By Chris Picone, 26 November 2022
I initially rejected a review copy of Frog Detective because I hadn't heard of the series before and when I first saw screenshots of Frog Detective I thought it must be designed for very small children. But I had my arm twisted and very glad I did because actually it's pretty damn fun (and funny!).
The art style's what initially put me off - I'm not a fan of low poly at the best of times but at first glance I thought Frog Detective's was particularly simplistic and child-like. I was totally wrong. Once you actually start playing and get a feel for the game's sense of humour, the art's very much part of the charm. There is no voice acting but the spaghetti western sound track is terrific!
Ostensibly, it's a detective game, and while you do go around talking to people in order to solve a crime, the majority of the detective stuff's just there for show. The first tool you're given, for example, is a magnifying glass, which is not required at any point during the game. I know because I must have carefully scanned every surface with it and nothing ever came up. Frog Detective also comes with a notebook that outlines each character's main features, possible motives, and also lets you nominate your prime suspect. In the end, the notebook was great for a laugh but again had no bearing on the game. No, the gameplay centres around talking to everyone, each of whom nominate some trouble they're having, which you solve by going and talking to someone else. Eventually, by talking to everybody, you will have uncovered enough clues to solve the case, and then it's game over - or is it? There are no actual puzzles or challenges involved so it's definitely kid-friendly but it's more about just enjoying the ride.
I have absolutely no idea who Frog Detective's target audience is. Kids, probably? But the humour's actually quite clever and that's what this game is all about. I enjoyed it and you probably will too, just keep in mind it only takes an hour or so to play through.