From the mystery of the mummy to the devil’s daughter, Frogwares has an almost 20-year history with Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson.
Ukrainian developer Frogwares has a nearly 20-year history with famous detective Sherlock Holmes and lovable Dr John Watson. The studio released its first Sherlock Holmes Game, The mystery of the mummy, in 2002. Now the developer is preparing to release their latest installment featuring the detective duo with Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One, to be released later this year.
Ahead of the release of the next game, it’s worth taking a look back at the historic main series of Sherlock holmes Frogwares games to see which ones are at the top. Rating averages are taken from reviewers’ ratings across Metacritic and Internet game database. For the purposes of this list, a series of non-canonical titles published for handheld computers and intended for a more casual audience are not included.
7. Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy – 60.5 / 100
Mystery of the mummy was Frogwares’ first foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes detectives. Originally released on PC in 2002, it was later ported to Nintendo DS by Mistic Software. A Wii version was planned but canceled. Mystery of the mummy is a first-person point-and-click adventure, and it’s known to be quite short. The game sends the famous detective in search of a missing Egyptologist, Lord Montcalfe, who is presumed dead by suicide. Players explore Montcalfe’s mansion at the behest of his daughter to find out what really happened to him. In particular, Dr. Watson does not join Holmes; instead, he was on vacation during the game’s events.
7. Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis – 60.5 / 100
Also known as Sherlock Holmes vs. Arsène Lupine in Europe, Nemesis is the fourth entry in the Frogwares series. Released in 2007 for PC, the game initially focused on a third-person exploration perspective, but the 2010 remaster included a third-person point-and-click mode. Nemesis is a cross with Arsène Lupine by French author Maurice Leblanc. Taking place after the events of The day before, Holmes and Lupine face off in a battle of wits. Lupine informs Holmes that he’s going to steal various artifacts, and it’s up to Holmes to foil the thief’s plans.
6. Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – 67/100
The day before is Frogwares’ third Sherlock Holmes game and marks the developer’s biggest deviation from their previous efforts. Released in 2007 on PC, The day before removes point-and-click interface and is Sherlock Holmes first 3D game. Players explore using a first-person perspective, though a 2008 remaster brought both third-person puzzle solving and point-and-click interface (to less favorable critical reception) back. The day before enters the world of Lovecraftian horror and its most famous tentacle beast. The game begins with a kidnapping and ends with Holmes and Watson traveling the world to unravel a much bigger mystery.
5. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter – 67.25 / 100
The latest version of Frogwares, The devil’s daughter released in 2016 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This game explored a different horror path than the one Holmes typically ventures into, including his approach to Cthulhu mythology in The day before. The devil’s daughter, as one can guess from the title, presents a more evil plot that includes a quest with an exorcist. Overall, critics considered the story of The devil’s daughter to be one of the best of Frogwares, but the gameplay has retained the title.
4. Sherlock Holmes: The Affair of the Silver Earring – 68/100
Frogwares came back stronger for their second outing with Sherlock Holmes in The Silver Earring Case, also known as The secret of the silver earring. Instead of keeping the first person perspective, the game switched to third person to solve puzzles. Released in 2004 on PC, Silver earring case was then ported to the Wii in 2011. This game sees Holmes and Dr. Watson attending a party where the host is killed. Call on the duo to take care of the case and the rest of the game leaves the player to sort through the politics of the death of the victim, Sir Bromsby.
3. Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper – 69.5 / 100
Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper is the fifth entry in Frogwares’ Sherlock holmes series. Set in 1888 during the time of the Ripper murders, Holmes follows the trail of mutilated women to find out who the infamous serial killer is. Released in 2009 for PC and Xbox 360, Sherlock holmes Against Jack the Ripper offers both first and third person perspective options right off the bat. It should be noted that this score excludes the Xbox 360 port, which was developed by Spiders rather than Frogwares. Overall, the Xbox 360 version received a much poorer critical reception.
2. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments – 74/100
The seventh game in the series, Crimes and Punishments released in 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Unlike the first versions, Frogwares managed the development of the game for all platforms. Crimes and Punishments was broken down into six different cases and introduced a morality system into the game. This character reputation system, which more and more games seemed to adopt around this time, was designed to have an impact on how people events unfolded according to the style of detective chosen by the players. In this regard, Crimes and Punishments gave players flexibility to choose how they solve puzzles.
1. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes – 74.5 / 100
Sherlock Holmes himself is the suspect in the sixth entry in the Frogwares detective series. Released in 2012 on PC and later ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes marks the second Mature rated game in the series. The drama unfolds as the City of London and even Holmes’ friend Dr Watson suspect Holmes of theft and manipulation. The player must then piece together clues and ultimately prove Holmes’ innocence. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes was a turning point for Frogwares, representing a breakthrough in its elements of detective storytelling and gameplay.
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