Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island
Gameplay 6
Graphics 7
Sound 7

Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island is a very short, very linear, and very easy adventure starring a detective who is also a frog. This case takes players to a tiny island where a small sloth has been the victim of haunting for weeks. Players must crack the case and figure out if there is really a mysterious ghost behind it all or if something else is afoot. The game can be completed in less than an hour and barely contains anything that could be considered challenging. However, the charming visuals, irreverent sense of humor, and wacky cast of characters will definitely appeal to some players.

Gameplay: All that is required to solve the mystery is talking to the cast of animal characters and getting them the items that they want.

Graphics: While the 3D visuals lack detail the art style has a lot of charm and the animations in particular can be very funny.

Sound: The soundtrack is decent, but the game lacks sound effects or voice acting to help bring its world more to life

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Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island

Developer: Grace Bruxner, Thomas Bowker | Publisher: worm club, SUPERHOT PRESENTS | Release Date: 2018 | Genre: Casual / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Who do you call when your tiny island is being haunted by a mysterious ghost and you want the best detective for the job? Apparently, the answer is Lobster Cop, but since he’s not available the job falls to Frog Detective instead. And this is how Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island begins with players taking control of a detective, who is also a frog.

The haunted island in question belongs to Martin the Sloth and despite hiring some ghost scientists to help him out there have been no breaks in the case. Thus, the supervisor, who is a penguin, calls up Frog Detective to have a go at cracking the mystery. As far as mysteries go it is not a very complicated one and should take most players less than an hour to complete. In fact, while the creators describe the game as a “3D mystery exploration” title, there is very little in the way of exploring either. Instead, players get to move around the very tiny island while talking to the wacky cast of characters. These include a duck named Orbit, a lobster named Larry, and a sheep named Noodle.  Most of them are supposed to be part of the “ghost scientists” hired by Martin, but for various reasons, none of them are really qualified for the job. For example, the only reason why Mo “The Mouse” Mouse, applied for the job is because they thought it said “toast” scientist and they like toast. If this is the type of humor that will make you crack a smile, then you’ll enjoy The Haunted Island, but for everyone else, this is sure to be a divisive title.

As mentioned earlier, The Haunted Island takes less than an hour to complete and most of this time is spent talking to the wacky cast of characters. The detective also carries around a magnifying glass, which can be used to examine items, but it is never actually needed for anything important. Instead, the key to solving the whole mystery is to manufacture some explosives to gain access to a cave that has been blocked off. This can be done with the typical explosive manufacturing ingredients, such as wool, gold, toothpaste, and pasta. As luck would have it all of these ingredients are readily available on the island and can be obtained by talking to the characters standing around. This has to be done in the correct order to ensure that the detective can trade whatever everyone wants for what it is they have, but as far as puzzle solving goes the challenge in this game is pretty much non-existent. This is great for younger players or anyone who wants to have an enjoyable experience without taxing their gray matter, but everyone else would be better off looking for something with a bit more depth and difficulty.

The Haunted Island is played in first person and visually it looks like an interactive children’s book. All the characters have very goofy designs and the game makes good use of camera angles to make the conversations more humorous. Since the island is so tiny virtually everything and everyone can be reached in just a few steps. Even so, the game still highlights everything players can interact with to make sure there’s never any risk of getting stuck or lost. Although very basic, the visuals are not without charm, and the animations, especially later in the game when a dance competition may or may not take place, are quite funny.  The audio is also very simple and the soundtrack can only be described as jazzy. There’s no voice-acting though, and strangely enough, not much in the way of sound effects either. This is especially noticeable as the entire premise for the mystery is “spooky noises” which are nowhere to be heard. The controls are straightforward and the game can be played with a keyboard and mouse or controller. Players can hold down the spacebar or right mouse button to whip out the detective’s trusty magnifying glass, but it serves no practical purpose other than slightly distorting things.

Overall, Frog Detective 1: The Haunted Island is very much a polarizing game due to its brevity and irreverent humor. Some players might find characters, such as a sheep that is grossed out by its own wool very funny, while for others it might elicit little more than some eye-rolling. Regardless of which camp you fall on though The Haunted Island is a game that you’ll only play once and then probably never again. Whether this is done with a permanent grin on your face or a feeling of bafflement will come down to individual tastes. With its cheerful sense of humor, silly antics, and charming protagonists we can see why the game would appeal to some players, but also why it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Nevertheless, the game has a budget price and for the right audience, can provide an hour of stress-free entertainment, which is hard to fault. Just be sure you know what you are getting yourself into before taking on this case.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: x64 architecture
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Graphics card with at least 500MB of memory
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: macOS 10 or later
  • Processor: x64 architecture
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Graphics card with at least 500MB of memory
  • Storage: 500 MB available space

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