Author Topic: Duck Detective: The Secret Salami (Switch) Review  (Read 289 times)

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Offline allysoncygan

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Duck Detective: The Secret Salami (Switch) Review
« on: May 23, 2024, 08:00:00 AM »

Can you quack the case?

A detective, down on his luck. An office that has seen better days. A substance abuse problem lingering in the background. No work has come in and money’s drying up. A classic noir detective setup, all except for the fact that the detective is a duck, the substance he’s addicted to is bread, and this is an utterly unserious but charming game.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a deduction game in a similar vein to Return of the Obra Dinn, but with a wildly different tone. Instead of investigating death and destruction, you’re investigating someone’s stolen lunch, though you realize that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You play as Eugene McQuacklin, the duck detective, who gets called by an initially unknown client to investigate this theft and uncover the secrets of a small office filled with quirky animal characters.

It’s a lighthearted take on a mystery-deduction game, which involves asking questions, looking around the office, and figuring out items in your notebook. The book has sentences you need to fill in to show you know who did something, what the motive was, or any other hints to the mystery. The game does a good job of showing when you uncover words to fill into your book and tells you how many more you can uncover so there’s not a lot of backtracking, wondering if you got everything. You know when you’ve got everything; you just need to connect the dots. This made the difficulty feel very approachable, giving Duck Detective a good sense of onboarding for people who want to play more games in this vein. It’s not easy, and there were definite times I had to think things through, but it’s the perfect level for wanting a more relaxed deduction experience.

The general writing and presentation are excellent. The characters are quirky but believable - as a former phone customer service agent, I particularly felt for the overworked, stressed out cat in customer service, one of many fun characters. Everything is fully voice acted and the entire voice team did a fantastic job playing the material, balancing the light-hearted nature of Duck Detective while also taking it seriously. The art is also fantastic, with characters appearing like they’re cut out of paper, reminiscent of Paper Mario’s artstyle. Everything looked great and very memorable, contributing to the charm of this unique-looking game.

Really the only issue I have with Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is that the game is pretty short, when I just wanted to play around in this world more. It’s about 2-3 hours of gameplay, and while I’m glad this particular case wasn’t dragged out longer, I got to the end and just wanted more. Another case, more time with these characters, anything. That said, while I wish we had more Duck Detective, I’m happy that I got to spend time Duck Detecting as it is, and really hope I can get more adventures of Eugene McQuacklin someday.