‘Duck Detective: The Secret Salami’ Review: A Quackin’ Good Time

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a cozy mystery game about a down-on-his-luck duck searching for answers in a sinister sausage-based conspiracy. Inspect and interview suspects to learn their hidden secrets, and use your de-duck-tive reasoning to bust the case wide open!

Developed by: Happy Broccoli Games

Played on: Steam

Length: 2.5 hours

I’m not going to lie — Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is some of the most fun I’ve had with a video game in awhile.

Developed by Happy Broccoli Games, the same creators behind Kraken Academy, the game is about as quirky as you’d expect from their track record. You play as Eugene McQuacklin, a freshly divorced duck with a crippling bread addiction and sharp sense of de-duck-tion, desperate to earn enough bills to pay for next month’s rent. So when a job comes along, you don’t refuse.

The gig is simple. Solve the case of the missing lunch, and along the way, meet a kooky cast of characters who are somehow weirder than you are. By interacting with each character and observing your surroundings, you collect keywords that will help you complete deductions about your suspects and solve the mystery at large.

Despite its 2 hour runtime, Duck Detective hides a surprising amount of twists and turns. The writing team shines in this humorous yet in-depth mystery, immediately throwing any initial assumptions out the window regarding its artstyle and depth of writing. Personally, I could not have predicted where the story would end up at the start of the game — but no spoilers, you’ll just have to experience it for yourselves!

Great voice acting only serves to sell an already good story, easily elevating this game above the average visual novel. Sean Chiplock (Zhong Li, Revali) lends his voice to our waterfowl of the hour; his serious baritone adding a hilarious contrast to the light-hearted tone of the game. Other standout performances include Brian David Gilbert as the loveable doofus Freddy and Lizzie Freeman as the high-strung Laura.

It’s the tiny things that ultimately make this game memorable for me. On top of the sandwich sleuthing and culprit catching, I had just as much fun running around the map spamming Q to Quack and knocking over every single trash can in sight. (Yes, there is a Steam achievement for it. Yes, it was absolutely worth it.)

If I had any complaint about Duck Detective, it would be the sentence-building puzzle that makes up the main mechanic of the game. Although simple to grasp at first, I found myself growing frustrated with the later “deducktions”, especially after I had already solved the mystery in my head, but couldn’t seem to retroactively create the sentence that the game wanted to see. In most cases, it resulted in a process of elimination which was effective, but not very efficient.

Even so, I find myself instantly wanting more of this game. It has tremendous potential to become an anthology of its own, and I hope the positive reactions to the game so far encourages the developers to make even more. Now, it’s time for you to throw bread to the fine beak of lady justice and let me know what you think of the game!

Verdict: We want (no, need) more!

Happy Broccoli Games has proven with Duck Detective that what gamers really want is a button to quack on command. Although it also helps to have a surprisingly in-depth mystery with plenty of twists and turns, witty and hilarious writing laden with puns, and a duck voiced by Sean Chiplock. I already want five more of these!

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