Published on July 16th, 2023 | by Abdul Saad

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Nintendo Switch Review

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Nintendo Switch Review Abdul Saad

Summary: While not without its faults, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is still a highly enjoyable and ambitious game. It isn't a game I’d recommend to everyone, but it at least provides an engaging experience for mystery and Danganronpa fans alike.


Paranormal Detective

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is a dark fantasy mystery adventure game developed by Too Kyo Games. It comes from the minds of the Danganronpa series and, as such, has several excellent elements similar to the breakout fan-favorite franchise. However, upon playing the game, I’ve found that with many of its engaging elements, comes some very blatant issues. 

Spike Chunsoft, Inc. Reveals Six New Character Illustrations and Profiles from Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE - Spike Chunsoft

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE takes place in a perpetually rainy city known as the Kanai Ward. It is rife with unsolved murders, mysteries, and crime. Luckily, the World Detective Organization sends its top Master Detectives to the city to find and stop the malicious dealings of its reigning Amaterasu Corporation. Enter Yuma Koko Head, our protagonist and amnesiac trainee, who, along with a group of Master Detectives is put on a train heading to the city. While Yuma recollects nothing from his past or how he got here, he quickly arrives on the train and meets his fellow detectives. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse as soon as Yuma meets Shinigami, a spirit who reveals herself to be haunting him .

RAIN CODE starts things off with a bang by introducing our protagonist and his undead helper while presenting a central mystery to solve, and does so in one of the most engaging ways I’ve seen in a game. While it takes the time to introduce its main character and a bit of the world, it skips the major exposition until after the first three hours, and throws all the game’s danganronpa-style murder mystery detective elements at players instead.  

However, the game’s narrative elements are no slouch, as its settings, characters, and story are impressive and almost on the level of its spiritual predecessor. The story starts in a morbid way to tell players what kind of game it is, but then progresses nicely as players face more bizarre and mysterious murders to solve, encounter many wacky characters, and explore Kanai Ward to learn more about its factions, all in order to solve the great mystery of the game.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code review – horny for mysteries | Pocket Tactics

However, while I believe the game has a great story with lots of engaging twists and turns, good mysteries, and several endearing moments from its characters, I was not as engaged with the core premise as I was with the Danganronpa series, mainly as it is a lot less intimate and a lot more ambitious. Without spoiling too much, the story relies a lot on tropes, even more so than the Danganronpa series, and doesn’t succeed at everything it sets out to do. Because of this, the overall narrative, while solid in its own right, is admittedly not something I’ll remember for long. 

Test Master Detective Archives: Rain Code

RAIN CODE’s gameplay is one of the best parts of the game, and sports many engaging elements, especially for players who love piecing together mysteries. To solve mysteries, players will first have to investigate their surroundings and everything of interest in order to acquire what the game calls Memory Keys, which they’ll need to solve the entire case. After investigating, players will go into the Mystery Labyrinth, a wacky, fantastical dungeon used to delve deeper into the specific case and occasionally get guidance from Shinigami in her human form. The labyrinth hosts several segments, including the Danganronpa-style battle retort mechanic, where characters must use memory keys acquired throughout the investigation to retort and contradict their lies and fallacies. This time however, they’ll also have to dodge attacks from their opponent in the process to avoid the game over screen.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code Episodes and Subquests

Aside from that, players will also have sections where they’ll have to make a decision that progresses the investigation, moments where they’ll have to do a fun hangman-style game that puts Shinigami in a bathing suit (because, of course, it does) to find a necessary word to answer a question, and wacky moments where they’ll control Shinigami to do outrageous events like breaking lie walls to get closer to the truth. After all that’s done, players will then need to summarize everything they’ve learned and solve the mystery. All these mechanics work similarly to the danganronpa games, but with their own unique twists and additions that make the entire experience even more entertaining and engaging. 

When not exploring mystery labyrinths during investigations, players will explore Kanai Ward and meet its locals, some of whom will seek your assistance via sidequests. Unfortunately, most of these sidequests are disappointing as they can usually be boiled down to just being fetch quests. Nevertheless, exploring Kanai Ward was always fun, as the rainy city has an aesthetic unlike any I’ve seen in a game, and is all supported by an excellent, highly dynamic soundtrack that supports calm and intense moments.

Test Master Detective Archives: Rain Code

Visually, RAIN CODE is a very rough, very heavy mixed bag. Not only do the game’s models and overall visuals look incredibly low-res and choppy,  but every character model also has this odd shade of gray that makes their appearance look very low quality. This is a shame, as the game has a genuinely good aesthetic. Colors are vibrant and match the game’s theme and many of the characters’ outfits have incredibly eye-catching designs. However, sometimes you’ll come across characters who look bizarre and off-putting in a jarring way in the process of trying to look cool, but luckily those are few and far between.

Performance-wise, despite the game’s visuals being the worst part of the game, it still runs quite well at a mostly stable 30fps. It’s not glamorous or the best I’ve seen, but it works, as I ran into no issues, glitches, or bugs.

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code: How long to beat and post-game - Video Games on Sports Illustrated

Final Thoughts

Overall, while not without its faults, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is still a highly enjoyable and ambitious game with a good narrative, a mostly lovely aesthetic, and fun gameplay elements. It isn’t a game I’d recommend to everyone, but it at least provides an engaging experience for mystery and Danganronpa fans alike.

About the Author


Abdul Saad is a seasoned entertainment journalist and critic, and has been writing for five years on multiple gaming sites. When he isn't writing or playing the latest JRPG, he can be found coding games of his own or tinkering with something electrical.

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