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Frog Detective 3: Corruption at Cowboy County review

Frog Detective 3: Corruption at Cowboy County review
Laura Cress avatar image

Charming cartoon animal series leaps to a delightful conclusion

Frog Detective is back for his third and final adventure in Corruption at Cowboy County. And whilst players of the previous games in Grace Bruxner’s cartoon animal mystery series will recognise many of its hallmarks, such as the ridiculous dialogue and charming characters, the finale has one or two extra tricks up its sleeve to make this the best of the lot.

The story picks up where it left off in The Case of the Invisible Wizard, with the titular amphibious agent getting a phone call from his boss about another case at – surprise! – Cowboy County. For those who haven't played the previous two titles (and if not, why not?!) or simply need a refresher, this scene is acted out by Mary the rhino (also from the second game) as a recap. Mary, of course, plays both roles, setting the tone for another whimsical adventure. Before the new game properly starts, you'll once again get the chance to decorate your important detective's notebook with all manner of silly stickers, from smiling eggs to confused carrots. An investigator's work is never dreary!

Then it's off to Cowboy County, where it turns out your case has already been solved by none other than the detective our froggy protagonist aspires to be the most: Lobster Cop! It seems the place was sheriff-less, but the crustacean constable has helped fill the role by appointing a rather weird little mole called Mason. Thankfully, however, another mystery soon arises for our sleuth to solve: the townspeople's hats have gone missing! And with that, it's time for our work to begin.

As with the previous games, the bulk of Frog Detective 3’s gameplay is split into two parts: meeting and interviewing the entire eccentric cast of characters, and completing simple tasks that they ask of you to get more information or objects you might need. Cowboy County is a fair bit bigger than earlier locations in the series, though, and to this end whilst you can walk around everywhere, there's a scooter that Frog Detective can hop onto at any time with the tap of a button. Although it's only needed to reach a few items, there's no end to the joy you'll have zooming through town and the dusky desert around it whenever you want. You’ll soon find yourself performing little jumps and tricks, using simple keyboard controls to move and the mouse to pan the camera on PC. Around you the thrilling soundtrack of Western-style guitar strings rise, only falling away to silence again when you park and make your way on foot. It's a simple addition, but a joyous one.

There are plenty of people – or rather creatures – to talk to in Cowboy County, and they're all written in a fabulously goofy style. There's no voice acting again, just text, but there are lots of hilarious conversations to read through yourself. There's Craig, a bull whose head is full of conspiracy theories; and Sherman, a delightfully flirtatious sloth who leaves our detective feeling a little hot under the collar. A fed-up poet, an outlaw mouse and a panda artist are just some of the other members of the motley crew you'll encounter, each with their own backstory and persona all summed up in just a few lines.

If the characters of Cowboy County are brought to life by the zany dialogue, they're given an extra bit of colour by the game's bright, cartoonish art. Sometimes just looking at the various animals will elicit a chuckle; their huge, absurd eyes and big grins across their faces can't help but also spread a smile on yours. The town itself has lots of different buildings to inspect, from a two-storey saloon to Mason's Sheriff's office, alongside a fair bit of bright orange desert to scoot about in. And when I say inspect, I really do mean it, because being a detective you still have your trusty magnifying glass in hand, which you can use to zoom into anything, from flirty sloth to wanted poster, whenever you please.

The soundtrack, when it isn't fizzing full of Sergio Leone-inspired strings after you hop on a scooter, normally remains quite basic and minimal, the odd twang of bass strings here and there – although pop into the saloon and of course you'll hear some upbeat ragtime piano playing.

Our patient detective creates a character log for each person he encounters in his notebook, listing their possible motive and any observations about them for players to skim through at their leisure. Characters will sometimes have tasks that also get added to the notebook, which need completing to progress. These are simple fetch quests or objectives rather than actual puzzles, which require another character to have their task completed first in order for them to help you out in return. For example, Wendy the squirrel wants her portrait painted – you can't oblige, but maybe if you find what Pistol the panda artist wants, they might be able to offer some assistance. Even if you don't need to remind yourself of the tasks at hand, it's worth reading everything written down in the notebook anyway, just for a laugh at Frog Detective's insights into the world – especially his blushes over his admirer Sherman!

Final Verdict

If you've played either of the previous Frog Detective games, a lot of the features I've mentioned here will feel pretty familiar, and that extends to the game's relatively short runtime, which is about 90 minutes. But the story it delivers in that time, complete with a bit of a twist, is as enjoyable as some games many times its size. As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Frog Detective 3: Corruption at Cowboy County doesn't add anything particularly new, but neither does it get rid of any of the good stuff. Really it's a more polished version of its predecessors, with a few added bells and whistles to make it that extra bit charming. As a fan of the series from the start, I'm sad to see this endearing character and his mad entourage of suspects and friends fade off into the distance for the last time, but I’m glad at least that his final adventure is just as fun-filled, if not more so, than his first.

Hot take


Another “ribbeting” Frog Detective adventure with lots more kooky animals to interview and mysteries to solve, Corruption at Cowboy County creates a fitting conclusion to this charming trilogy.


  • Frog Detective now has a scooter to zip about the town and perform tricks on
  • Brand new cast of quirky characters to meet and interview
  • A well-written, funny end to the series


  • Not many new features for those familiar with the series
  • Another short game

Laura played Frog Detective 3: Corruption at Cowboy County on PC via Game Pass.


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