Want to play a detective in a hidden object game or HOPA game? You’re in luck. There are some great games to choose from, but be careful. Some game descriptions will mention that you’re a detective, but in the game, you don’t solve a mystery. Instead, you might be a detective at some supernatural organization that comes on the scene to help get rid of demons.
For some reason, lots of HOG and HOPA games label their characters “detective,” even though they aren’t in the usual sense. If you want to play a game in which you solve a mystery, the list below will get you started.
1. The 9 Clues Series
There are two games in the 9 Clues series. In The Secret of Serpent Creek, you search for a missing friend and solve a mystery. In The Ward, you investigate a murder.
One unique feature of the games is that you have to find clues at crime scenes and then piece together what happened based on those clues. Typically there will be nine clues (hence the series name). Once you have the clues, you’ll deduce in which order the clues were left behind at the scene, and this will recreate what took place.
9 Clues is a HOPA series, so you’ll also solve puzzles, find and use items in your inventory to progress through the game, and search for hidden objects in hidden object scenes.
The two games were released in 2013 and 2014, but they’re modern HOPAs. Unfortunately there probably won’t be any more games in the series, which is too bad. I enjoyed both games and would have bought the next game.
2. Path of Sin: Greed
In Path of Sin: Greed, you play a detective working your first murder case. I played this one not too long ago, and it turned me on to Cordelia Games. I’ve gone on to buy every game the developer has released.
The graphics and voice acting are superb, and the mystery is interesting. It has quite a few twists and turns. You keep track of the evidence on an evidence board and use the clues you find to deduce who committed the crime.
It’s a HOPA game, so you have puzzles, items to find and use, and hidden object scenes. If you’re looking for a real whodunit, give this game a try.
3. New York Mysteries Series
I love this series by Five-BN Games. You play a detective who investigates supernatural mysteries. For example, in Secrets of the Mafia, the first game, five mafia bosses have disappeared, and all that’s left behind is a strange glowing green liquid and a butterfly. You have to figure out what’s going on.
The games are set in New York City in the late 1960s, and the graphics make you feel as if you’re actually there.
There are four games in the series so far: Secrets of the Mafia, High Voltage, The Lantern of Souls, and The Outbreak. The last game was released in 2019, so hopefully there will be more in the series, which is on my “must buy” list.
All the games are HOPA games.
4. Dead Link: Pages Torn
In Dead Link: Pages Torn, you investigate the murder of your sister. But there’s a catch. You keep hearing your sister call your name.
The game is set in modern times. You’re invited to visit your sister, but when you arrive, you find out that a body has been discovered on her property—and it’s her.
This is a HOPA game, so you’ll use items in your inventory, speak to characters, and hunt for objects in hidden object scenes.
Check this one out if you’re looking for a modern mystery and don’t want to play a series.
5. The Andersen Accounts Series
This series isn’t a typical whodunit series. The games are billed as magical thrillers. You play Chris Andersen, a detective with magical abilities who has to solve a mystery. In Chapter One, the first game, you hunt for a friend who has been kidnapped.
The games are modern and magical. You’ll get an X-Files vibe from them.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, check out this series by Eipex Entertainment. There are three games in the series so far.
6. The Ghost Files Series
This is a modern mystery series that features a different detective in each game. There are two games so far: The Face of Guilt and Memory of a Crime.
In The Face of Guilt, you play police detective Emily Meyer and hunt for a serial killer. In Memory of a Crime, you play private investigator Arthur Christie, who wakes up in a strange cellar next to a dead man. The catch? He doesn’t remember how he got there.
In both games, the bonus play in the collector’s edition relates to the main game, so this is one case where if you have the money, you might want to buy the collector’s edition. I always do anyway when there’s one available.
The second game in the series came out in 2019, so hopefully there will be more Ghost Files games to play.
7. Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily
In Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily, you play a detective who goes on vacation and guess what? A grisly murder takes place at the hotel where she’s staying. She can’t help but get involved.
She only has one clue: a paper lily stuck to the victim’s frozen body. Could it to be the signature of a serial killer?
I really enjoyed playing this one and will probably play it again at some point because I’m missing a few Steam achievements. It’s set in modern times.
8. Memoirs of Murder Series
This is a murder-mystery series in which you play a detective husband and wife team (in the first game, you choose which spouse to play). The first game starts with a bang: there’s a murder, and your spouse is the prime suspect. Of course, you want to find the real killer.
There are three games in the series so far: Welcome to Hidden Pines, Resorting to Revenge, and Behind the Scenes.
The games are set in modern times. The series is on my “to buy” list, so I haven’t played any of the games yet, but they’re by Eipex Entertainment, a solid developer that usually delivers engaging HOPA games.
9. The James Patterson Women’s Murder Club Series
This series is based on the book series by James Patterson, which features a group of female friends who work together to solve mysteries. Each game in the case solves one mystery.
There are four games in the series: Death in Scarlet, A Darker Shade of Grey, Twice in a Blue Moon, and Little Black Lies.
In the games, you interview suspects, solve various types of puzzles, analyze evidence in a forensics lab, and hunt for clues at crime scenes. There are also hidden object scenes.
They’re older games. I couldn’t play the fourth game on my Windows 10 machine. It ran fine, but the cursor didn’t work properly, making it impossible for me to play. The first three games ran fine for me, though.
I’ve read some of James Patterson’s books, but I hadn’t read any of his Women’s Murder Club ones. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the first three games.
This series of games will definitely satisfy the sleuth in you.
10. Noir Chronicles: City of Crime
In Noir Chronicles: City of Crime, you play a detective who discovers that his ex-girlfriend has been murdered, and you set out to find the killer and avenge her death.
I own this one but haven’t played it yet. It has good reviews on Big Fish Games but mixed reviews on Steam, so check out the reviews, or play the demo at Big Fish before buying the game.
This is meant to be the first game in a series, but it came out in 2018 and another Noir Chronicles hasn’t been released since then, so maybe there will be more. Maybe not.
There are other HOPAs with detective main characters and mysteries to solve. I’ve stuck to games in which you have to solve a crime, like a murder or kidnapping. The games I’ve included in this post aren’t an exhaustive list.
Some HOPA games are labelled mysteries, or feature a detective, but the mysteries are more along the lines of “Why is this town haunted?” They’re not crime mysteries.
If you’re looking for a game in which you play a detective and solve a whodunit mystery (whether it be a murder, kidnapping, or some other type of crime), try the games I’ve listed here.
Most of the games are available at Big Fish Games and Steam. At Big Fish Games, you can download and play a demo of a game before you buy it, so if you’re not sure about whether you’ll like a game, give the demo a try.