is a bit on the linear side. The thing is, you’re going to have to pay attention to everything that is said and find all of the items for each chapter so that you can make the most of your Mind Map and have the right piece of evidence to link to the right clue, or else you’re going to be stuck.
Since there isn’t a hint system in place, if you’re not careful, you can end up stumped as you fail to find the right links to make. I love adventure games and have played some old-school entries in the genre with very obscure puzzles to solve, and I was still stumped at times with what Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases was asking of me. There is a good amount of content in Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases, since you’ll be playing this one for around 10 hours or so. This makes it possible for the game to not overstay its welcome as it hits the right tempo for its narrative, as long as you find all of the links in your Mind Map at the right time.
As mentioned before, the game is presented from an isometric perspective, and the art style manages to find a good middle ground between a realistic look and a more cartoonish presentation. The 2D portraits used during conversations are a nice touch, and the environments you’ll explore are cozy but minimalist. The characters look the part but are not as detailed as you’d expect. Luckily the voice acting does a great job at fleshing out every single one of them.
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases is a good detective game. The Mind Map is a good way of doing things for this particular detective game, but when you’re stuck, you’re going to end up stuck for a bit as you try to link every single piece of evidence and clue until something sticks. But despite these moments, I do think you should check this one out on Nintendo Switch.
This Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Microids.