Who doesn’t love a good whodunit? Process of Elimination brings a twist on the mystery whodunit, and graphic novel genre, and I’m here for it! As a fan of Danganronpa and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, I had to check out Process of Elimination and our friends over at NIS America graciously gave us a Nintendo Switch review copy. Let’s check it out!
Process of Elimination is developed by Nippon Ichi Software (Disgaea, Phantom Brave, Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, etc.) and published by NIS America. Be sure to check Nippon Ichi Software/ NIS America for all of the other amazing games underneath their belt! Process of Elimination is roughly around 10-15 hours; this will vary depending on how your specific gameplay style. The characters in Process of Elimination are fully voiced cast with fantastic range. One thing to note is that you may want to adjust the volume of your game as some of the voices are much louder than others.
Process of Elimination already had me interested by the name itself. It gives off Sherlock Holmes vibes. Who doesn’t like a good mystery? The game starts with The Quartering Duke, an infamous serial killer with over a hundred victims, has thrown the country into chaos with his heinous acts. To end his killing spree, the “Detective Alliance,” composed of the world’s top detectives, has gathered to uncover, and subdue them.
However, in a series of unforeseen events, an aspiring yet unremarkable detective named Wato Hojo stumbles into their operations. He joins the Detective Alliance on the mysterious island of Morgue to investigate the Quartering Duke, only to make the gruesome discovery that their target lurks among them! Can these detectives prove their innocence and unveil the identity of the Quartering Duke before the case runs cold? Doesn’t that sound amazing? I was hooked all the way to the ending screen. Without further ado here are my thoughts on the Process of Elimination.
Roughly speaking, 80 percent of the game is a visual novel. The gameplay is what sets it apart from others. However starting with the story, begins in a chilling way where players decide the fate of an unknown individual not realizing that they are participating in the Quartering Duke’s killing schemes – essentially setting the stage for the game. Enter Wato Hojo: an unassuming newbie in the detective field him being unceremoniously recruited into the Detective Alliance. The best of the Detectives in the field and him being number 100 and unfortunately being dubbed the Incompetent Detective. I thought this was a bit mean, but I will be honest, and I did chuckle a bit.
The story of Process of Elimination is solid and well done. I appreciated how everything was slowly weaved together – the character’s pasts, relationships, and history was so well done. The cases were well thought out, as well as solving the case itself. I was invested in the game till the ending screen! Also, kudos to all of the Sherlock Holmes inspiration! However, I do want to point out that there are times when players will be in long periods of storytelling, it’s a lot to take in and a lot to sit through.
I want to immediately point out that Process of Elimination is not your standard point-and-click game. There is the storytelling itself but what’s new is that the detectives are spread about on a grid-like field and it is up to you (with some assistance) to order (some) of the detectives to take turns, but how the turns are taken is extremely important.
One thing you will notice right away is the fact that each of the characters has ability stats that affect how they move around the field and more. These ability stats are Infer/Understand, Investigation, Analyzation, Assistance, and Movement. All of the characters’ stats are super important to note, as they will affect the way you choose who does what. The order in which things are completed is also just as important. Players will see that to move to solve the next clue, another one will have to be discovered first. Moving the characters to the best areas is vital.
You have a set amount of turns to investigate, decipher, analyze clues, and solve the cases and failure to do so is game over. Because of that, the game explains most of its mechanics. Take note of those tutorials as you play. You may miss a vital piece of information! Process of Elimination puts your critical thinking and perception skills to the test, and I will admit that I overlooked an important detail that came in clutch towards the end of the game. I hope you don’t miss it as I did!
Normally I am not a fan of tactics-like games, but the tactics-like gameplay is enjoyable but not without its faults. There is no quick reset if you notice your mistake or know you won’t make it. You have to let it play through until you’re out of turns or someone dies. Also, there are some parts where I wasn’t able to change the camera angle which made it difficult for me to line up some of the characters when it came to assisting.
I was pleasantly surprised by the art style of Process of Elimination, specifically for the characters. The designs of the environment are basic, and I wasn’t expecting much, but the character design and art itself are very well done. Each character has something about them, whether its their voice or color choice of physical assets that set them apart from the other characters. My favorite is Renegade Detective because of the shenanigans.
There are times when it is a lot to sit through in terms of the storytelling aspect. I experienced a couple of early crashes that should be fixed with an update, and a lot of restarting to test out theories. I thoroughly enjoyed Process of Elimination and the fresh take on investigation gameplay. The way that story unfolds the secrets, how everything is slowly weaved together – the character’s past, relationships, history, goals…all of it is well done. We can’t forget the plot twists. The way the cases played out had me on the edge and invested until the ending screen.
For those who like mysteries, creative storytelling, creepy plot twists, and fresh gameplay to activate your inner Sherlock Holmes to figure out whodunit, Process of Elimination is a MUST-PLAY!
Process of Elimination Review
Elementary, my dear Holmes!
A fresh take on whodunnit that'll make your Sherlock Holmes sense tingle!