review chase cold case

Review Chase Cold Case Investigations

10 years ago Hotel Dusk: Room 215 was released on the DS.  The sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, released in 2010 for the DS. And now we have this new game, Chase: Cold Case Investigations, Distant Memories that is sort of the spiritual successor to Hotel Dusk: Room 215.

Cing, the developer behind the earlier games, doesn’t exist anymore. Taisuke Kanasaki, who was the director of the famed Hotel Dusk, is back with some of the same team that made Cing’s titles. Reason enough to pick up this short title that’s been released by Aksys Games in the Nintendo eShop.

Time for a review

I’ve kept you up to date about the game in my Handheld Gaming News ever since we first gotten word of it, now it’s time to give it a review. Some background info first, to set the stage. You meet Shounosuke Nanase and Koto Amekura, two detectives that are part of the cold case unit in a Tokyo metropolitan area. They are instantly recognizable: Shounosuke is the grizzled older detective, who is surly and grumpy. He has seen it all before, doesn’t get exited easily and isn’t very nice to the newbie. Koto is the newbie, trying hard to get it right and exited for having a case pop up. She doesn’t seem to mind that he is constantly putting her down, and dares to defy him in interviews by correcting him when chase cold case

The developers are obviously drawing heavily from the mental picture we all have derived from many television series about detective agencies. Maybe that’s not a bad thing though, as the scene you see on your screen is pretty minimal. You see them at their desks and sometimes the interrogation room, but that’s pretty much it. Sometimes an image is spread across both screens of the 3DS, which reminded me of older DS games. I liked that, I like it when developers use features only a DS can give, like the stylus and using both screens.  Even with this minimal movement though impressions are conveyed very well. review chase cold case

A good storyline 

The way the case is presented is nice. On the surface there doesn’t seem to be much to the allegation of murder, but as you unravel every lead and background story it gets more interesting. You have to analyse one case, which leads you to wonder if more cases are in the works. Crime scene photos and eye witness reports are the basis for further questions as you put together all the pieces. If there’s a solid lead, you can interrogate people that seem involved. Ask them questions to see how they react, but if you ask the wrong questions your Interrogation Gauge will deplete.img_01

It seems that when you ask too many wrong questions and it will be Game Over, but I sincerely dare you to make that happen. The questions seem too easy, not much chance of getting it wrong. That doesn’t mean that the case isn’t a good one though. The story is excellent. There are unexpected turns and emotional moments, I was curious to see what would happen next. Every time that I wanted to close the lid of the 3DS, I wanted to play just a bit more.

A low price for this visual novel

It’s a pity that there isn’t more in the way of exploration available, and that the need to think logical to unravel the case isn’t really there. As the game is now, it felt more like a visual novel to me. Which isn’t bad, as the story is very good. Overall a nice experience, not exactly what I was expecting, but the price for this short game is nice too. Let’s not forget, this novel noir is available for only USD 5,99 or EUR 5,99 in the chase cold case





  1. I’m glad you reviewed this! I loved Cing before and knew that some of the team was back. I can see the Cing influence in the art, animation, and solid mystery story. It didn’t have the puzzles and unique uses of the touch screen that I have come to associate with Cing though. I know that there is a much lower budget and that this chapter is only one of what is ideally more. It just didn’t do it for me. It’s a straight-on visual novel, but it never felt like you were solving the mystery alongside them. It was all given to you, and the few multiple choices were merely comprehension questions. One of them even asks about a female and one of two choices is a male! As you said, it’s unlikely to ever get a Game Over, though I actually did get an instant game over because I couldn’t figure out a pixel hunt.

    I wanted to love this game and instantly got it the day it came out. I know I shouldn’t compare it to Cing’s actual titles, but it’s hard to separate Chase. The game is such a departure from what came before it. I would still be interested in checking out a sequel. Since it would be released in parats, they can certainly add more to future episodes.

    1. Same here, I really wanted to like it. And it certainly had its charms, but it’s nothing really like Hotel Dusk. But, like you, I’d check out a sequel though. Maybe this was just to test the waters, who knows?

      1. I hope whatever they make next, whether a continuation of Chase or a new IP entirely, is more like Hotel Dusk. That and Last Window are unlike anything else I’ve played. Hopefully you’re right that they’re just testing the waters.

  2. I absolutely loved Hotel Dusk and Last Window, so I was definitely excited to see this game’s announcement! But, I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about the game, which is a shame since it looks like a solid game. I’ll probably give it a try one of these days just to see for myself, but I hope they make more games like this in the future!

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