With how rare it is to find translated English Otome Games, you're probably thinking that the iPhone platform would be one of the very last systems to ever take on the trend. Surprisingly, the Visual Novel community there is definitely growing - considering the number of titles being released and the games that are currently available in the Appstore (some notable ones are by Voltage Inc. or NTT Solmare).
London Detective Story is one of the many otome games available, that surprisingly not many people actually know about. The art was quite impressive at first glance, and the fact that it is a dupe of Sherlock Holmes was enough to win me over. Overall, then I suppose I was quite disappointed, since it was a mediocre work at best.
You play the character of Jane, a beautiful but mourning widow who has recently opened up several rooms in her expansive manor for rent. She however, is in for quite the surprise upon meeting her two tenants - William Sherlock Holmes, who dubs himself as a "Consultation Detective" and John H. Watson, a rather suave and handsome ladies' man. Neither are willing to give up the room for the other, as there is only one room available. Jane reluctantly admits to hearing strange sounds coming from her kitchen at night, and has yet to solve the mystery behind it. Watson decides to propose a challenge - if Holmes is able to solve the case, then he will prove himself worthy of renting the room. If not, then he will be forced to leave. It's a win-win situation after all for Jane, as she will find herself a tenant and finally figure out the reason behind her sleepless nights.
But of course, it sounds too good to be true. Throw in James Morris your long time jealous neighbour, plenty of riddles to unlock, and even a possible murder on your hands - will you even be able to survive the ordeal?
For the rather inexpensive price ($2.99 USD) I was quite interested by the premise. The story proved to have some depth that even I was surprised by. The plot was filled with so many twists and turns that were rather unexpected, and I really did enjoy the bonus riddles which you had to solve at certain points in the game. The riddles just made the overall Visual Novel so much more interesting, and it's definitely something that can be enjoyed by all ages.
I was a little disappointed in the total game length (since it was rather short for my taste) but I suppose that's only to be expected, considering the rather low price. I suppose what I was disappointed in most was the otome aspect of the game. Although it is technically a "dating sim" I felt like most of the story merely concentrated on the plot, rather than the romance aspect. The "moments" between the characters felt rather dull and bland, or were merely slotted in randomly without much thought. There really wasn't that much relationship build up, and suddenly near the end of the game, they were "in love" with each other.
It just happened too fast for me to even comprehend, and it just completely threw off the overall tone of the game. I was also going to note that whilst the story did wrap up quite nicely, it still did feel incomplete. That was until I found out that there is a London Detective Story 2 sequel released by the very same company.
It continues the events of the game, but sadly - it has yet to be translated. I do hope that it is translated in English within the near future, and I would definitely like to see what would happen next. Overall, although the storyline was definitely interesting, it was still lacking in other areas. Nonetheless, it was still very entertaining to play for a couple of hours.