> - He played it in the 90s here in Brazil
> - It wasn't a touch screen game (my first thought was that it was one of those
> bartop games)
> - The attract mode had two detectives in it.. like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
> - All the text was in Japanese (Korean or Chinese?)
> He said there were various stages or sections but I couldn't understand his
> descriptions very well. There's a puzzle game (picture puzzle), a part where a jewel
> (?) is hidden under one of three hats that then are shuffled and you have to pick the
> right one, and one where you have to bust a balloon by pushing a button rapidly..
> You could play it against another person, compete in the "events".
> Any ideas guys?
Just sounds like one of Sega's Puzzle & Action / Tant-R series.
probably one of the first two (Tant-R or Ichidant-R) as they were bootlegged rather heavily to the point where for the Ichidant-R the Japanese version was the most common one, even outside of Japan despite an English version actually existing.
Each has a slightly different theme, the first one has police / detective like figures, the 2nd has knights and a more medieval theme.
There were another 2 sequels on ST-V too,
Sando-R (aka Treasure Hunt)
Taisen Tanto-R Sashissu!!
again with slightly different themes.
but it's most likely the original 'Tant-R'