Duck Detective: The Secret Salami – Review

Fowl play leads to an office mallard-y

Crime and justice, the two slices of bread that make up a liberty sandwich. That’s all we have in this dark world we call life, when the rain drums on the windows, making it feel like god is trying to get your attention, and you walk into the kitchen, only to be greeted by that lone bulb of the fridge, like a wife waiting by the door cigarette in hand asking, where have you been all night johnny, as you look longingly at that baloney bologna you call the 9 to 5, and letting those two sweet ladies of the gluten world embrace it. You wonder to yourself, is this it, is This… Duck Detective: The Secret Salami.

Occasionally a game comes along that manages to blind side you in such a way you have to try and remember exactly what it is that you were supposed to be doing. In my regrettably short time with Duck Detective: The Secret Salami I kept forgetting I was meant to be reviewing it, because I was having too much fun. The game is filled with puns, great voice acting, a fitting soundtrack, and was enjoyable from the moment Eugene McQuacklin wakes up in a bread fuelled haze, to the satisfying conclusion of the case. There’s a lot to like about Duck Detective: The Secret Salami, and honestly, not much to dislike, that might be in part because of the overly simplistic nature of the game, which isn’t going to appeal to everyone, or the fact it’s only 2 and a bit hours long with minimal replayability, but the game is still worth the price of admission. That time is well spent and it’s impressive to get a cast of characters that felt interesting in that timeframe, everyone had something going on.

I could feel questions beneath the surface, the kind that swim through the shadows, waiting off stage for their cues. Where, who, and why danced like street thugs in a west side musical.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami throws you into Eugene McQuacklin’s next big case. McQuacklin is a crime solving detective duck if that wasn’t clear by the title, his name, or his appearance… Look at his cute little hat and coat… LOOK AT IT. McQuacklin has been hired to solve a case of a missing lunch, bring the culprit to justice, and restore respect to the office lunch code of name stickers on food.

I don’t want to get into spoilers, because I honestly think that if you have even a remote interest in this game, indulge that feeling and check it out, I went in expecting a silly case of lunch theft. The game does address that crime, and I wish I could say more without giving spoilers because everything else that unfolds was truly a delight. It was impressive to see so much going on in such a short space of time. Reinforced by the fact that every character was given purpose. 

It might be emblematic of the confined playing space. It’s a 2 hour long game, taking place in a handful of rooms with less than 10 characters. That’s not a lot of time for cracks to appear, or flaws to form. It’s indicative of the simplicity behind the game. The puzzles in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami aren’t going to have you pulling out wikis and guides either. Puzzles revolve around two concepts; investigations, and deDUCKtions. Investigations have you holding a magnifying glass to find key pieces of relevant information, and deDUCKtions have you putting the right words in to sentences to flesh out a theory on what’s going on. That’s it. You can brute force your way through most of the puzzles once you’ve spoken to people and unlocked the needed words, but honestly, where’s the fun in that? They’re simple enough and the pieces are available to figure out what’s going on, embrace the duck life, walk the walk, quack the quack. Return to duck.

Duck Detective isn’t going to appear on any game of the year lists, it’s a cute little detective game that’s simplistic and comedic in nature, but ultimately there’s not a lot going on here. That to me in this specific situation is a strength, it keeps everything on track, purposeful and it makes the game something that I always admire… Fun. We’re halfway through the year, and come December when we’re all said and done. Duck Detective: The Secret Salami will be one of the most enjoyable games I played in 2024.

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Dave Spanton

Dave Spanton

Unable to juggle or whistle, Dave handles the PR side of things at LT3 and also is one of the main content creators for the site. Which means if something's broken, you can most likely blame him.

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