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Master Detective Archives: Rain Code Review – A Thrilling Narrative Marred by Pacing Pitfalls

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is the latest offering from the creators of the Danganronpa franchise. While it was disappointing to see the end of such a captivating visual novel series, the prospect of a new IP is equally exciting. Master Detective Archives: Rain Code demonstrates that these developers can still craft a thrilling adventure filled with the same level of excitement and plot twists as the Danganronpa franchise.

The game’s premise revolves around a Master Detective, Yumo Kokohead, who begins the prologue by waking up with amnesia in a train station storage room. From there, Yumo discovers that he was en route to a meeting of other Master Detectives that belong to the World Detective Organization, scheduled on the Amaretsu Train. This train, owned by the Amaretsu Corporation, a giant conglomerate working on several mega projects, is headed to Kanai Ward. This city, ruled by the corporation with its private guards, is where the game’s action unfolds. Upon reaching the train and meeting the other Master Detectives, it is revealed that there are six detectives present, despite the expectation of only five. This discrepancy sparks the task of identifying the imposter, leading to a series of events filled with chaos and multiple twists.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code deviates from the traditional gameplay loop seen in games like Danganronpa. The first part of the gameplay typically involves investigating each aspect of the case, which is fairly linear. Yumo can examine objects to gather clues for his investigation, converse with people, and level up his detective skills. These skills allow him to gain more abilities, which can be used in the Mystery Labyrinth, an alternative spiritual dimension used to solve the ongoing case. This concept is similar to the trials in Danganronpa, except the gameplay here is stretched too long, slowing down the pacing.

The Mystery Labyrinth is a new gameplay element that revolves around the investigation and clues gathered during each case. It is a linear corridor where the player moves in a straight line until they encounter a mystery phantom or face a Reasoning Death Match. This is similar to the trials in Danganronpa where the player has to identify the contradictory statement shown as flashing text on the screen. They can slash it out by equipping a solution key, which are important things noted during investigations. The Mystery Labyrinth doesn’t limit itself to just one question but keeps presenting new gameplay twists like picking the correct path with the right answer, going through a rapid-fire question/answer loop where picking the wrong answer leads to slight damage, and a mini-game where letters have to be picked in the correct order.

The game features a colorful cast of characters with an art style that resembles what we’ve come to love from the Danganronpa franchise. It is a spiritual successor in all but name. The gameplay is refreshing, and the biggest issue I faced was the slow-paced nature of the Mystery Labyrinth. It feels like the labyrinth goes on for far too long, and even small twists are stretched out with needless mini-games which disrupt the flow of the game. If we remove them or fast forward through them, the pacing becomes a lot more bearable.

Each Master Detective has a forte allowing them to get help in their investigation. We see this as an example in the opening where the various master detectives show their forte in action, and Yumo similarly has a forte with the help of Shinigami. This is the death god that manifests as a ghost in the real world, but also has the power to call the Mystery Labyrinth and transforms into a cute girl with plenty of fan-service moments when exploring it. This is a weird but almost fan-service element that might not sit well with others. Shinigami also acts as the comic relief moment and guides the player through the various trials and tribulations offered in the game, but the pervy nature of its character in the Mystery Labyrinth is hard to ignore. It is too on the nose here, but some might enjoy it, I guess.

The opening case is perhaps the strongest one in the game, and once it is completed, the gameplay shifts to the Kanai Ward where it is always raining. The game is divided into chapters and after each chapter, it is possible to explore the world and talk to various characters. Doing this can lead to Yumo earning more detective points which can later help in the Mystery Labyrinth. Gathering the Solution Keys by taking a look at every aspect of the investigation is always fun, and so is using the correct key to figure out the contradicting statement. The game never stops being shy of throwing twists so almost every case has multiple twists.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, being the first game in the series, is not perfect. If they take this IP further, I hope sequels offer improvement, especially regarding the gameplay and exploration in the Mystery Labyrinth, which is just incredibly slow-paced. I would have also liked it if the fan-service elements were toned down because they end up feeling a bit too much at times. Despite these issues, this still feels like an IP that has a lot of potential within it. I would love to see a sequel that improves on the first game.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code Game Information

  • Price: $59.99
  • Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
  • Developer: Too Kyo Games
  • Platform: Switch (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher


Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is a thrilling new IP from the creators of Danganronpa, boasting a captivating narrative and a vibrant cast of characters. However, its gameplay, particularly the slow-paced Mystery Labyrinth and the overdone fan-service elements, can sometimes disrupt the overall flow and immersion of the game.

Total Rating

Salal Awan

Salal's main hobby is photography but he is also interested in learning the latest about Technology including Smartphones and PC Hardware. He is the co-founder of Twisted Voxel and always on the lookout for the news.

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