The Mermaid’s Tongue Demo Is Even Better Than Expected

Under the sea: that's where it's wetter, that's where it's better, that's where there's been a... murder? Ta-da! The Mermaid's Tongue demo on Steam.

‘W’ is for weekend, and this weekend has been about catching up on demos I’ve been meaning to play – The Mermaid’s Tongue being one of them. Note to self: try to get into making videos more, as screenshots don’t justify a game.

With Snipperclips part of their repertoire, SFB Games knows how to make innovative games. How about Crow Country or Tangle Tower? I missed the chance to play the first, and as for the other? I never heard of it, but it’s on my wishlist after playing this demo.

The Mermaid’s Tongue is the follow-up to Tangle Tower, featuring the detective duo Grimoire and Sally. Without getting acquainted with them from their last adventure, let’s say that they are instantly likeable – what with the character-building, art style, and excellent voice-acting.

The Mermaid's Tongue Demo - Parlour game
Parlour game. Source: Steam

It’s a stab in the dark, but I was getting the impression that Sally was the brains of the outfit, but the two complement each other. But hold your horses for a sec: what are they doing here? Where is here? How long must we wait for this game to get released?

Captain Seafoam hires the pair as his colleague Magnus Mortuga has been killed on the submarine he captains. It becomes clear that the two have an immediate history and are no doubt part of the mystery surrounding the murder, hence why you’re here in the first place.

For the uninitiated fellow, The Mermaid’s Tongue is part point and click, part visual novel, focusing on your detective skills – investigating the scenery, inventory, and solving puzzles. The demo is relatively short but a decent dip into what we could expect. 

The Mermaid's Tongue Demo - Sub-map
Sub-map. Source: Steam

Using the mouse, you can interact with the beautifully illustrated scenery – clicking anywhere, and a pop-up hexagon frames the object for the duo to discuss. At one point, this approach was a tad annoying when pixel hunting, as there are no hotspots or hovering text. Each time you click, they’ll repeat the same dialogue.

Each area of The Mermaid’s Tongue is mapped like a room plan with an illustrated backdrop of where you’ve been. Everything else is represented by a ‘?’. Abiding by imaginary rules, I proceeded to jump back and forth to the same two rooms, frustrated that I couldn’t get further in a demo.

Sod it, I’m clicking a ‘?’ – boom: murder scene. That was mildly embarrassing, but nobody knows about my faux pas. Oh. After clicking around at the clues in the room, a quick animated dialogue scene pops up, and then I’m thrown out of the game and back to the menu. Returning to the scene of the crime (ha!), I try to switch rooms, but alas, this is the demo’s end.

This was the second successive demo that lured me hook, line, and sinker, and the moment it was over, I was gutted. Aargh! Where’s the release date? I want more! I quickly added it to my wishlist and realised that Tangle Tower is available on Steam. If it’s anything like this game, it’ll be a winner.

So, what can you take away from this waffling? The Mermaid’s Tongue is bloody brilliant. As I said at the beginning, the screenshots can’t do it enough justice – you need to play through, admire the scenery, the voice acting, and the tease of a seemingly exciting murder mystery. Ok, no more writing – download the demo and play it for yourself.