Detective Pikachu is a spin-off from the very popular Pokémon series. A shorter, download-only version of the game, titled Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo, was released in 2016 only in Japan. The full game was released worldwide in 2018.
The game stars a boy named Tim Goodman, who is looking for his father Harry, the latter of whom was in a car accident two months prior and vanished mysteriously. He meets his father's pikachu, who is confused. The same incident that caused Harry to mysteriously disappear also changed Harry's pikachu. Now, he has the ability to be a capable detective at the cost of his ability to conduct electricity. He also no longer acts like a normal pikachu, as he has developed quirks such as eating sweets and drinking coffee.
Tim discovers that he can communicate with Harry's pikachu, who talks to him in a gruff voice. Since both of them want to find out what happened to Harry, Harry's pikachu, using the deerstalker cap Harry gave him as inspiration, declares that he will help Tim out as the "Great Detective Pikachu". Interestingly, the duo discovers that Harry's pikachu cannot talk to other humans, and Tim cannot talk to other pokémon, including other pikachus.
However, Harry's pikachu can talk to other pokémon, which is helpful since pokémon sometimes see things that humans do not. Tim and Pikachu have to talk to everyone they meet, gaining useful information. They have to use that information to gain new lines of questioning and to collect evidence.
Overall, it's a straightforward game that's aimed at children, but the mystery surrounding Tim's father's disappearance and the sudden change in Detective Pikachu's behavior help keeps players motivated throughout. Plus, the deep-voiced voice actor of Detective Pikachu, as well as the contrasting cute animations, keeps it entertaining. After the movie, people will probably be expecting Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu, but it's still worth checking out to see from where the ideas for the film were generated.
4 out of 5