We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

The ten best mystery games in 2024

Everyone loves a good mystery game, especially when they're based on classic tropes and stories. We've got all the best portable ones in our guide.

Dead men are heavier than broken hearts, and mystery games are ten a penny in these parts. So come, into the great cesspool, some nice neighborhoods to have bad habits in, find the laundromat ticket in the glove compartment, or an ancient ring in a dusty dig site, stick on your deerstalker, and get hunting. I like a good mystery. Anyway, that interest comes in handy here, as I guide you through the best mystery games on Switch and mobile.

Once you’re done cruising the bleak arterials of these dismal backwaters, we’ve got even more recommendations for you. Whether you want city-building games, Warhammer games, Wrestling games, or the simple cozy fun of Yoshi games, we’re here to help (but probably with less pretentious mystery novel references, thankfully).

Anyway, let’s see what we can see with the best mystery games on Switch and mobile…

Mystery games: Key art from Overboard

Overboard! – Switch and mobile

In a neat twist on the whodunnit, developer Inkle puts you in the shoes of whodunnit in Overboard. So, how does it work? Deceive and betray, sneak and steal, strongarm and seduce, and use every other shady tactic you can imagine to get away with murder.

Anyone who knows how Inkle builds games will already know how much replayability is in their games, and Overboard is no different. (We have a glowing Overboard Switch review if you need more convincing).

Buy NoW

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Switch

One of the all-time great adventure games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has some of the best-written mysteries in the genre. They’re more old-school than modern reimaginings, but the magic work that Shu Takumi pulled off with these mysteries will forever stand the test of time.

Explore various locations in classic adventure game fashion, then head to the courtroom with your evidence to pin down the culprit. Don’t forget to shout OBJECTION!

Buy Now

Danganronpa – Switch and mobile

Daganronpa is similar to Ace Attorney in the way it’s set up. You have a school life section, where you hang out with characters or search for evidence, and you have a section that involves a trial. In the trial, you have to find out who did the dirty deed.

The twist is there’s a strange FPS mode, with ‘truth bullets’ that you shoot at characters when they’re lying. (Both the first two games, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, are great, and available on Switch and mobile).

Buy NoW

Heaven’s Vault – Switch

Hey, look! Another Inkle game. I’m unashamed in my love for Inkle, and almost put 80 Days on this list, even though it isn’t really a mystery game. Heaven’s Vault definitely is, however, and puts you in the shoes of an archaeologist unfurling a mystery.

It’s Inkle’s first foray into 3D, but not only that, it has some ingenious game design tricks to create a non-linear world that’s authored at every turn. If not for the fun of it, Heaven’s Vault is worth a look for the clever game design alone (check out this Jon Ingold GDC talk if you’re not sold, it’s great stuff).

Buy Now

Life is Strange – Switch and mobile

Life is Strange is the first adventure game from Dontnod that spawned a much-loved series. The conceit of all the games is that a character has a unique superpower, but not in the Marvel sense. In Life is Strange, Max has the ability to rewind time, and so the narrative unfurls from there.

Maybe more of a mysterious game than a mystery game, it’s stellar nonetheless, and there’s a Life is Strange: Remastered Collection out now. You can even check out our Life is Strange: Remastered Collection review to see how great it truly is.

A woman in a police interview, shown on a CRT TV.

Her Story – mobile

An interactive movie full of FMV, Her Story tasks you with exploring a desktop full of files, finding different bits of evidence, whether written or video, and watching them, unraveling the mystery of what happened to this woman.

Fun fact time: Sam Barlow became an independent developer after playing some indie games, one of which was 80 Days, made by Inkle. Yep, they’re back. Sorry, I can’t help myself, just go play 80 Days too, trust me.

Buy Now

Return of the Obra Dinn – Switch

The Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best-reviewed games of the last five years. It has an 89 on Metacritic for goodness sake. It’s another retro-inspired mystery, putting you on a ship where you must work out what has happened to all 60 of the crewmembers.

The retro part comes with the sorta 1-bit single-color graphics akin to early Mac games – not only does it look amazing, but it adds a whole layer of creepiness.

Buy Now

The Room – Switch and mobile

The Room is a puzzle game that broke out big time back when Fireproof Studios released it in 2012. Launching on iOS, the game is basically an escape room-style puzzle, full of different clues and tricks that you must solve.

Team17 did a Switch port in 2018, too, showing how long-lasting the game’s legacy is. It’s recently picked up some steam as the Game Theory team has started streaming it too!

Mystery games: Key art for Chants of Sennaar

Chants of Sennaar – Switch

If you’re at all into indie games, you’ve likely heard about Chants of Sennaar. This mysterious puzzle game uses the Biblical story of the tower of Babel to build a story around a group of isolated societies that have lost the ability to communicate with each other.

Use context clues and hints from historical artifacts to decode each of the tower’s languages and uncover the truth behind this fractured society. This game’s soundtrack and beautiful artwork really help to convey the wider narrative alongside the expertly crafted languages. 

Buy Now

Broken Sword – Switch and mobile

The Broken Sword series is another classic point-and-click adventure game series, though not that many people seem to not talk about it anymore (and it’s developed by British people, weird).

There are five games in the series, the fifth being on the Switch and the first two on mobile. It’s arguable that those are the only three games you need to play to experience the best of the series’ espionage and mystery.

That’s all the mystery games I’ve got for you, bucko. Believe it or not, more than half of these games were made by British studios. Isn’t that odd? Well, maybe not. Anyway, check out our guide to the best science games if you fancy a break from all these big stories.