When the original FAMICOM DETECTIVE CLUB: THE MISSING HEIR was released in 1988 (solely in Japan for the Famicom add-on Family Computer Disk System) it was deemed an adventure game, but nowadays this HD remaster for the Switch would almost certainly be labeled a ‘visual novel’, even though the HUD does feel quite a bit like a verb-based LucasArts SCUMM interface. (I’ll define the difference as: adventure games rely on puzzles to break up the narrative storytelling. Visual novels lack puzzle-based obstructions, relying on narrative-based ones, although THE MISSING HEIR does have one very weak puzzle that reminds me of Sierra’s MANHUNTER which, if you’ve ever played it, should make you wince.)

THE MISSING HEIR, written by Yoshio Sakamoto — also responsible for many METROID games, as well as KID ICARUS and WARIOWARE — features a bit of interactive detective fiction, along with a lot of soap opera: the head of a family business has died, and the heir cannot be found. An extremely young detective — around the age of 17 — has been brought in to investigate, at the request of a long-lasting butler of the Ayashiro family.

Unfortunately, the young detective — who, as in the style of the times, you named yourself — has taken a tumble and has amnesia, and essentially has to restart his investigation into the Ayashiro family.

I don’t want to give too much away about the tale so, apart from a few frustrating interface facets — there are times where you have to select certain menu options five or six times before a character will open up (rule of thirds, folks) — it’s a enjoyable but slight murder mystery, one of which is completely in my wheelhouse, and I’m looking forward to playing the HD remaster of the prequel, THE GIRL WHO STANDS BEHIND.