HomeReviews4/5 ReviewDuck Detective: The Secret Salami Review

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami Review

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Who doesn’t love a good mystery. I’m sure we all know those people who are annoyingly good at figuring out the twist just minutes into a TV drama. Then they go verbalising all their seemingly wild theories and end up getting it bang on, ruining it for the rest of us.

Oh, anyway, Duck Detective: The Secret Salami puts you into the webbed feet of Eugene McQuacklin, so to speak.

Duck Detective review 1
A duck detective – Eugene McQuacklin

The titular character is hired by a mystery person to track down the “Salami Bandit”, who has been pinching people’s lunch. However, once Eugene starts digging, it’s clear there’s much more going on at this seemingly normal office workplace.

The narrative is brought to life by a fully voice acted script, and I instantly took to Eugene McQuacklin who has already cemented himself as a brilliant indie character. He’s a grizzled detective down on his luck, has a witty sense of humour but is still brilliant at his craft. A combination of the acting, animation and script writing means Duck Detective: The Secret Salami casts its spell early on to get you hooked.

As well as having a detective noir edge at times, Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is set in a colourful and vibrant world where the characters look like cutouts from a storybook. Think Paper Mario and you’re on the right track. It’s certainly an adorable looking adventure which adds to the charm that the game oozes throughout.

During his quest for the truth, Eugene begins by hunting for clues. There are only a few rooms for you to search, but the pacing helps reduce the feeling of any sort of repetition when you backtrack. As new information is discovered, talking to suspects takes on a different meaning. You can choose between two difficulties, but I’d advise going with the recommended one for the best experience.

Duck Detective review 2
How will your investigation play out?

As well as clues, Eugene can get his trusty magnifying glass out to investigate for more details about the case. In a neat visual touch, as you hover it over an individual, or computer screen, it will sharpen the focus of what you are looking at and vibrate when you’ve hit upon something important. With the evidence you find, presenting this to the employees as you question them is also important to getting to the truth. Ultimately, when you have gathered enough information, Eugene will need to make “deducktions” to inch closer and closer to cracking the case. Yes, that is a delicious pun.

These are presented as passages of text with missing words, and you will need to fill in the blanks from a collection of prompts you have acquired as you have gone about your enquiries. The hint system will help you along, giving you a rough idea of how many words are in the right, and the wrong, place. It may sound a little complicated, but actually the menus in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami are really simple and intuitive, meaning you can pull up clues and evidence to help you with your deducktions with ease.

Another small detail, which I loved, are the fake facts that pop up in the loading screens. They are genuinely hilarious in the same way that those jokes on the back of Penguin bars used to be.

I found Duck Detective: The Secret Salami to strike a good difficulty balance, with some deducktions stopping me in my tracks. Saying that, one segment which required a safe code was something of a head scratcher. It’s a good job then, that you can call upon Eugene to reflect and consider his evidence, which provides a few further hints.

Duck Detective review 3
A characterful tale

You’re looking at around two or three hours of gameplay in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami, which makes it a short game. This is no secret if you look at the Xbox store page, but it did leave me wanting more at the end nonetheless. There’s definitely more mileage here, as developers Happy Broccoli Games have hit upon a winning formula. I’m already a big fan of Eugene McQuacklin and I can see an episodic structure working really well for the deliberating duck going forward. Put simply, I want more.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is a wonderfully characterful tale that gets so much right, adding up to a memorable if not brief experience. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Eugene McQuacklin.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Brilliant voice acting
  • Well written mystery
  • Looks adorable
Cons:
  • It’s a very short game
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Happy Broccoli Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 23 May 2024 | £8.39
Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards
I have been playing games since a very early age, thanks to my Dad's encouragement. I've been an Xbox gamer since the very beginning, the Master Chief is to thank for that. I'm also a big Nintendo geek, and my other half is a PlayStation nut. I'll play pretty much anything in any genre (although FIFA and COD maybe pushing it).
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Brilliant voice acting</li> <li>Well written mystery</li> <li>Looks adorable</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>It’s a very short game</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Happy Broccoli Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 23 May 2024 | £8.39</li> </ul>Duck Detective: The Secret Salami Review
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