Touch Detective in Review – Cute, cudly and odd freemium adventure

Looking at the adventure genre on the iOS I can safely say that it has matured quite a bit. Over the last couple of years, we have seen both adaptations of classic PC titles, like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review) or The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, as well some all original ones created specifically for the platform – 1112 episode 01 / 02 / 03  and HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review) being the most noteworthy. The latter has even been picked up by Telltale and brought to almost all modern platforms, which quite a feat for a mobile release. And this family of games has quite recently been joined by Touch Detective, an original detective adventure.

Touch Detective is a reasonably traditional 3rd person point-and-tap adventure. Young Mackenzie has got it into her head that she can be the next big thing in the detective scene. Aided by her animated mushroom creature – Funghi – she investigates the strange happenings, though mostly to Penelope, in her home town… seemingly populated by kids and talking animal-creatures only.

With such a name as Mackenzie, and being a member of the detective club, it’s no wonder that things start going crazy. Starting with the dreamy Penelope, who’s been having some strange and disturbing dreams of late, your protagonist begins exploring the events in a reasonably friendly point-and-tap mode. Unfortunately no hot-spot highlighting is available and you’ll find yourself tapping meticulously over the entire area to find all them. On the upside, there’s the “Touch List”, which records hidden items you come across; find them all and unlock a hidden easter egg.

Sadly the item and dialogue-based puzzles themselves aren’t too enticing. The logic is almost always too childish and next actions obvious but you’ll find yourself resorting to exploring the same areas over and over again, either trying to find the missed hotspot or the character to talk to yet again. And the whole atmosphere of an adventure built for a 5 year old permeates Touch Detective in everything – from the graphics to the characters and dialogues.

The visuals leave a mixed feeling. On one hand everything is quite carefully drawn, albeit in a quirky style. Unfortunately, no support for the Retina display is present, with even the interface elements being too spritey for the modern devices. The controls work well mostly, but the noted absence of hotspot highlighting or any reasonable hint system makes progressing through Touch Detective a bit of a chore.

Touch Detective left me with the impression that I was outside of the target audience. I imagine a younger player would quite enjoy the simplistic puzzles and dialogues, though he/she would face the same problems with the absence of hints or hotspot highlights. I myself found the whole atmosphere rather frustrating even without the interface quirks, with some characters giving me the urge to hit them in the noggin with something heavy. If you’re in doubt whether this game is for you, you’re welcome to try it out since almost a quarter of the game is available for free ; the rest is unlocked via IAP. Be prepared, however, as unlocking the whole story will cost you $8.99.

With this I declare Touch Detective officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Touch Detective Developer: BeeworksGames
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free ($8.99 via IAP) App Size: 193.73MB
  • Nice graphics
  • Almost a quarter (one full chapter) available for free
  • Memorable characters
  • Frustrating puzzles and interface
  • Childish dialogues
  • Poor hint system
  • Expensive to unlock the full game


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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