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Detective Pikachu Returns: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more

One of the more forgotten entries in the monster-catching franchise is also the most unique. Detective Pikachu was originally a 3DS game (and a feature film) that cast Pikachu as a smooth-talking (that’s right, he talks!) detective who teams up with a kid named Tim Goodman to solve various mysteries. Rather than play like an RPG, this entry was more of an adventure game, focusing on story and, naturally, solving mysteries. After the success of the game and film, it was only a matter of time before a sequel game was announced. The wait turned out to be quite a bit longer than many expected, but now that Detective Pikachu Returns has been officially announced, we’ve put on our caps and collected all the clues about this upcoming adventure.

Release date

Pikachu with detective cap and boy with brown hair and red jacket eating breakfast

Detective Pikachu Returns is right around the corner. The game will launch on October 6, 2023.


Pikachu with detective cap smiling and drinking coffee cup
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Pokémon franchise has always been exclusive to Nintendo consoles, so Detective Pikachu Returns will only be coming to the Switch.


Detective Pikachu Returns - Nintendo Direct 6.21.2023

The reveal trailer for Detective Pikachu Returns reveals the, well, return of Detective Pikachu and Tim Goodman. We see shots of Ryme City as humans and Pokemon live together and the mayor announces the beginning of Pokémon Friendship Week.

Aside from shots of new Pokémon the duo will meet and work with, including Mewtwo, we are completely in the dark about what cases our heroes will need to unravel.

Detective Pikachu Returns with a Bolt of Brilliance

The following Bolt of Brilliance trailer rehashes a lot from the original trailer, but goes much deeper into the gameplay and characters. It also reveals the main mystery being solved involves Detective Pikachu trying to track down his former partner, Harry, who has gone missing. Harry is Tim’s father, who we know will be teaming up with the little yellow detective this time around. His mother and sister, Irene and Sophia, will also play some role in the narrative. A friend of Tim’s, Rachel, is the daughter of the mayor of  Rhyme City, Howard Myers.


Detective pikachu thinking standing on a bed.

Not a single hint of gameplay was shown off in the initial trailer, but the second did give us a good look at what we’ll be doing.

During an investigation, Tim will interview the humans while Pikachu handles the Pokemon, and then they’ll share their information to make deductions.

On the crime scene, you will examine and select elements in the environment that may be clues. What’s new is that occasionally other Pokemon will lend their special skills to help you solve cases. Growlith, for example, can track suspects by their scent, while Darmanitan can break down certain walls or obstacles.


Detective Pikachu and a Slowpoke wearing a cowboy hat.
Nintendo / The Pokemon Company

You won’t have to do any sleuthing to find preorders for Detective Pikachu Returns. The game is available now to preorder on Nintendo’s official site. You only have the one, normal edition to pick from which costs $50.

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