Private Eye is a 1983 Atari 2600 video game where players take on the role of Pierre Touché, a private investigator tasked with capturing the criminal mastermind, Henri Le Fiend. The game comprises four separate cases, each with specific clues and stolen property that players must find and return to their original locations.
Players navigate the city using a specially-built Model A car capable of jumping over obstacles. While carrying only one item at a time, players must dodge street thugs who can make them lose the item if attacked. Each case has a statute of limitations, which serves as the game’s time limit. To win, players must locate and verify the clue, locate and return the stolen property, and finally locate Le Fiend and take him to jail within the allotted time.
The game starts with 1000 merit points. Points are lost when players hit obstacles or are attacked by thugs and are awarded when items are located, returned, and when thugs or Le Fiend are captured. Each case represents a separate game variation, and the game ends when the case is solved or time runs out. A fifth variation challenges players to solve all four crimes simultaneously.