Review: Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files Is Fine
Image via Nicalis

Review: Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files Is Fine

The Touch Detective series and its Funghi mascot ended up becoming something of a phenomenon in Japan, with three mainline games, spin-offs, and all sorts of merchandise. However, only the first entry and Touch Detective 2 ½ ended up localized. Touch Detective Rising 3: Does Funghi Dream of Bananas only showed up on the 3DS in Japan. With Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files, Nicalis picked up and brought the collection to the west and, while it’s great for the sake of preservation, it doesn’t feel like the best versions of the games.

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For those who are unfamiliar with Touch Detective, it is a point-and-click adventure series about a young detective named Mackenzie. She’s known as the touch detective due to her chronicling her thoughts on touching various objects as you go through her cases. (Also, it was just a clever name in the DS era, given you’d use the stylus and touch screen to play.) Her goal is to follow in her father’s footsteps. The world she inhabits is gothic and fantastical, and the various cases and criminals can be fantastical and even absurd. Her friend Penelope often starts things by reporting things like dreams being stolen, a missing ice fairy, colored noodles being stolen, bananas being stolen, or missing raffle tickets. Touch Detective 3 continues this trend, starting with a banana theft that ties into a more widespread crime spree. It also continues the trend of new rivals or major players being introduced, with fellow young detective Norman Touche joining as her rival. 

The fun thing about Touch Detective 3 and the other games in the Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files collection is how whimsical they are. The stories are lighthearted and goofy, but feel like they’re handled well and not too silly due to the setting. This also means that there can be more farfetched solutions, because it makes sense when you consider the in-game logic applied to them. The pacing is really great for every case in every installment. Also, even if the initial set up seems a little familiar, such as the colored noodle theft being present in Touch Detective 2 1/2 and banana theft in 3, what follows typically is new and fresh enough to make the experience feel worthwhile. 

Also, it’s a great value for the money. If you’re willing to go with just carts from the DS release, you might be able to get the first two games for about $40. But we’ve never seen the third entry in English before, so that’s a pretty big deal and great incentive. Not to mention having it on the Switch makes it much more accessible. A wider audience could pick it up and play.

The downside is, Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files is not optimized for the Switch. You can’t move Mackenzie with the analog stick and press an action button to have her investigate her surroundings, interact with people, or explore new areas. The analog stick controls a mouse cursor, which you must move around the screen to highlight areas and press an action button to take action. (You can also tap on the touch screen.) Considering the work going into the title, it feels like it would have been a more accessible option.

Visually, it feels like there’s little to no remastering done with the games as well. Character models and backgrounds look awkward, dated, and jagged. Especially when the new UI elements pop up. The entire game is in a windowed mode as well, to match the past resolution, which isn’t too bad. I just wish a little more care had been put into tidying it up. 

I do like the extras that were included as bonus features. There are past comic strips, which are localized for this release. There’s a lot of character concept art, which I really appreciated given how detailed and interesting the character designs are. It’s a great way to better appreciate the gothic-cute direction of the game and its locations, as well as maybe catch elements that might not have been as clear due to the handling of the Switch port.

Touch Detective 3 is a missing piece of a puzzle that is just as delightful as the previous two games, and it’s great to have the full collection of all three games easily accessible on the Switch as Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files. There is a downside to the release, however. The port doesn’t feel optimized for the console, both when it comes to its graphics and the control scheme. 

Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files is available on the Nintendo Switch.

Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files

This jam-packed collection features Touch Detective 3, the biggest and best point-and-click adventure of junior detective Mackenzie and her faithful sidekick Funghi, playable in English for the first time. Touch Detective 3 + The Complete Case Files also includes the entire original Touch Detective and Touch Detective 2½ games, plus two bonus cases starring Funghi and an extensive museum of artwork and music from the entire Touch Detective series. Switch version reviewed. Review copy provided by company for testing purposes.

It’s great to finally get Touch Detective 3 in the west and the collection makes it easy to enjoy all three games, but it doesn’t feel fully optimized for the Switch.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.