Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard is the delightful indie game sequel to the original The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game brought to us by the publishers SUPERHOT PRESENTS and worm club. In this colorful follow up, Frog Detective must travel to the Warlock Woods in order to discover the culprit of a heinous crime. With that being said, let’s hop right into our review of Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard.
A Ribbeting Mystery
We pick up where we left off with our main hero and underrated protagonist — Frog Detective. Ever outshined by the charismatic Lobster Cop, Frog Detective has been given a new case to undertake on his own: find the parade saboteur that ruined the good people of Warlock Woods’ celebration. After thoroughly decorating our notebook with quirky alien stickers, it was time to catch that criminal. Queue the jazz noir music and cinematic travel intro.
Frog Detective 2 is pleasantly paced and is extremely relaxing to work your way through. The colors are so vibrant and cheerful, with hilariously charming character designs. The quests that follow are laid out in a fairly specific order, so that once you start you, unfortunately, keep going in a linear direction until you hit the end resolution. This isn’t a completely terrible or foreign concept, but I found myself wishing for just a bit more content. I wanted to push out into the forest and discover more characters and a few more buildings or structures.
All of your suspects, however, are packed neatly in the middle of town, where you spend the majority of the game. Each one has a chore for you to do before you can get a component to move on to the next part of the story. Soon, it is revealed that there is an Invisible Wizard that has moved into the town, and the parade decorations that the townspeople spent so long setting up the night prior to celebrate her arrival have all been destroyed. One by one, you scribble down tongue-in-cheek notes about each of your encounters and assess their innocence.
Frogo the Lens
Get it? Frogo-forgo. Too much? Regardless, you can solve mysteries in Frog Detective 2 without it. Unless you have difficulty with spatial awareness and seeing objects well, there really is no other reason to use the magnifying glass than for flavor and zooming in on potential easter eggs in the game. Some of these can be seen in the locked houses of citizens like the developers’ faces on a flower or pictures of their pets. While a cute touch, I found myself pulling out my magnifying glass constantly thinking I was missing something, but nope-no real need for it.
Frog Detective 2 is all about the journey. The dialogue between characters is self-aware, humorous, and down-to-earth. Even though it has some hilarious moments, the dialogue did come across as a little too generic at times, but it isn’t trying to invest you emotionally in the narrative or drive home some philosophical point. Instead, it just asks that you enjoy the ride and have a few chuckles along the way.
What ended up disappointing me the most was the presence of dialogue options intended for prying into more details about the case, but there wasn’t any real consequence or reason for the options to exist. I would have almost rather not had the dialogue options and read it like a visual novel or had uninterrupted dialogue. It just felt a little unnecessary, especially for such a short story. One game that I felt did accomplish seamless dialogue with low-impact choices was Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders.
Croak and Dagger
Yeah, it’s not a great heading, but I’m running out of frog puns. After running your errands for the citizens of Warlock Woods, Frog Detective finds himself back on track for finding the culprit that destroyed the parade preparations. The Rhino Mary directs you towards the postal carrier, a lamb named Barney, who explains that he didn’t know the name of the citizen that received a package that night. Apparently, he couldn’t see their face, and Warlock Woods is constantly in a state of perpetual night. This package recipient is one of our main suspects because they were out and about at the time the incident occurred. You journey back to the entrance of the town and find a pair of glasses, determining that they might belong to the Invisible Wizard herself, locked away in the abandoned house in the center of town. Can you blame her? Mayor Noddy thought she was a ghost and tried to vacuum her away when she first arrived.
An Achievement Worthy of Am-fib-ians Everywhere
I lied, I thought of another. You are given two choices at the end of Frog Detective 2. The glasses you found do indeed belong to the Invisible Wizard, and her name is Lola! She is actually a frog just like you. The night of the parade, Lola went to pick up her package, lost her glasses, and accidentally stumbled around breaking all of the decorations in her blind distress. When she came back home and realized what she had done, she was mortified and locked herself in with all of the boxes and destroyed decorations. So, what will you do? If you let the town know it was Lola, you can get the Steam achievement ‘Snitch’. If you choose to lie and say it was the ‘Evil Guy’ who did it, you get ‘Fibber.’ I went with Snitch. The townspeople were extremely kind and accepting of Lola, and wanted her to understand that they didn’t blame her at all for her mistake. Finally, we can celebrate with our tiny parade floats and party hats. Take that, Lobster Cop.
Another Mystery to Solve
The post-game credits hint at another case on Frog Detective’s plate: Corruption at Cowboy County. While there hasn’t been any news on its release, I’m definitely looking forward to Frog Detective’s next adventure. And supposedly, Lobster Cop will be coming, too!