Duck Detective: The Secret Salami – PC Review

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What do you get when you combine a duck, L.A. Noire, and a game of Mad Libs? Why, you get the latest title from Happy Broccoli Games, Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. This new narrative mystery adventure is set to be released on May 23rd, 2024 on both Steam and Nintendo Switch. The game will retail for £8.99 on the Nintendo eShop and $9.99 on Steam.

If you are eager to try the game before its release, you can download the demo that is available on both platforms right now.

Duck Detective and the Power of De-Duck-tion

Are you ready to bust this case and uncover the mystery of the secret salami? Leave a comment down below of your best duck pun and win nothing but the satis-quack-tion of knowing you have great taste in humor.

A screenshot of Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. This is an inner monologue sceene from Eugene McQuacklin. He is a duck wearing a brown fedora and tan trenchcoat, with a green tie that matches his notebook. He is stood in an office and describes it as "the stained carpets and peeling wallpaper exuded a stench of stale coffee and abandoned dreams." There is a sepia toned filter.
The Inner Monologues of Eugene McQuacklin


Duck Detective is a cosy fill-in-the-blank narrative mystery adventure game. You play as freshly divorced detective Eugene McQuacklin, a down-on-his-luck duck that just squandered his last remaining pennies on a sweet spongy loaf instead of paying rent. Who can blame him? The toast kept him warm at night since Ana left… You take on a new case at the Bear Bus office, solving the missing lunch mystery from an anonymous caller. Finding the culprit won’t be easy, nor will the hidden mysteries that are uncovered with it.

The gameplay involves finding clues, questioning suspects, and solving puzzles. You progress through the story by completing de-duck-tions, which is the game’s fill-in-the-blanks aspect. As you search for clues and question the staff at Bear Bus, you unlock words that get stored in your notebook. These words are used in the de-duck-tions and you have to pick the right words to progress the story and the case along. There are 13 de-duck-tions in this game, with various difficulties and if players get stuck, you can get assistance by allowing Eugene to ponder the currently unsolved de-duck-tions.

Game Modes

There are two game modes, Detective or Story, which act as a type of difficulty. Detective mode is recommended, as it poses more of a challenge with less information being provided when you make a wrong deduction. Story mode is a smoother experience, allowing players to enjoy the story instead of spending time on the de-duck-tions by giving you more information on what is correct or not. The difficulty can be changed at any time through the options menu so if you find one especially difficult to quack- I mean crack- then toggle on Story.

A screenshot from Duck Detective. It shows a green note book with the deductions on the left and the fill-in-the-blanks puzzle on the right. The pages are a pale creamy green colour.
The first de-duck-tion…

A detective’s best friend is their notebook, and this is the player’s UI where you can access the list of deductions, suspects, inventory, and map. The map is helpful as it shows suspects who haven’t been spoken to or certain areas to check using an exclamation point. You can go back and look at the suspect’s full names, job titles, and evidence picked up throughout your playthrough. This game requires you to make connections so being able to go back and re-analyze clues is encouraged.

A screenshot from the game Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. It shows the UI of when the player is inspecting a suspect. You can see a tan giraffe in a green seat with beige slacks. There is a green magnifying glass that assisst players in finding clues to the investigation. It also shows a notebook on the right that has key words such as K-pop fan, sad, and Wintheimer
An example of Eugene’s inspecting skills.

Graphics & Audio

For this review, Duck Detective: The Secret Salami was played on a PC via Steam and ran smoothly, though it doesn’t say it is Steam Deck verified, playing through a portion of the game was comfortable using the Steam Deck, so I imagine this will also translate well on a Switch. There weren’t any graphical glitches or issues to note.

The most outstanding parts of this playthrough were the soundtrack and the brilliant voice acting. It is fully voice acted, with each character being unique with their quirks despite having some actors playing more than one role. There is drama and intensity that you just would not expect from a game like this.

In the background, there is always noir jazz playing, thanks to artist and composer Svyatoslav Petrov, which gets more intense when the story heats up and subdued when you are waddling about looking for clues. It fully encapsulates the film noir genre of the 1940s but with a duck and it’s 2024. The soundtrack can be purchased as DLC when the game comes out. The level design also captures the mundane and dreary offices and combined with the voice acting, creates a cohesive environment of underpaid and overworked staff in a small office.

A screenshot of the game Duck Detective: The Secret Salami. You can see the main character Eugene in an office reception. There is a giraffe at the desk on her phone. The office is well lit with several posters on the wall and post it notes surrounding the desk.
Eugene on the case – First step: Find out who hired me…

In terms of accessibility, Happy Broccoli included key rebinding, a dyslexic font toggle as well as the ability to turn off screenshakes and vibrations. You can also adjust the volume for music, sound, and voices. A mouse and keyboard were used for this gameplay, but it is also fully controller-supported.


The case of the Salami Bandit and all the mysteries it uncovers can only be played once as it follows the classic whodunnit detective story, where the ending will no longer be a surprise. It roughly took about 3.5 hours to complete. As mentioned previously there are two game modes and for this review, I chose to play the recommended detective mode as I wanted a challenge and to play the game as the devs intended. Depending on the game mode picked, this may shorten or extend your experience.

As there are only 7 Steam achievements, with most of them being earned by simply playing through the game, there isn’t much to encourage you to start a new playthrough. It is important to note that this is meant to be a short mystery game that does last around 2-3 hours as mentioned on their Steam and eShop pages.

Final Thoughts

Duck Detective: The Secret Salami is definitely in my top 10 games of this year. The story was a wild adventure filled with intriguing mysteries set in a gloomy office building. All the characters were so vibrant and the voice acting made it such an immersive experience, which might have dulled the overall journey if it wasn’t included.

The voice acting for me was used as a tool to help solve the cases as hearing the nuances in tones gave clues to help solve de-duck-tions. The gameplay is simple but works well for this game, and it is challenging without ruffling your feathers. Having the ability to ponder is a great tool as well as it encourages players to refocus on the case and fully analyze all the clues available. The overall journey was extremely enjoyable from start to finish, and as a result, gets the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

I can see this game making a splash once it’s released and being an essential pick-up for gamers who enjoy strong voice acting, narrative, and puzzle games. I do hope to see more cases being included in the future or a sequel, as I feel like this is not the end of Eugene McQuacklin’s story, just the beginning.

If you would like to dip your beak into more narrative-driven story games, check out Mal’s review of Harold Halibut. 

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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