Strange things are afoot in Ryme City, but Detective Pikachu is on the case. The spinoff of Nintendo’s popular Pokémon series will debut in the U.S. as a Nintendo 3DS exclusive on March 23. It arrives ahead of the movie adaptation, which is slated for 2019 and stars Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds.
It includes all of the content from Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo, which first launched in Japan in 2016. It also builds on the iconic electric mouse-thing’s sleuthing adventures with new locations, characters, and more story. An easy mode will be available to guide players through the game, and Nintendo will also release an Amiibo toys-to-life figure that unlocks additional video clips and hints.
In this world, Detective Pikachu isn’t just special because he’s got a jaunty deerstalker cap. He can speak in a human language — a first for the series. He communicates with a boy named Tim Goodman, whose name I misread at first as the inimitable John Goodman, and now I think is a missed opportunity. Tim’s father has gone missing, and Pikachu helps search for him. The two will unravel a variety of mysteries in Ryme City, and hopefully bandy about phrases like, “Electricity, my dear Goodman.”
Detective Pikachu is one of many Pokémon spinoff games, such as the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure, and of course Niantic’s hit AR mobile title Pokémon Go. Out of the 802 creatures out there, Pikachu could definitely be counted as the star of the series — though weirdly enough, a 2016 poll named Greninja as the No. 1 favorite in Japan. Don’t worry, Pikachu. At least you have a lucrative career in crime-fighting ahead of you.