In many ways, reader, I am a simple person with simple pleasures, and one of those pleasures is detective stories. I have a mug with Agatha Christie on it. So imagine my response when I saw the reveal of a detective puzzle game I can only describe as Young Poirot: The Hot Years. All right, so the actual name is Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases, but mine is catchier and also conveys the essential spirit of the trailer.
The First Cases, due out in late September, is published by Microids and developed by Blazing Griffn (whom you may remember for buying and remastering multiplayer subterfuge game The Ship). In it you play as Hercule Poirot, untangling one of his first ever cases as a young detective in pre-war Belgium. It involves the rich Van den Bosch family celebrating an engagement, trapped by a snow storm at their manor. Then: murder! It sounds a bit like The Mousetrap, Christie's extremely famous play.
From the little available to nose at, it looks like bits of Young Hercule are cribbing heavily from someone else's homework, i.e. Frogwares' long-running series of Sherlock Holmes games (the next one of which also happens to be a 'young', also mildly 'hot', Holmes adventure, Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One).
Poirot has a "mind-map" of his little grey cells, where he can "visualise and link the elements of the case". Never seen anything like it before, no sir. All right, maybe I'm being unkind, because basically every puzzle detective game has some kind of clue map like this these days - including Blazing Griffin's other upcoming game, Murder Mystery Machine.
The most important thing that this game has learned from Frogwares, however, is that no matter how unappealing a bachelour your detective protagonist is in the books, the young version of him should be kinda hot, somehow. It is incredible how hard Blazing Griffin have worked to balance "man whose head is constantly described as egg-shaped" with "must also be conventionally fuckable??" in their version of Young Poirot. This is why the RPS Treehouse was echoing with our shrieking and laughter after we watched the trailer yesterday.
I mean, look at his cheekbones! His chiselled jaw! The on-trend ankle grazing trousers that you can probably buy in Topman! Vidbud Colm said he looks like a Love Island cast member doing Movember, which, as an idea, is amazing. "Mademoiselle you are, how you say? My type onto the paper. I am laying it on with the factor 50, n'est ce pas?"
Jokes aside (and even if the devs cannot be persuaded to pivot in that direction), I will obviously still play this and almost definitely enjoy it. But if Poirot isn't kind of a disarming little goof, which is a key part of his detectoring success, then is it even Poirot? We shall know more on September 28th, when this will launch on Steam.