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Duck Detective: The Secret Salami Review: Quacking the Case

Platform reviewed: Steam

Also On: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and Series S

Price: $9.99

Eugene McQuacklin’s luck may be down, but it’s your job to help him get his ducks in a row and solve the case of the Salami Bandit! I have played similar detective games in the past, but enjoyed the twist of uncovering the case by using my de-duck-tion skills. By investigating items and talking to the characters, I unlocked clues that required my de-duck-tion skills to uncover the true story. Once I cracked that part of the case, I received the Duck Detective stamp of approval which I thought was super adorable.

I chose to play in story mode for my first run-through. However, if you have better de-duck-tion skills, detective mode may be the better fit for you. I didn’t even realize it at first, but in every interaction that I had uncovered part of the story, I discovered it later. It really made me think critically about what they were saying so that I could piece together the crimes at hand.

In terms of gameplay, it took me around 2 hours to complete the game. It was quite intuitive, but there were times when I felt like I had to guess to complete a de-duck-tion or puzzle. For example, I had to put a code combination in for a safe, but it wasn’t apparent where I could find the combination. I checked all the clues I’ve discovered in my inventory. I found 2 things that had a 3-digit code on it, but neither of them worked so I ended up guessing until it was correct. I did look around the rooms just to double-check to see if I missed something, but I was definitely confused because I didn’t find anything that matched the code I guessed. Outside of those few times, I felt like it was a smooth experience working through the puzzles with the information that I discovered.

The other thing that was slightly confusing was that one of the characters called us to investigate her problem, but in the end, there wasn’t a clear motive as to why her problem occurred in the first place. However, the rest of the story had very clear motives, and the twists and turns were very intriguing. I also got to choose who to arrest in the end, which in my opinion was tough because the game’s writing really makes you connect with the characters' stories.

The art style of the characters really makes them stand out compared to the room around them because of the sticker-like aspect. I thought this showed that they were important and I must investigate them to quack the case. I also can’t forget that the music and voice acting created an immersive experience in the game which was quite enjoyable. The customer service representative (who happened to be a cat) even voiced her displeasure in the form of yowling during her calls which made me giggle. They really hit the mark when it came to sound effects and the inflection of how the characters were feeling in the moment.

Final Score: A-

Fans of cozy games will be delighted to play Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. From the very beginning, the game is intuitive and easy to follow, along with the storyline, allowing for a relaxing investigative experience. I think what sets Duck Detective apart from other investigative games is that it’s not a linear experience. While you do have to investigate everything to move forward, there may be times when you have to go back and question a character again after discovering a clue. This was a neat addition to the storyline and made me feel like a true detective.

Review code provided by Future Friends Games


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