“Nights can never be real and enjoyable without the croaking of frogs and the chirping of crickets.” – Michael Bassey Johnson
Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island is a charmingly silly little detective game set on a desert island full of cute animal characters. Players must help the titular frog detective decipher the mystery of the eerie noises that have recently been plaguing the island.
Developer: Worm Club, Thomas Bowker, Grace Bruxner
Released: 22nd November 2022
At the start of the game, the nameless frog detective receives a call about a new case. Strange noises have been tormenting the inhabitants of a small island, they have blamed it on ghosts and called in ghost scientists but after two weeks they’re no closer to solving the mystery. It is the frog detective’s job to solve this eerie enigma and eradicate the spooky sounds!
The narrative is delivered mostly via dialogue, though the gameplay itself also plays an important part in this. This is a lot of fun because the eclectic bunch of NPCs such as Larry the lobster, Martin the sloth, and Mystery Monkey have some lightly comical and very silly lines as well as a little bit of a backstory and insight into their personalities and interests. There are a good number of different characters to talk to given the length of the game and size of the map.
Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island has very casual gameplay that doesn’t pose much of a challenge. The player must explore the little island, interact with certain objects and talk to the NPCs in order to solve the mystery. There are a number of short and simple tasks to be done to help the inhabitants of the island and gain required items. Tasks include things such as finding a magnet and cleaning some wool! The controls are straightforward, WASD to move and a mouse to look around and interact, the game also has full controller support.
Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island has a very distinct 3D art style full of colourful and cartoon-like, low-poly models. It gives a very cute aesthetic and works well with the light-hearted gameplay and silly dialogue. The soundtrack has a jazzy feel to it, using piano, bass and saxophone to create a jolly but mysterious backing track that helps immerse the player in the experience.
There is a lot of fun to be had in Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island, it offers an uncomplicated but enjoyable narrative, light humour, a cute aesthetic, a well-fitting and jazzy soundtrack as well as relaxing but satisfying gameplay. Its overall simplicity and general silliness might not appeal to all players but I found it a pleasant, upbeat, and relaxing experience and I’d happily recommend it to anyone looking for something short, and cute to play while enjoying a comforting hot beverage.
If you enjoy bit of silliness in your games you might also like these reviews:
Wobbledogs: Canine Antics and Silly Sandbox Fun! – Once Upon a Jester – A Fantastic Theatre of Silliness! – Making Mischief in Untitled Goose Game