Hey folks, If you’re looking for an in-depth review, You’re in the right place! Though, today- You’re getting a 2 for 1 special, as I’ll be covering Worm Club’s Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island & Frog Detective 2: The Case Of The Invisible Wizard. That’s right, it’s time to peruse this pair of Point & Clicks, to find out if this mystery was a misery, or if had me enthusiastically investigating. I’m your host Arlyeon, Let’s find out together.
When mysteries crop up, the people know who to call. The #1 investigator- Lobster Cop! Unfortunately, being the best means beings very busy- which is where you come in, the #2- Frog Detective.
Whether it’s figuring out the secret of a haunted island, or piecing together what provoked the pilfering parade- this amphibious investigator is on the case.
Now, admittedly- whilst these games put you in the role of a detective, you shouldn’t go in expecting a profound mystery. Instead, you’ll find yourself chatting up a somewhat diverse cast of quirky animals- and gradually accruing a list of leads. Though, this boils down to more of a series of fetch quests that you’ll be executing in order to further the story- and there’s definitely a distinct order to the whole process- made especially notable in the games sequel.
Still, whilst these titles provide fairly linear feeling experience, the writing does have a certain innocent charm to it- feeling akin to the sort of dialogue that you’d find in a television show or story geared for kids, albeit with the occasional bit of that seems more like a knowing wink to an older audience, or a small slice of satire.
What’s more, despite the fact that both titles can be enjoyed as relatively self-contained episodes, there is a sense of continuity to be found- with the second title providing some clever callbacks to the first game. It also introduces the notebook, which- uh, mostly just serves as an excuse for more gags.
That said, I wasn’t quite as enthused with the mechanical execution. Like I alluded to earlier, these are fairly linear experiences, and the overall puzzle-solving/adventure elements feel geared towards a far younger audience- given the relative lack of scope, and the fact that the first title is, essentially, an entire game of fetch questing.
The second title at least -tries- to mix things up slightly, providing you some less-than-optional pastries to procure, which are hidden about-, but that doesn’t do much to alleviate the fact that the crux of your gameplay experience will be engaging in a Legend Of Zelda-Esque trading quest.
That, or putting way too much thought into customizing your cluebook. Sure, that thing might mostly serve as a vehicle for punchlines, and a reminder of who needs what if your short term memory is shot- but, I’ll be darned if I didn’t want it to look rad.
Don’t judge me – that alligator is awesome. But yeah, whilst this game might lack substance in a gameplay sense, it does have a certain sense of style, a weird storybook cuteness- which also plays into the game’s sense of humour.
Which actually threw me for a bit of a loop when I compared it to the soundtrack, which provides an altogether solid assortment of Jazz Pieces. It’s weird enough that it just winds up being another gag, because you have this neat little library of moody tunes which would fit right at home in a hard-boiled mystery, and it’s just- here.
Like, I honestly -do- recommend giving these tracks a listen, though- as for the rest of Frog Detective- well. At a fundamental level, it’s been a very mixed experience. If you walk into this expecting an adventure, or some challenging puzzles- you’re going to be disappointed. Ultimately, the two games are more of a narrative driven walking sim, with a few extra steps- and a magnifying glass you can use to look around at things, but which ultimately serves as more of a mechanical red herring, than anything else.
And while I did eventually warm up to storytelling and its style- it was a bit of a slow burn. Which isn’t great when you consider that these titles aren’t actually that lengthy- given that it took me less than two hours to traverse these twin titles.
Ultimately, this mixed experience is why I have to rate the haunted island as FUMBLE, as whilst it had its moments- it felt a bit insubstantial. Comparatively, while The Case Of The Invisible Wizard doesn’t provide any major gameplay improvements- the writing overall feels a bit more fun, and altogether clever- a notable step in the right direction that never quite loses traction, and ultimately left me curious about what the third game was going to introduce. Ultimately, it’s still a FUMBLE for me, but- if you’re just in it for a fun story, this one might be up your alley.
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That said, I’ll catch you on the next episode of Crit Hit. Take Care till then, Folks.