The best detective games 2023

This guide to the best detective games on Switch and mobile will have you finding clues around every corner and solving mysteries left, right, and center.

Detective games: A screenshot of Rachel Amber from Life is Strange Before the Storm crying, with Chloe Price stood out of focus behind her looking on

If you’re looking to do some sleuthing, we’ve consulted the evidence and put together this case file featuring the best detective games on Switch and mobile. These games can help you hone your interrogation skills and puzzle-solving prowess, and even teach you to escape from a fight with the enemy.

We’ve got tons of great game picks for you to check out, including lists of the best football games, cricket games, and golf games for all of you sports nuts. If you’re after alternatives to your favorite games, we’ve also got lists of the best games like Genshin Impact, games like Minecraft, and games like Stardew Valley.

Let’s grab our magnifying glasses and inspect the best detective games on Switch and mobile.

Detective games: Professor Layton and Luke exploring the curious village.

The Professor Layton Series

If you’ve ever owned a Nintendo DS, you’ve probably heard of Professor Layton. This cartoony puzzler mystery series is set in a steampunk-inspired version of 1960s England and follows the titular Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke as they uncover strange mysteries together.

The most recent release, Layton’s Mystery Journey, follows Professor Layton’s adoptive daughter Katrielle as she carries on his legacy in his absence. This game was released on mobile, 3DS, and the Switch, and you can grab HD remasters of the original Nintendo DS trilogy on Google Play and the App Store. There are plenty of puzzles to solve while you wait for the release of Professor Layton and The New World of Steam for the Switch.

Detective games: Pink, white, and black cover art for Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary edition.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Danganronpa is known for its colorful and unique style and its dark and twisted story. Sixteen gifted high school students, each considered the ‘Ultimate’ in their field, are kidnapped by a bear robot named Monokuma and forced to compete in a killing game. The gameplay is split into two parts – a visual novel-style investigation phase and a class trial phase. As your classmates are picked off one by one, you’re tasked with finding the culprit and finding them guilty.

Detective games: The cast of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy games.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

OBJECTION! Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is Capcom’s classic visual novel franchise. While it’s technically more of a lawyer game than a detective game, you still have to consult the evidence before you and cross-examine witnesses to find the truth and declare your client not guilty.

Detective games: Max and Chloe standing back to back surrounded by blue butterflies.

Life is Strange

Again, Life is Strange isn’t technically a detective game, but playing as Max Caulfield practically qualifies you for a badge and gun given how much snooping she does. Max moves back to her childhood town to attend a prestigious high school, reconnects with her long-lost best friend, and gets tangled up in a missing person’s incident, all while contending with developing time travel powers. As if being a teenager wasn’t hard enough!

If you end up falling in love with Life is Strange just like several members of the Pocket Tactics team have, we’ve got a list of the best games like Life is Strange for you to check out next, and a Life is Strange 2 Switch review.

Detective games: Key art from June's Journey featuring several characters including June herself in the centre, wearing a bright red cardigan and matching hat with a feather in it.

June’s Journey – Hidden Object

If you’re looking for a more casual detective experience, June’s Journey is the way to go. This hidden object mobile game is set in the roaring ‘20s and is filled with exotic locations, thrilling stories, and unique and diverse characters. Plus, there’s a new episode added every single week so you’ll never run out of mysteries to solve.

Detective games: A black screen with white text reading 'I AM INNOCENT' overlayed on a dark grey butterfly silhouette in the centre.

I Am Innocent

If you want to step completely into the role of an unwilling detective, I Am Innocent is the game for you. It uses realistic messaging and phone calls to immerse you in the life of a detective investigating a series of murders that target teenagers. There’s a personal element, too – the murders seem to be tied to your sister’s disappearance many years ago. It’s gripping and emotional from start to finish.

That’s everything we have for the best detective games on Switch and mobile. If you want to take your investigative journey to the stars, check out our Honkai Star Rail review, Honkai Star Rail codes, and Honkai Star Rail tier list.