Murder by Numbers, a Picross Detective Game From the Hatoful Boyfriend Team, Debuts in March

Murder by Numbers, a Picross Detective Game From the Hatoful Boyfriend Team, Debuts in March

Brush up on your detective work and drill those nonograms.

Arguably, one of the best '90s throwbacks you could put into a video game these days would be a maddening pixel hunt for a vital clue. Mediatonic's Murder By Numbers could have taken its Phoenix Wright-inspired gameplay in that direction, but instead it's saving the late 20th century flavor for its setting and swaps in Picross puzzles as its evidence-hunting mechanic.

Today, Mediatonic and publishers The Irregular Corporation announced that Murder By Numbers is launching for the Switch on March 5 and PC via Steam on March 6. In other words, you've got a month to practice your nonograms, hone your interrogation skills, and get in the mood for some over-the-top '90s camp.

As you might gather from the upbeat pop in the video above, Murder By Numbers promises to be as glitzy and comic as murder mysteries come. The lead character, Honor, is a Hollywood actress who ends up as the number-one suspect in a string of murder cases. With the help of a friendly, nonogram-crunching robot named S.C.O.U.T., Honor sets out to clear her name and find the real criminals hiding in LA.

Murder By Numbers' characters are designed Hato Moa, creator of the well-loved pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend, and Mediatonic's Ed Fear (writer of The Swords of Ditto and thanked in the Hatoful remaster) is the game's director.

Also, if you've watched the trailer and made it this far into the piece without that music worming its way into your brain, know that the soundtrack for Murder By Numbers will probably slap (excuse the non-'90s slang) because Masakazu Sugimori, composer for the Phoenix Wright series and Ghost Trick, is credited as the sole composer on the soundtrack.

On both the Nintendo eShop and Steam, Murder By Numbers will cost $14.99, but it'll have a 10% discount on both platforms for the first week of launch.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Where Cards Fall Making the Leap From Apple Arcade to PC and Switch in 2021

The Blaseball team's house-of-cards adventure is coming to new platforms.

Chip's Challenge Is Free on Steam, and It's Ready to Whip Your Flabby Brain Into Shape

Help Chip be cool in one of the most addictive puzzle games ever made.

The New Myst Remake for Oculus Rift Is Also Coming to PC

Cyan is rebuilding the 1993 classic from the ground-up for VR as well as flatscreen play.

The Second Player Goose in Untitled Goose Game Has a New Honk

There are also some subtle visual ways to tell the two naughty geese apart.

Need help?

Tetris 99 Tips

There's a new battle royale game on the block. Here's how to win at Tetris 99.

Tetris 99 Tips - How to Win at Tetris Battle Royale

There's a new battle royale game on the block. Here's how to win at Tetris 99.

Gotta Catch All 98 Opponents in Tetris 99's Upcoming Pokemon Crossover Event

Tetris 99's new crossover theme might be its best yet.

If You're Bad at Tetris 99, You Can Now Squad Up For Help

The puzzle-battle royale hybrid just got friendlier.