The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console for all sorts of gaming sessions, including action games, lengthy RPGs, and even first-person shooters. Being such a portable device, it’s a versatile console built for many experiences. Given the success of the Switch, it’s no surprise that the system offers a variety of games for fans of mystery and puzzle games.
These games span a variety of subjects, themes, and tones, but they all have one thing in common: getting to the bottom of a twisting mystery. Here are some of the best mystery games available on the Switch, ideal for curling up with and immersing yourself in.
Updated September 4, 2023 by Jacqueline: We’ve cleaned up the formatting of this list a bit and added even more entries, giving you plenty of mystery and detective games to choose from.
18 AI: The Somnium Files
AI: The Somnium Files is a mystery visual novel that’s also a point-and-click adventure game with branching paths and great characters. In the game, you control Kaname Date, a detective with a unique power tasked with solving a series of grueling murders.
This game features great music and excellent writing, with fully voiced dialogue and cutscenes, making it an immersive experience. There’s also a flow chart in the menu that lets you jump back in time to complete story paths that you haven’t seen yet, making it easier to reach the game’s multiple endings.
The Famicom Detective Club series is actually a set of two games, both available on the Nintendo Switch. These were originally launched on Nintendo’s older systems, the Famicom Disk System and the SNES, as well as the Game Boy Advance. Remade and given a modernized look for the Switch, this was also the first time these detective games were available worldwide.
In these games, you control a young man who solves mysteries by scouring for clues and asking characters various questions. They offer splendid soundtracks and Japanese voice acting, as well as mysteries loaded with twists and turns at every corner.
16 Steins;Gate Series
The Steins;Gate franchise has spawned visual novels, anime adaptations, movies, comics, and more. It’s a franchise loved by many, and the games are available on the Switch for anyone curious or looking for a mystery to sink their teeth into.
Steins;Gate is a visual novel with branching paths and a science fiction backdrop, following eccentric college student Okabe and his friends as they acquire the means to travel through time and change the past. You can alter the course of the story using Okabe’s cell phone in-game, along with various decisions you’ll be forced to make.
Bursting with stylish designs and color, Gnosia is a unique mystery visual novel game where you interact with NPCs aboard a spaceship. In Gnosia, you must find out which of the crew is an alien, known as the Gnosia, that will kill the rest of them.
Gnosia uses a unique time-loop structure that shakes up who the Gnosia is in each iteration. You can also become the Gnosia and work to keep suspicion off of yourself. As the rounds go on, you learn more and more about the characters involved and their backstories.
14 L.A. Noire
Coming from legendary publisher Rockstar Games, L.A. Noire is a detective game set in Los Angeles during the 1940s. You can explore this game’s unique and vast open world by walking around in it or even driving to get places.
The story of L.A. Noire takes place over multiple chapters throughout which you control Detective Cole, looking for evidence and following leads to uncover a twisting conspiracy. The game also features a branching storyline, adding to its replay value.
13 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
When it comes to mystery games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is one of those series that many people have heard of. The first three games of the series are available on multiple platforms, including the Switch, as a combined collection. These titles combine elements of mystery-solving with logic puzzles, visual novel elements, and point-and-click adventure games.
Each game in the Ace Attorney Trilogy offers around five cases to solve. These games are loved for their over-the-top antics, quirky characters, and hilarious writing. Despite the comedy, however, they offer somber moments when the plot calls for it.
12 Thimbleweed Park
Inspired by the adventure games that came before it, Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure that lets you play as five characters to uncover some bizarre mysteries within the park.
Aside from collecting evidence and key items, you also get to interact with various suspects and key players in the crime, uncovering clues as you put the truth together.
11 Layton’s Mystery Journey
The Professor Layton series is well known for its charming stories, interesting characters, and fantastic puzzles. Professor Layton’s adventures span many titles. However, Layton’s Mystery Journey is a bit different in that it follows the adventures of Layton’s daughter, Katrielle Layton.
In this game, you will solve mysteries and puzzles in order to find Katrielle’s father, who has gone missing. This game is distinct from the Professor Layton games in part because instead of having a continuous story, the game features twelve cases that you must work through, similar to chapters.
