Sherlock: The Network review: Crack cases with Holmes and Watson

sherlock mind palace
Credit: Derek Walter

Fans of BBC’s hit show Sherlock have a long wait for new episodes, as filming is not scheduled to begin until next year.

Fortunately, the excellent game Sherlock: The Network can help you get your fix. The game is finally on Android after a popular run on iOS. It is available for both phones and tablets from Google Play.

You play as a member of Sherlock’s Homeless Network, sent out to solve crimes that are not important enough for the renowned, highly-functioning sociopath.

However, the cases become more sophisticated and put you in touch with key characters from the series, such as Holmes, Watson, Inspector Lestrade, Molly Hooper, and Mrs. Hudson. The game does an excellent job of adding in little touches that connect you to the TV show, such as using its theme music and characters' favorite stops, like Speedy's Cafe.

When sent on a case you will navigate through a map of London, collecting money and meeting key figures. The money gets you faster transport via the Underground or a cab. The game doesn’t let you off easy here, as each method requires solving a puzzle before continuing on the journey.

sherlock london

Navigate the streets of London to solve Sherlock's cases.

Puzzle solving and code cracking is a key element of the game, as you also collect facts throughout the case and piece them all together in Sherlock’s Mind Palace.

Speed is critical, as solving cases more quickly improves your score. This can be connected to the game’s leaderboard by linking to your Facebook account.

sherlock underground

Even a trip on London's Underground requires solving a puzzle.

Unfortunately, there is no support for Google Play Games, which shares achievements and leaderboards across one’s connected Google contacts. As the service has become used more widely across Android games, the ones that lack this feature start to feel incomplete.

The first two cases are free; then cases three through six, and seven through ten, are about two dollars each. If you like the game then jump on the bundle deal, which gives you all the cases for $3.55.

sherlock mind palace

See the big picture and solve the case in Sherlock's Mind Palace.

Having played through the iPad version, I find the Android version to be buggier by comparison. It crashes at least once every couple of gaming sessions.

Also, the touch is hyper-sensitive at times when seeking out clues in a document or newspaper. This makes it difficult for the game to recognize that I am tapping on the correct clue. Fortunately, since the August 6 launch the developers have pushed out a number of bug fixes.

While you can play the game on a phone or tablet, I recommend the latter if that is available to you. Finding some of the clues and navigating the map are much easier with the extra screen real estate.

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