One of my favorite games from last year’s competition was Dungeon Detective, the story of a gnoll solving a mystery in a fantasy setting. This game is a direct sequel to it that fixes the few problems in the original and enlarges its scope.

Gameplay: The game is choice-based, with the player moving the gnoll around a city, collecting evidence, and interrogating suspects. The process is smooth; the conversations are interesting (which is absolutely necessary in a mystery game) and funny; and there are a few puzzles in addition to the larger mystery that are fun diversions. The biggest change from the original, though, is just that there’s more to do: more locations, more suspects, more items, more puzzles, and so on. Most importantly, the mystery in the sequel is a satsifying puzzle that unfolds organically over the course of the game. 9/10.

Mechanics: There are more puzzle elements in this game than the previous one, and there’s more to do in general. This game introduces an economy (with a couple different methods of generating money), a day/night system, and a few other straightforward mechanics. The one issue I had was with the minigame of clicking on items as they scroll past (e.g., juggling). Maybe it was the particular browser I was using, but I had some trouble getting it to work as expected; when I did, it wasn’t challenging or deep enough to add much to the game. Aside from that, though, everything was solid. 8/10.

Presentation: As with the original, the game is a pleasure to play. The conversations are engaging and funny; characters are well-defined and interesting to interact with; and the protagonist is simply fun. The artist from the previous game has created another great cover artwork, and there’s charming pixel art of the protagonist in the status menu and game-over screens. 9/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You enjoyed the previous installment (which I’d also strongly recommend).

Score: 9

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