10 Return of the Obra Dinn
If you haven’t heard of Return of the Obra Dinn, then you may have heard of Papers, Please, which was developed by the same person. This game follows the story of a ship, the Obra Dinn, that went missing for five years and has suddenly reappeared. You are tasked with investigating the ghost ship to piece together the mystery of its disappearance.
The game offers a unique style with its monochromatic color scheme, reminiscent of older, classic video games. You’re also given a unique item that lets you witness the moments before a passenger’s death, aiding you in your journey to crack the case.
9 The Darkside Detective
Another fantastic point-and-click adventure game, The Darkside Detective takes place in a city with a supernatural twist. The city has a reflection of itself, called the Darkside, where ghosts reside. In the game, you control a detective in charge of investigating the Darkside, and must solve the mysterious cases linked to it.
Aside from being a great mystery game, The Darkside Detective is full of pop culture references and sharp, hilarious writing. It offers thrilling mysteries to sink your teeth into while keeping you laughing with its fantastic humor.
8 Danganronpa Series
Danganronpa is an iconic series involving murder and trials. There are three games in this series, following three different groups of students who must face each other in a murderous game. The game is separated by trials, where you must decide exactly who the killer is, as well as how they did it.
This isn’t a typical detective mystery, but each trial will leave you thinking hard about what is going on. In addition to the mystery of each trial, you will need to uncover the mystery behind the murder game that you are playing.
7 Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium is an RPG that places you in the shoes of a detective who has no memory of who he is. Over the course of the game, you will need to figure out your own identity, while solving mysteries.
This game does not follow a linear path like other mystery games. You will be able to explore and encounter a wide variety of characters that you can talk with. There are complex dialogue trees that make each playthrough a unique experience.
6 Paradise Killer
Don’t let the colorful graphics of Paradise Killer fool you, this is a complex game involving an island that ‘regenerates every few millennia’.
The game focuses on a murder that took place, and as Lady Love Dies, you will need to gather evidence and figure out what is going on. Paradise Island is vast, and the open-world gameplay lets you explore to your heart’s content.
5 Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is quite a mouthful, but it’s well worth it. Published by Square Enix, Paranormasight is a visual novel that tasks you with learning the mystery behind ‘curses’ that afflict people in Tokyo.
Like many other mystery visual novels, Paranormasight involves a branching timeline with different actions resulting in new paths to take. You aren’t the only person trying to get to the root of the mystery though, so who will get the truth first?
4 Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is a bit on the scarier side. If you can handle the fright, then Fatal Frame is an excellent mystery game that requires you to use your photography skills.
While exploring Rougetsu Island, you will need to take images of ghosts. This essentially deals damage, sealing them away. As this is a remake of a 2008 game, you can expect to see improved graphics, as well as unique costumes.
3 Life Is Strange Series
Life is Strange is an incredibly popular mystery adventure game series, with tons of content to play through. In each game, you will play from a third-person perspective, exploring the world around you, completing quests, and solving puzzles.
The original Life is Strange game was split into five different episodes, but you can purchase the Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection to get access to them all. Don’t forget to also check out Life is Strange 2 and Life is Strange: True Colors.
2 What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is essentially a walking simulator anthology. In the game, you play as Edith, exploring her ancestral home to learn the mysterious secrets of her family.
This game is rather short, but the story feels well put together with good pacing. Overall, What Remains of Edith Finch feels like a movie, especially since the average time players take to finish is around two hours. If this game captures your heart, be sure to check out The Unfinished Swan, which was developed by the same studio (Giant Sparrow).
1 Night In The Woods
Lastly, we have Night in the Woods. In this game, you become Mae Borowski, a college dropout who moved back to her hometown. While here, you can explore and meet residents.
There is no brutal murder in Night in the Woods. Instead, you will need to solve the mystery of disappearances, as well as figure out why you are having nightmares. After beating the game, you will be left thinking about life.
Next: The Best Open-World Games On The Nintendo Switch