If you make a purchase after following a link on our site, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami screenshot

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami review

A tongue-in-cheek noir mystery… starring a duck in a trench coat? Yeah, that’s what Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is, and it’s just as delightfully bizarre as it sounds. Taking only a couple of hours to complete, this is a short but sweet outing for anyone with a penchant for puzzle-solving.

Aside from a short opening scene in the Duck Detective’s apartment, the entirety of The Secret Salami takes place inside Bear Bus, a transportation company. The reason our feathered PI is here is a simple one: someone’s lunch has gone missing!

It might not be the hard-hitting case that Duck Detective wants, but he’s down on his luck, you see, so he’ll take whatever he can get. Thankfully, once he gets through the doors of Bear Bus, it quickly transpires the mystery afoot goes much deeper than a missing lunch. There’s blackmail, kidnapping, illegal smuggling and a lot of salami to get stuck into.

Sophie the giraffe in Duck Detective
Screenshot: GameSpew

Although everything that happens in Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is technically one case, it’s broken up into lots of smaller cases as you work your way through it. To start piecing together the mystery, you’ll have to explore the offices of Bear Bus, investigate for clues, and interrogate all employees. Your first task is to simply put a name to each employee (you could just ask for their names, but where’s the fun in that?) before working on your “deducktions”.

Related: Detective adventure Chronique des Silencieux really wants to test you

Deducktions. See what they did there? These form the majority of Duck Detective’s puzzles. As you gather evidence, either by investigating or talking to Bear Bus employees, you’ll be able to piece it together to fill in a Deducktion. You’ll need to select words from a drop-down list in order to complete a sentence, using information you’ve found in your investigation.

Every Deducktion isn’t obvious (though some are), so you’ll need to use your own initiative to process information to come to the right conclusion. If you struggle with these, there’s an easy mode, which will let you know which choices you’ve made are right or wrong. On the game’s normal difficulty, it’s up to you to figure out which ones aren’t right — though you can change difficulty at any time.

The office area in Duck Detective
Screenshot: GameSpew

It’s a great-looking game, with a charming cartoon art style. Every character, an animal of some shape, has a unique personality that somehow manages to shine even in Duck Detective’s short running time. There’s stressed-out cat Laura, who seems to be running the busy customer service deck single-handed, Freddy the crocodile, who seems like a bit of a suck-up to the boss, and the janitor Rufus, who somehow seems shady as heck.

Getting to know each of them and trying to figure out their motives is a joy, helped by the fact that the writing here is so on-point, too. We also appreciate that, despite its brevity and obvious humour, its puzzles are genuinely challenging, making this a rewarding experience to play in more ways that one.

So: if you like short, engaging games, solving detective puzzles and, uh, ducks, don’t sleep on Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. Costing about the price of a cinema ticket, it’s a fine way to spend an evening indeed.

This review of Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is based on the PC version of the game, with a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on Switch and PC.

Duck Detective review - GameSpew's score

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami
8 10 0 1
This duck-flavoured detective mystery may be short, but it's a great deal of fun. Wonderfully animated and excellently written, figuring out the case of Duck Detective: The Secret Salami might only take a couple of hours, but it's a jolly good way to spend an evening.
This duck-flavoured detective mystery may be short, but it's a great deal of fun. Wonderfully animated and excellently written, figuring out the case of Duck Detective: The Secret Salami might only take a couple of hours, but it's a jolly good way to spend an evening.
8/10
Total Score

We like...

  • Fabulous art style
  • Engaging puzzles
  • Great writing

We don't like...

  • It's very short

Similar Posts