The Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review: A jam for murder mystery fans

Analyze the clues and solve a century old mystery!

The Centennial Case a Shijima Story is a new action mystery game title published by Square Enix and directed by Yasuhito Tachibana, producer of Netflix‘s The Naked Director serving as the Cinematographer and Scenario Director. The game follows an FMV pattern for the game offering beautiful yet thrilling live-action footage intertwines with mysteries to solve, creating highly immersive gameplay. The storyline operated around a mysterious family that eats a magic fruit to stay alive for a century. In this The Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review we would try and rate the game through different metrics for new players in the game.

Scan and analyze video clips for Clues and subtle Hints

There are several chapters in the game with each having its own videos and mysteries in them. Players are tasked with the responsibility of analyzing each and every video and forming their opinions and suggestions as to who the culprit is in that specific stage. Players take control of novelist-turned-amateur-personal investigator Haruka Kagami, who has one goal: solving the string of mysterious murders surrounding the Shijima family over the past century.

The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story gameplay
Image via Square Enix

Once the players have analyzed the clues in the game, they are tasked with the responsibility of making a hypothesis after carefully stressing out the clues connected and collected. The game as stated before insists players on solving mysteries but some of the mysteries span back to a century and revolve around the family. There are some current findings in the story in terms of mysteries but they are incomplete and cannot be completed without solving the mysteries of the past.

Haruka the main character has her work cut out for her, but with her murder mystery novel smarts and a helping hand in Eiji by her side, she’ll be able to solve and fix the pieces of the puzzle one by one and side by side. As the video progresses further players will be able to find new clues and new twists in the story which would force the players to use their critical thinking to solve the mystery at hand

Experience FMV graphics along with a decent UI layout

Speaking in terms of graphics not much can be complained about as the game follows an FMV pattern and delivers video-based gameplay. The acting and sound effects are pretty solid which allows the game to deliver an engaging and interactive storytelling experience.

The UI layout stays pretty solid for the most part of the game, however, it really lacks depth in the hypothesis section of the game where the gameplay really becomes too complex and the UI struggles a bit. Apart from that the game looks and feels well developed.

Form your hypothesis after carefully analyzing the clues for the game

The player follows a chain of murders that take place over the span of a century. Four murders have been committed in three different time periods – 1922, 1972, and 2022. In order to solve the current mysteries players will have to chain together the string of events that took place from the beginning, each murder is connected and that makes the game even more interesting.

We are not going to break the suspense and point to facts from the story, they are yours to discover and experience. But for this The Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review we would definitely go on to say that the game has many surprises and twists to offer as per the story is concerned.

Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review, The Centennial Case a Shijima Story
Image via Square Enix

There’s a healthy balance of drama and intrigue that encourages the player to continue. Individual beats are presented well, and the characters are interesting enough for players to form attachments. It is quite tricky for players to actually understand who the actual murderer is and the judgment can be formed after forming a hypothesis that includes all the hints and clues from each chapter in the game.

The hypothesis can be formed after following a fixed pattern of video, logic, and reasoning. The video part is simple to watch the clip, Clues are gathered during the video portion, which will be used in the Path to Logic and finally, players will have to reason the string of actions that might have taken place in the game. Players can view back the main incident of the storyline to form a better judgment and identify the main culprit.

Exciting storyline but fails to deliver a solid gameplay

The game, The Centennial Case a Shijima Story offers a great storyline that has elements of mysteries and surprises tagged along however the game fails to make a mark with the gameplay. Being from an FMV pattern, the game treads on a fine line between being a movie and a game.

Thus sometimes it feels more linear than it should. The outcomes and decisions are somewhat similar for each chapter and there’s no variation between culprits and victims and choices presented during the Incident Phase. The reaction of the characters in the story to every dialogue option is somewhat similar too.

The linear and repetitive gameplay makes it tedious and less interactive

The game offers many pieces of clue in the initial stages of solving the mysteries by themselves. Many of the clues lead to hypotheses designed to throw the player off course. There is only one true sequence of events; the rest are always diversions. After enough clues have been slotted in, the Path to Logic will finally lead to reasoning, wherein Haruka and Eiji run through the scenarios and essentially replay some of the clues that were unlocked in the previous segment.

There are many pieces of information and a chain of events that can be sequenced together. Once players feel confident enough in their reasoning, it’s time for Haruka to present her findings back in FMV form. Players will have to decide who did the murders, how they did it and to reason behind it by finding why they did it.

Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review, The Centennial Case a Shijima Story
Image via Square Enix

There is not much that players can do when it comes to the gameplay department, being a FMV-based game has its disadvantages and this might as well be one of them. The stranger part comes when players have to form summaries after the reasoning part. There are instants of gameplay where the safest person in the video turns out to be the main culprit. The reasoning or the path of the logic section of the game also doesn’t make things that interesting as players can solve the mysteries by just matching the sizes of the blocks.

Centennial Case a Shijima Story Review, The Centennial Case a Shijima Story
Image via Square Enix

The clues in the path of the logic section, make use of blocks to mention clues written on them, but players can form a hypothesis without even reading them and just using the shapes of these boxes to fit the question.

Once the hypothesis is in place players will have to play the summary which according to them is the correct one. However, if the summary is wrong they will have to start over again from the beginning. Each summary is played across in the game and if the correct one the game advances ahead. This part is not that hard as the game itself advances once the correct summary is chosen.

The game offers no IAPs and the price tag seems reasonable

There are no advertisements in the game which makes sure that the players are offered an advertisement-free experience in the game. The game however is a paid product so that also accounts for the lack of advertisements in the game. However, keeping in mind the storyline, graphics, and gameplay it will be fair to say that the game does seem reasonable for the price tag at which it is offered on the app stores.

Final Verdict

From our review perspective, The Centennial Case a Shijima Story all in all can be a good choice for players who are really into solving mysteries and murder stories. The game because of being from the FMV genre struggles a little bit in providing a solid gameplay however an exciting storyline balances out things in a general sense.

The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story Review by Gamingonphone

Gameplay Mechanics - 7
Storyline - 8
Graphics and Music - 7
Controls and UI - 7
Value for Money - 7



The Centennial Case a Shijima Story all in all can be a good choice for players who are really into solving mysteries and murder stories.

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