Have You Played… Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

A thing an awful lot people are wrong about is the recent Frogwares Sherlock Holmes games. Some people, for some reason, think they’re not an actual dog poo. They are an actual dog poo. However, in 1991 there was a Sherlock Holmes game that wasn’t actual dog poo – Consulting Detective.

I said that with a lot of authority, didn’t I? I mean, I’m right about the recent Sherlock Holmes games – they’re bloody terrible. But my opinion of Consulting Detective is deeply conflated with my 14 year old brain, and ho ho, 14 year old me was a fucking idiot.

I remember loving them. I remember enjoying clicking through all the notebooks, reading all the newspaper articles, and most of all, watching the stunningly hammy FMV. It was a treat! A silly, enjoyable treat. And then came the Steam releases in 2012, despite a failed Kickstarter to fund such an endeavour. As I discovered back then, it’s more than just nostalgia, although it turned out nostalgia was covering a lot of acting crimes.

They also massively messed up the interface in the remake, for absolutely no good reason, which is such a shame. Because these are well written original Holmes stories, delivered in a really interesting fashion. Just without the aid of professional actors.


  1. yogibbear says:

    Does it follow the cases of the board game and expansions or are these original stories?

    • ThePuzzler says:

      I’ve never played either, but Wikipedia says the cases are:
      The Mummy’s Curse
      A series of mysterious deaths of three men who were part of an archeology trip to Egypt. Each man was found strangled with a sheath of a mummy’s wrapping present at each murder.

      The Tin Soldier
      An old general is murdered in his home by a mysterious visitor who quickly vanishes from the scene of the crime. Holmes and Watson investigate to see whether the crime was due to the general’s part in a Veteran Tontine, a book he was writing on a missing diamond, a disgruntled marriage, or something hidden deep in his past.

      The Mystified Murderess
      Francis Nolan is found hovering over the body of her lover, Guy Clarendon, in a London hotel with a pistol in her hand. She’s convicted of Guy’s murder, despite having no memory of ever being there, nor purchasing the gun that was bought in her name.

  2. Shiloh says:

    I’ve played the boardgame if that counts? I don’t think I actually knew there was a computer game of it.

  3. ucfalumknight says:

    Perhaps it lead to my love of cheesy B-Movies, but I loved FMV games. Whether Consulting Detective, C&C, Gabriel Knight 2, Phantasmagoria and the list goes on. Even the much maligned, and barely playable Night Trap brings me sweet nostalgia vibes sitting and playing my Sega CD. I enjoyed SH:CD. at least 40 something me seems to remember teenage something me loving it.

  4. GAmbrose says:

    I had this on my Mega CD. It was shite.

    I think I probably liked the novelty of FMV when I was 11 though, I had other dreck like Dracula Unleashed. I seem to remember sending telegrams…

  5. Gothnak says:

    I didn’t know there was a computer version. The board game is great…

  6. Fnord73 says:

    No. But I was one of the approx 300 who played “Murder on the Missisipi” on the C64 obsessively. (Is the C64 considered a PC these days, or is it still just seen as a gameconsole?)

  7. Doomlord says:

    Just get the board game, it’s fantastic!

  8. satan says:

    Wow, never thought I’d see that again. Kind of game I’d forgot ever existed.

  9. ansionnach says:

    I remember seeing this one on the mail order pages of magazines… but I never really wanted it. What did interest me was the adventure The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel. That really captured my imagination as I seem to remember reading claims that, at 28MB, it was the biggest PC game ever made. That was about 3/4 of my hard drive at the time! What didn’t help was that I got a demo of it on PC Review or PC Format and I was able to finish it. I think going in the door at the end resulted in my 386 PC crashing with an out of memory error. It was that good! I even went to the trouble of unravelling the mystery of getting the right amount of conventional, EMS or whatever sort of memory it needed. I did play the full game years later and I enjoyed it a lot. It was easy enough and I particularly enjoyed the chemistry bit (CSI: London?).

  10. Ralsto says:

    Luckily you’re always quick to make it obvious to everyone that you have done little to no growing up since then.

  11. April March says:

    My greatest sorrow in life is how there’s no Portuguese translation of the board game.

    Yeah, my life is pretty great.