Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Microids
Developer: Blazing Griffin
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It?s interesting to contrast the way video games have treated Hercule Poirot with how they?ve been to Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, obviously, is much more popular ? thanks, I suspect, to the fact he?s in the public domain ? but games starring him have ranged from mediocre to terrible. Poirot, meanwhile (whose literary outings are still mostly owned by the estate of Agatha Christie), has been much less well-represented, but the most recent game starring him was at least decent.

That trend continues with Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases. While it?s similar to Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One in that it offers a look at a younger version of the titular hero ? one, it should be noted, that?s not based on any of Christie?s writings ? that?s pretty much all the games have in common. Much like the last Poirot game, The ABC Murders, Hercule Poirot: The First Cases is a leisurely stroll through a couple of intriguing mysteries. Poirot moves unhurriedly through a few crime scenes, interviewing suspects, gathering clues, and making deductions.

As you can tell, there?s not a lot of action to be found here. In fact, it?s the deductions part of the above paragraph that actually forms the bulk of the gameplay in The First Cases. Every clue you gather, whether it?s a physical piece of evidence or an interesting revelation in an interview, gets added to a mind map, and it?s up to you to make the connections between the most incriminating clues.

For the most part, the mind map works. The deductions here are generally pretty straightforward, so they usually make sense. That said, at times it feels like you?re being asked to take three or four steps where one would do ? that is, you can see where the game is leading you, but it also asks that you take a bunch of extra deductions, which makes the game feel a little padded in places.

Just about my only criticism of the game is that The First Cases can sometimes feel a little too unhurried. While this may help ensure you don?t miss any vital clues, at the same time, when Poirot has to slowly walk back and forth between rooms or suspects that are a little far away, it can feel a little frustrating.

Of course, it?s not like Christie?s Poirot novels were jampacked with action sequences, so in that respect Hercule Poirot: The First Cases doesn?t fall far from the tree ? which, again, is even more impressive when you consider that this is others building on Christie?s work, rather than being based on one of her novels. The First Cases is a good tribute to one of the classic characters of fiction, and anyone who likes to curl up with a good mystery should find this to be to their liking as well.

Microids provided us with a Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B