The sequel to last year’s indisputable (I will fight you) Game of the Year is coming to Steam next Monday, December 9. The announcement was made last night on Twitter — or “today” on Twitter I guess, since the developers live in Australia — by Worm Club Creative Director and Charming Storybook Protagonist Name Haver Grace Bruxner. As shown in the below trailer, Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard dispatches Frog Detective to the small town of Warlock Woods, after its denizens discover the remains of a horrifically butchered … party.
“The famed Frog Detective returns in the most thrilling mystery yet,” according to the game’s Steam page, linked above. “A town’s welcoming celebration for a mysterious Invisible Wizard has been ripped to shreds by an unknown culprit. The Detective must find out ‘whodunnit’!”
As in the first game, Frog Detective must use his trademark magnifying glass to closely examine clues, suspects, and bugs, in an effort to uncover the true identity of the fiend plaguing Warlock Woods. New to Frog Detective 2 is a Shenmue-esque notebook system, which helps Frog Detective keep track of his many insights into the case as it develops. (You can also decorate the cover with stickers!!) The notebook was “championed/created” by the other half of Worm Club, programmer Thomas Bowker, who is “a BABE!!!!” according to Bruxner’s Twitter.
While Frog Detective 2 is Worm Club’s second official release, Bruxner and Bowker have also collaborated on Toad Sushi, “AN EXTREME SUSHI GAMING EXPERIENCE … MADE FOR GAMER BY GAMER AND NEAR GAMER AND AROUND GAMER,” available in both Mac and PC flavors on itch.io for $1. Bruxner’s solo output also includes other colorful low-poly experiences, such as Alien Casino (“explore a casino from memory made by aliens”) and The Fish Market (“let’s go shopping at the fish market!!!!!!!!!”), both of which are available as Name Your Own Price titles on itch.io.
The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game was as pure an adventure game as can be experienced in a little under an hour, and at $5 on itch or Steam it remains one of my absolute favorite releases in recent years. Bruxner’s writing has a wit to it that borders on Tumblr-y without becoming insufferable, and her ability to carefully maintain a higher-than-average level of Silly™ throughout the experience is admirable.
The Haunted Island‘s short length probably contributes to that, and prospective gumshoes should expect Frog Detective 2 to be similarly bite-sized. According to a wiggling animated gif on the game’s Steam page, Frog Detective 2 is “a short game!” — Worm Club estimates a completion time of around an hour.