When I booted up The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game to discover that the graphics settings were the opening lyrics to Apple Bottom Jeans, I knew I was in for a good time.
What? Do you think I’m kidding?
If that’s not enough to sell you on this game, I don’t know what is. But here’s the rest of the review anyway.
I have a soft spot for little mystery games, which is why The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game caught my eye when it popped up in HeavyEyed’s “Ten Indie Games You Missed in 2018” YouTube video. I wanted to play it. And I was not disappointed.
The hour I spent completing this game was filled with laughs, oozed with charm, and plastered a smile across my face. The Detective meshes with the cast of quirky characters they encounter brilliantly; each conversation is delightfully silly, but more importantly, funny. It’s often easy to fall into the trap of thinking “random” means the same thing but they dodged that hole with ease. I however, climbed into every hole I came across: Exhibit A pictured below.
Mechanically, it’s extremely easy to get to grips with. WASD to move and mouse to look, your standard first-person controls. Left-click selects things and right-click brings up a magnifying glass, the most useful tool in the game for two very important reasons. Firstly, it warps everything you view through it to a hilarious degree.
Secondly, in dialogue I found endless delight in positioning it just right to make it look like a monocle… I am a child, I know.
Really, the only criticism I have is the lack of puzzles. There’s one over-arching quest to put together some explosives from the typical ingredients of toothpaste, wool, gold, and pasta, but apart from that, there isn’t much thinking to be done here. If you talk to everyone you’ll easily solve the case without flexing your brainpower in the slightest. I came for the mystery, but it was definitely the comedy that kept me playing.
Overall, I loved my short but sweet time with The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game and I’m massively looking forward to the sequel about an invisible wizard. Now if you’ll excuse me, I just discovered that Detective has a frog blog on their website, so I’m going to immediately read that.
$5: why you are back here
A review copy was provided by the developer
Stevie Patamon has awarded The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.