Detective Pikachu series

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Logo of the first game.

The Detective Pikachu series (Japanese: 名探偵ピカチュウ Great Detective Pikachu) is a series of cinematic action-adventure spin-off games developed by Creatures. The series includes two games and several adaptations, including a live-action film, an animated short, a graphic novel, and multiple novelizations.

The premise of the series involves the titular Detective Pikachu and his partner Tim Goodman, who is uniquely able to understand Pikachu's words. The duo collaborate with both people and Pokémon to solve mysteries, and search for Tim's missing father Harry Goodman.

The series has two distinct continuities: one for the original game and its sequel, and one for the live-action movie.


The first game was initially revealed, though not yet named, in an NHK Professional: Shigoto no Ryuugi documentary featuring Tsunekazu Ishihara aired on October 28, 2013. The game would be officially announced on January 26, 2016 as Detective Pikachu – Birth of a New Duo, which contained the first three chapters of the story, and would only be released in Japan. On January 12, 2018, a full version of the game titled Detective Pikachu and containing all nine chapters was announced, including an international release. A prequel book, Detective Pikachu: Episode 0—Eevee's Case, was released with the game on March 23, 2018.

A live-action movie loosely based on the first game, titled POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, was also released on May 10, 2019. While the movie's premise is very similar to that of the first game, its events diverge significantly.

Development of a second game would be announced at the May 2019 Pokémon Press Conference[1], however no further information would be released until 2023, where the game was revealed with a trailer as Detective Pikachu Returns in the June 2023 Nintendo Direct. The game would release worldwide on October 6, 2023. Shortly afterwards on October 25, 2023, an animated short using the second game's character designs, Detective Pikachu & the Mystery of the Missing Flan, would be released online.


The player, as Tim Goodman, explores 3D environments, where they can examine objects and interview witnesses (both human and Pokémon) for information about a mystery in the area. Notes about the case are recorded in Tim's notebook, and can be accessed at any time. Detective Pikachu can discuss the case with Tim, and will ask questions that require making deductions from the evidence and testimony Tim has gathered. Answering these questions correctly will trigger events that advance the story. Some chapters additionally have confrontation scenes, where Tim gathers all of the suspects of a case together, and dramatically identifies the culprit while explaining his findings.

The games use a large amount of fully-voiced cutscenes to tell their stories. Some cutscenes have quick time events, where the player must press a button with specific timing for Tim to perform an action, such as landing a jump, throwing something, or catching something.

List of games

Gen. Image Title Japanese title Platform Release date
Japan North America Europe Australia Taiwan
VI Great Detective Pikachu Birth of a New Duo logo.png 名探偵ピカチュウ ~新コンビ誕生~
Great Detective Pikachu ~Birth of a New Duo~
Nintendo 3DS eShop February 3, 2016
VII Detective Pikachu EN Boxart.png Detective Pikachu 名探偵ピカチュウ
Great Detective Pikachu
Nintendo 3DS March 23, 2018 March 23, 2018 March 23, 2018 March 24, 2018 March 23, 2018
IX Detective Pikachu Returns EN Boxart.jpg Detective Pikachu Returns 帰ってきた 名探偵ピカチュウ
The Return of Detective Pikachu
Nintendo Switch October 6, 2023 October 6, 2023 October 6, 2023 October 6, 2023 October 6, 2023

List of animated adaptations

Feature Japanese debut English debut
Detective Pikachu & the Mystery of the Missing Flan
Detective Pikachu & the Mystery of the Missing Flan
October 25, 2023 October 25, 2023

List of live action adaptations

Poster English title English release American distributor Japanese title Japanese release Japanese distributor
POKÉMON Detective Pikachu 'POKÉMON Detective Pikachu' May 10, 2019 Warner Bros. 名探偵ピカチュウ
Great Detective Pikachu
May 3, 2019 Toho/Legendary East
Summary: When ace detective Harry Goodman goes missing, his son, Tim, and Harry's former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu, join forces to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together on an epic adventure through Ryme City, they uncover a shocking plot that could destroy the whole Pokémon universe.

List of graphic novel adaptations

Movie continuity:

List of novel adaptations

Game continuity:

Movie continuity:

In the TCG

Main article: Detective Pikachu (TCG)

In 2019, a special TCG expansion based on the live-action film was released, titled Pokémon TCG: Detective Pikachu.

Cards from this expansion were uniquely not viewable or markable as owned in Pokémon TCG Card Dex until they were scanned. Once scanned, the cards would unlock screenshots from the movie's trailers that players could save to their device's camera roll.


Pikachu series: Hey You, Pikachu!ChannelDash
TCG: Game Boy TCG series: Trading Card GameTrading Card Game 2: The Invasion of Team GR!
Play It! series: Play It!Play It! Version 2
TCG Client series: Card Game OnlineTrading Card Game OnlineTrading Card Game Live
Misc. TCG: Card Game: How to Play DSTCG Card DexTrading Card Game Pocket
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Snap series: SnapNew Pokémon Snap
Picross: Picross NP Vol. 1Picross (GBC) (canceled)Picross (3DS)
Pinball series: PinballPinball miniPinball: RS
Puzzle series: Puzzle LeaguePuzzle Challenge
Trozei series: Trozei!Battle Trozei
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Red Rescue Team & Blue Rescue Team
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Rumble series: RumbleRumble BlastRumble URumble WorldRumble Rush
PokéPark series: PokéPark WiiPokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
Detective Pikachu series: Detective PikachuDetective Pikachu Returns
Playground: Pokémon Detective Pikachu
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