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Videogame / A Duck Has An Adventure

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A Duck Has An Adventure is a Gamebook-style flash game note  by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey who also created The Empty Kingdom, and Icarus Needs.

It all starts with an ordinary, nearly featureless duck whose life the player influences.

Every once in a while, the story hits a panel with multiple arrows around it. This is a branching point where the player gets to decide how the story progresses by clicking on one of the two (or three) panels pointed at by an arrow.

The story then continues in this fashion until it reaches an ending. There are 16 possible endings in total, and the player is encouraged to discover all of them.

And to make the experience more fun, there are also 12 achievements and 7 hats to collect along the way!


     An outline of the game, including hats and achievements 

A Duck Wants:


An Education
Hat: Fedora
  • Arty Things
Hat: Mortarboard
  • Become an Artist
    • Performance Art
    Hat: Crash Helmet
    • Try Cartooning
    Achievement: It's a bird! It's a plane!
    No wait, it's just a bird.
  • Become a Writer
    • One Last Try
    Achievement: Author! Author!
    Hey, catchy title!
    • Retire
    Hat: Headset
    Achievement: Working nine to five
    What a way to make a living.
  • Science Stuff
Hat: Welding Mask
  • Dimension Jump
    • Fight!
    Achievement: Quacks in spacetime
    Whoa... Déja vu.
    • Work Together
    Achievement: The leap home
    Oh boy!
  • dPod
    • Charitable Foundation
    Achievement: Best of all possible worlds
    It really is rather lovely.
    • Duck Mansion
    Achievement: Spruced up goose
    What could possibly go wrong?

High Adventure
Hat: Pirate Hat
  • Bermuda Pentangle
    • Fight!
      • Work Together
      Achievement: A duck's best friend
      Bread may be grand but it won't pay for rental
  • Kitten Cove
    • Demand a Duel
    • Try Diplomacy
    Achievement: Diplomatic solution
    Well, at least you tried...

A Simple Life
  • Chase Fish
Hat: Sou'wester
  • One Last Try
Achievement: Bringing home the marlin
Going to need a bigger boat.
  • Retire
  • Chase Ladies
    • Play the Field
      • Reinvent Self
      Achievement: All new, all different
      Who needs a hat anyway?
      • Seek Lost Love
      Achievement: Love's labour's won
      If at first time you don't succeed...
    • Settle Down
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This work provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Discovering all possible storylines is about the only thing there is to do in the game.
  • Alternate Self: The "Bermuda Pentangle" and "Dimension Jump" storylines merge allowing you to meet your alternate self.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The "Bermuda Pentangle" and "Dimension Jump" storylines eventually merge, as do "Become a Writer" and "Chase Fish" allowing the player to experience the events twice, from each self's perspective. Note that the story actually ends differently for each self.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Kitten Cove is referred to as a "hive of scum & villainy ... and kittens"
  • Big First Choice: Right after the forth panel, the player has to choose between "A Simple Life", "An Education", and "High Adventure". This choice then shapes the entire rest of the story.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bland-Name Product: In one version of the "Science Stuff" storyline, the duck invents a dPod.
  • Buffy Speak: In "An Education", the duck can choose to study either "Arty Things" or "Science Stuff".
  • Cool Helmet: The crash helmet in "Performance Art".
  • Cosmetic Award: The 7 hats.
  • Deliberately Monochrome.
  • Dressed to Plunder: The rapid promotion in "High Adventure" earns the duck an eyepatch and a pirate hat.
    • The pirate queen in "Kitten Cove" also wears a pirate hat.
  • The End: Every ending consists of a single panel that simply reads "END".
  • Effortless Achievement: The 12 achievements.
  • Eyepatch of Power: The duck gets one in "High Adventure" when being promoted from cabin duck to first duck.
  • First Girl Wins: The duck reunites with his First Love in "Seek Lost Love".
  • First Love: The result of choosing to "Chase Ladies". It's then up to the player to decide whether it's going to be successful ("Settle Down") or not ("Play the Field").
  • Gamebooks: The very genre of the game.
  • Golden Ending: The "Charitable Foundation" storyline includes the "Best of All Possible Worlds" achievement.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Choosing to "Play the Field" eventually results in a downward spiral making the duck resolve to change. There are two ways to do this: "Seek Lost Love" or "Reinvent Self".
  • Multiple Endings: There are 16.
  • Nice Hat: There are 7 hats to collect throughout the game.
  • One-Word Vocabulary: The duck says nothing but "Quack!" or slight modifications thereof.
  • Promptless Branching Point: A lot of the branching points can be considered this.
  • Story Branching: Obviously, since the game is a Gamebook, a genre story branching is integral to.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: Very high. Gameplay is virtually limited to the branching points where the player decides how the story progresses. However, the game aims for 100% Completion which forces the player to discover all the remaining choices sooner or later anyway.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Averted in "High Adventure" where the duck still says nothing but "Quack!" even as a pirate.
  • Writer's Block: Choosing "Retire" within the "Become a Writer" storyline eventually leads to this.


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