With the first game being released back in 2018, the Frog Detective trilogy is easily one of gaming’s best comfort games in its own way. It’s not a game where you wind down and do tasks like brewing a coffee or taking care of a farm, it’s a game where you solve a mystery that even a toddler can solve, but each case involves a comical cast of characters, hilarious writing, and a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, into one package for the Second Best Detective in gaming.
The Frog Detective Trilogy spans 3 games – The Haunted Island, The Case of the Invisible Wizard, and Corruption at Cowboy County. Each game will take you roughly an hour at best to solve, and while there is some replay value here in the form of achievements (yes, there is a platinum trophy), each case introduces a new set of characters, and the third case, in particular, introduces characters from the previous two cases with an incredible plot twist.
Each case has its unique setting, cast of characters, and reasons to enjoy the simple atmosphere of these games, and that’s the beautiful thing about the game. The plot and setting are so simple that you can play this by yourself or with friends just to enjoy the comical writing, the clever puns, and even the fun interactions the protagonist has with the cast of each case.
None of the cases will be as elaborate as finding out who the Origami Killer is, but there is a lot of fun to be had in the absurdity of the cases, solving them, and then taking part in the post-case solving party.
The gameplay is fairly rudimentary and simplified to the most basic elements of a mystery game. Every person in the level will need something and you can solve it by finding the one item that acts as the catalyst for giving each person the thing they need. That’s it. All you’re doing is enjoying the clever dialogue of each case, finding out the item they need, and figuring out who will give it to you and how.
In addition, you have to talk to the locals and learn about them, what they do, and other intricacies of the world around you. However, this isn’t layered or otherwise too deep in meaning, as I mentioned previously, the writing is here as comic relief. Every character is fun, and quirky, and will make you make an audible chuckle once in a while.
There is no gameplay loop here and even the most novice of gamers can pick up the game and enjoy it for the novelty of all of the cases in the game.
That is to say, the entire game isn’t just about solving cases. Another neat feature is how there is a scooter riding mini-game accessible from the main menu before solving any case! It took me back to the early days of PS1 games like Tony Hawk where you have a simple stage layout, 2 minutes, pull off tricks, collect magnifying glasses instead of tapes, and it is a game within itself to even play with friends and see who does a better score.
The presentation is colorful, and each case has its palette to complement the setting. It’s easy on the eyes and should be able to run on practically anything.
The graphics, art, design of the characters, and even the music are all very calming. This is a game you play when you want to get off a tilt from a multiplayer game, or just play with a friend or partner. The sheer latitudes of silliness emanating from the game make it a journey you won’t soon forget.
The visual presentation here is a solid outing regardless of what you play it, even the Nintendo Switch will have no trouble to output the graphics and appreciate the fine talent that is behind the game.
What the game lacks in playtime, it makes up for with a fantastic scooter riding mini-game, achievements/trophies, 3 memorable cases with scene selection so that your achievement-hunting journey is less daunting, and lastly, 3 of the funniest cases you won’t soon forget.
Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery is a fantastic package that for the short playtime is right up there with other indie titles like Untitled Goose Game. It’s a brilliant yet short game that is well worth the price and is even more fun when played in the company of others.
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This review is based on the PS5 version of Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery. The key was provided by Future Friends Games.