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Duck Detective: The Secret Salami Review

Nintendo Switch by Happy Broccoli Games 0 text

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Quack the case, one crumb at a time.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is an isometric mystery narrative game that immerses players in the feathered shoes of Eugene McQuacklin, a down-on-his-luck detective with a penchant for bread and a knack for solving quirky crimes. Set in the charmingly odd BearBus depot, this game combines humor, wit, and classic detective tropes in a delightful package that both newcomers and veteran sleuths will enjoy.

Eugene's life isn't exactly soaring high; divorced and living in a tiny apartment, his addiction to bread has left him broke and alone. The game begins with Eugene receiving a mysterious phone call about a stolen lunch, setting off a chain of events that unravel into a much deeper conspiracy. The setting is limited to a few compact areas, but they are richly detailed and filled with anthropomorphic characters, each with their own quirks and secrets.

The core gameplay revolves around "deducktions," a clever mechanic where players must gather clues and fill in the blanks on half-formed journal pages to piece together the mystery. This process involves a mix of exploration, interrogation, and a bit of trial and error, making for a mentally engaging experience. Despite its short length of about 2-3 hours, the game manages to pack a lot of charm and satisfaction into its narrative and puzzle-solving elements.

Gameplay 7

The gameplay in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a blend of exploration, puzzle-solving, and narrative-driven investigation. Players must navigate through various small, detailed environments, using a magnifying glass to uncover clues hidden on characters and objects. The "deducktion" system, reminiscent of games like Return of the Obra Dinn, requires players to use collected words and phrases to complete sentences and solve the mystery.

While the concept is engaging, some players might find the need for frequent trial and error frustrating. The magnifying glass mechanic, in particular, could benefit from a wider range of sensitivity to avoid tedious pixel-hunting. However, the game compensates for these minor issues with its humorous dialogue, well-crafted characters, and the sheer novelty of the duck detective premise. Lowering the difficulty level offers more explicit hints, which can help alleviate some of the frustration for those who get stuck.

Graphics 8

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami sports a charming, cartoonish art style that perfectly complements its quirky narrative. The anthropomorphic characters are colorful and full of personality, each one designed with meticulous attention to detail. The isometric view provides a clear and engaging perspective of the environments, which are packed with visual gags and subtle clues that reward attentive players.

The animations are smooth, and the overall aesthetic feels cohesive and inviting. The game successfully balances its lighthearted, comedic tone with the noir atmosphere of a detective story, creating a visually appealing experience that enhances the storytelling.

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Storyline 8

The storyline of Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is where the game truly shines. It starts with a seemingly trivial case of a stolen lunch but quickly evolves into a more complex and engaging mystery. Eugene McQuacklin's character is well-developed, and his interactions with other characters are filled with witty banter and clever humor.

The narrative is tightly woven, with each clue and piece of dialogue contributing to the overall plot. The game's short duration means there's little filler, keeping players engaged from start to finish. The resolution of the mystery is satisfying, though some players might wish for a longer, more drawn-out experience to explore the world and its characters further.

Multiplayer N/A

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a single-player experience, focusing entirely on its narrative and puzzle elements. While the lack of multiplayer might disappoint some, the game's story and gameplay mechanics are well-suited to a solo adventure. The intimate nature of the investigation and the personal journey of Eugene McQuacklin make for a compelling single-player experience that might not translate as well to a multiplayer format.

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Issues and Community Feedback

Player feedback has been largely positive, with many praising the game's humor, art style, and engaging mystery. However, some common criticisms include the limited scope of the environments and the occasional frustration with the magnifying glass mechanic. Players have also expressed a desire for more content, hoping for future expansions or sequels to continue Eugene's adventures.

Conclusion 8

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a delightful, albeit brief, adventure that successfully combines humor, mystery, and engaging gameplay. Its charming art style, well-written narrative, and clever mechanics make it a standout title in the indie game scene. While some minor issues with gameplay mechanics and the desire for more content hold it back from perfection, it's a thoroughly enjoyable experience that leaves players quacking for more.

Pros and Cons

  • Charming art
  • Engaging storyline
  • Clever mechanics
  • Short length
  • Occasional frustration with puzzles
  • Limited environments

Player Quotes

I want more Duck Detective! This game is a hilarious and compact whodunnit.

The magnifying glass mechanic was a bit tedious, but the humor and charm made up for it.

A delightful mystery adventure with a memorable cast and great voice acting.

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Please note that this review is based on the feedback and sentiments of players on various Reddit threads and does not represent the views of all players.