Solving a Mystery Most Fowl With Duck Detective: The Secret Salami

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami
Reviewed On
Steam (PC)
Available For

Have you ever wanted to be a quack-cellent detective? How about a freshly divorced duck not able to pay next month’s rent? If so, you are in luck. Duck Detective: The Secret Salami sets players in a world with engaging 2D characters, a fun mystery, and plenty of intrigue. There is also a down on his luck duck detective who is adorable as the game’s hero.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami has you play as Eugene McQuacklin, the duck detective who takes the case of an unknown caller at the Bear Bus office. By getting to know the employees of the office, you piece together the case and find out why you were called. While agreeing to a seemingly minor case, you stumble across something much bigger, which is the core of many detective type titles.

Everything about Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is top notch, except the fact that the adventure is so short, and there is only the one case. The whole story can be completed in about one or two hours including all of the clever dialogue. However, there is one interesting thing about that, and that is the fact that the dialogue may change depending on the answers given by McQuacklin during each playthrough.

Some of the NPC responses are quite funny, so this may give players a reason to play through Duck Detective: The Secret Salami multiple times, which is okay given its brief play time. The choices you make in the conversations, however, do not affect the core story progression or the outcome. So, playing more than once may depend on how much you enjoy the snappy dialogue that the adventure offers.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami has a 1940’s detective vibe with interesting types of characters. It could almost be noir if it were not so funny. The art style is good, with character designs almost reminding me of board game pieces, kind of like Wildermyth. The pieces move around in a 3D setting that is in turn like Paper Mario. While the characters may have little animation, they still retain emotion and personality. This helps keep the title silly and engaging for everyone.

You can choose to play one of two modes, story or detective. The story mode has you play slowly, enjoying the mystery and plot. It is perfect for a more casual playthrough. You can choose to take your time getting to know the characters or jump to solving the mystery in this mode.

Feeling up for a challenge? Detective mode has less help and forces you to put the clues together more independently. You can gather clues by talking to people and form your “deduckductions” as to what is going on. Those deduckductions are simple, fill in the blank prompts that allow for easy story progression, so that even in detective mode, most players, especially skilled mystery-solvers or adventure gamers, are not really going to be too challenged.

I do enjoy the deduckductions mechanic, but it operates with a trial-and-error format, which hurts the design. This simply means if one part is wrong, you can keep fixing the prompt until it is right. Furthermore, this could lead to someone playing through the adventure without paying any attention to the plot. While this is slightly fixed (and arguably better) in the detective mode, I would like to see other ways of coming up with deduckductions.

While researching this game, I did some sleuthing on the developers. Happy Broccoli Games is based in Berlin, Germany, and there are a lot of really fun inside jokes in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami related to that. Some examples of the little hidden gems are location names hinting at the developer’s German origins. For example, Brezel is used and it’s the German word for pretzel, Salsiccia is French for sausage, Escargot is a French word for edible snails, and Hollandaise is a French word for a type of sauce put on salmon, veggies, or Eggs Benedict. These food references are also kind of cute and work perfectly with a game called Duck Detective: The Secret Salami.

Another amazing feature in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is the voice acting. It’s really good. Each character, especially Eugene McQuacklin, has a perfect voice and a personality that fits their design.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing Duck Detective: The Secret Salami and cracking that case. Yes, the gameplay time was brief, but that was mainly due to only having one case to solve. I would really love to see more cases for Detective Eugene McQuacklin, maybe as a DLC if the core game is popular enough. And I do think that this title could go quite far with sequels or DLCs.

If you are looking for a fun, silly, and slightly nonsensical mystery adventure to play, Duck Detective: The Secret Salami may just be the quack-tacular title you need. And if we are lucky, the developers might let McQuacklin take on some brand-new cases in the future.

Share this GiN Article on your favorite social media network: