Detective Pikachu (JP) is a Pokémon adventure game by Creatures for the Nintendo 3DS starring a talking Pikachu called Detective Pikachu and the protagonist, Tim Goodman. The game features Tim Goodman and Detective Pikachu solve various mysteries in Ryme City.

The first episode was released on the Japanese eShop in early 2016, but the second episode did not come out until March 2018, in a worldwide retail version of both episodes. A giant-sized Detective Pikachu Amiibo was also released alongside the game.

On May 3, 2019, a movie based on the game was released. On May 29, 2019, a sequel to the game for the Nintendo Switch was announced.


Detective Pikachu is an adventure game in which players control Tim Goodman as he works together with Detective Pikachu to solve various mysteries. This is accomplished by walking around scenes, finding potential clues, and speaking with people and Pokémon to uncover new information.


Development on Detective Pikachu was handled by Creatures Inc. and began in mid-2013. The game was first revealed in October 2013 during an episode of the Japanese television show The Professionals as part of a profile on The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara. NHK, the show's television network, leaked some information about the game on its website in advance of the show's airing. Early shots of the game depict a Pikachu in blue. Later that year, Nintendo filed a trademark for the name Great Detective Pikachu. The developers released a debut trailer in late January 2016, a week before the game's launch.

The decision to include voice acting was made by Junichi Masuda, who served as the series’ director and composer and wanted to have a talking Pikachu. In a 2018 interview, Masuda and Creatures Inc. revealed that the original intention for the anime was to have the Pokémon talk, but the show’s producer OLM, Inc. were unable to come up with a concept that Game Freak were accepting of. In the game, Pikachu wears a deerstalker, taking inspiration from popular depictions of Sherlock Holmes.


The game's initial version, called Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo (名探偵ピカチュウ 〜新コンビ誕生〜, Meitantei Pikachu ~Shin Konbi Tanjō~), was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Japan on February 3, 2016. On January 12, 2018, this version of the game was removed from the eShop in Japan, and later that day it was announced that an expanded version of the game, simply titled Detective Pikachu, was scheduled for a physical Nintendo 3DS release worldwide on March 23, 2018. This version of the game featured nine chapters of story, as opposed to the three of the original release.

On March 9, 2018, a Special Demo Version of the full game was released for free on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Japan. The demo featured the first half of the first chapter of the game and allowed players to transfer their progress to the full game. This demo was later released in the West on April 5, 2018. Similarly, Japanese players who had completed the original download version of the game were able to start playing the full version from where they left off upon release. The game was released alongside a giant Detective Pikachu amiibo figure, which unlocks hints and optional cutscenes in the game.

Following the Japanese release of the game, dedicated fans started a petition requesting American actor Danny DeVito as the English voice actor for the titular character. The petition gained 40,000 signatures, but DeVito declined to audition for the role saying he'd never even heard of Pokémon.

To promote the release of the full version of the game, The Pokémon Company released a free promotional eBook called Detective Pikachu Episode 0 – Eevee's Case, available until May 15, 2018 on Apple's iBooks and Amazon's Kindle stores. The short story acts as a prequel to the game, setting up its story. The book was originally released in physical form as a pre-order bonus for the game in Japan. Alongside this, a set of stickers was also released for free on iMessage and Line on the same day.


Detective Pikachu got "mixed or average" reviews receiving a metascore of 71/100 based on 61 critics in Metacritic.[1]


  • The physical copies of the game are marketed with yellow box covers in Japan and PAL regions, but in North America they are sold with standard white covers instead.

External links

Names in Other Languages
Language Name Meaning
English Detective Pikachu --
French Détective Pikachu --
German Meisterdetektiv Pikachu Master Detectiv Pikachu


  1. Metascore of Detective PikachuMetacritic, Retrieved February 17, 2020