Do you love stories filled with thrilling mystery? Do you enjoy solving challenges and puzzles using keen eyes and sharp mind? Do you like games with a unique artistic approach? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might want to give Jenny LeClue a shot.
Development and reception
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is a thrilling mystery adventure game developed by an indie game development studio, Mografi. It was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of reaching $65,000. By August 2014, the campaign amassed over $105,000 and the development of Jenny LeClue started. About five years later, on September 19, 2019, the game was launched for PC on Steam and GoG Store. It is also available for iOS via Apple Arcade service, while PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch users will get to play it later this year.
So far, Jenny LeClue was met with overall positive feedback, having a 90% positive score on Steam. On GoG, it has a 4.4 / 5 stars score and was generally met with very positive criticism.
This is by far the best aspect of Jenny LeClue. The story is narrated by Arthur K Finklestein, author of a series of novels featuring young detective, Jenny LeClue. Most of his novels feature lighthearted stories, best suited for younger audiences. While these stories do showcase Jenny’s brilliant mind and deduction skills, sadly, over the years, the interest for Arthur’s novels started to decline. This comes as no surprise since people want something a bit more exciting than a novel about a ‘missing marmalade sandwich’. One day, he gets a phone call from his publisher, and he’s told that his novels need to become more thrilling and interesting. Faced with a difficult decision, Arthur decides to spin things around and write a story worth remembering.
This is where Jenny LeClue’s real story begins. From the start, players will be put in the role of Jenny LeClue, a teenage detective with brilliant deduction skills and a witty mind, living in a town of Arthurton, a seemingly peaceful place, where nothing exciting ever happens. To start things off, she will be tasked with solving some easy cases, like helping her mother find the missing essay papers, or help a lady locate her lost glasses. Soon enough, Jenny will discover that a murder has happened in Arthurton, and her own mother is a prime suspect. From there on, she will have to use all of her wits and detective skills in order to find out who the real killer is. While doing that, she will discover that there are some unseen forces trying to prevent her from dragging the truth out in the open.
Overall, players will definitely find the story quite engaging, filled with mystery and a flavor of lighthearted humor. Also, while playing Jenny LeClue, players will often need to make decisions. These will affect how certain elements of the story play out, and most of the choices will have consequences at some point. This will make players feel that they are actively participating in the development of the story, which is a brilliant move by the game’s developers.
The gameplay of Jenny LeClue is fairly simple and straightforward. The controls are very basic and easy to learn. Players control Jenny’s movement with a left stick, and they can interact with certain objects or people by using the interact button while near them. There is also the option to use the magnifying glass in order to discover some hidden clues and collectibles. While exploring, Jenny can also push certain objects, climb ladders, and interact with various things. However, most of this is very simple and pretty straightforward, so players won’t have much difficulty navigating through the game.
Other than exploring, there is also a case-solving aspect of the game. Each time Jenny runs into some suspicious scene or person, she will be able to use her detective skills to learn some additional info. Players will then be able to inspect the scene or interrogate a person. To do that, they need to look for clues. In other words, they have to place a pointer on certain parts of the scene they find odd and use the interact button to inspect it. Some of the clues are well hidden, and Jenny will have to use her magnifying glass to locate these. Once players discover all of the clues, they have to piece them together. This is doable by selecting a set number of clues they discovered previously, and if they picked the correct clues, the case will be solved.
Puzzles are also quite prominent in Jenny LeClue. During the game, players will often have to solve various puzzles in order to discover additional secrets and clues, or simply to reach certain areas. While most of these are not too difficult and are quite intuitive, they will definitely make you use your gray cells.
As for the gameplay as a whole, its major downside is that at times, solving clues can start feeling a bit boring and repetitive. Also, since the gameplay itself is quite minimalistic, players will often get a feeling they are playing a visual novel.
This is another one of Jenny LeClue’s amazing qualities. The entire artwork is very unique and immensely colorful. The artists did an amazing job of creating the game’s world. Each character is quite unique and recognizable, every scene is greatly detailed, and all of it fits amazingly well together. Overall, the quality of the artwork is worth every praise, and kudos to the artist for creating this marvelous masterpiece.
Yet another strong suit of Jenny LeClue. From the very beginning, players will get immersed in the game’s world. Every little case they solve, every clue they find will grant them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Every time they progress to the next scene, they will be eager to know what happens next. This is mainly due to the great narrative and engaging story that really makes a player feel like a detective trying to solve a mystery.
Also, the music in the game is done fairly well. While not on the same level as the graphics artwork, music in Jenny LeClue nicely complements the entire atmosphere. It is not too loud or imposing and it fits the overall tone of the game remarkably well. The only thing that is kind of missing is a lack of voice acting, which would’ve been a cherry on top of this delicious game.
All things considered, Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is a masterfully crafted game, worth every praise. It’s worth playing for its amazing artwork and great story alone, so you most definitely won’t regret the time spent playing this game. It’s also worth mentioning that the game is about 10-15 hours long, which is quite solid for a single-player indie game. All in all, if you are a fan of a good mystery, you won’t regret giving Jenny LeClue – Detectivu a try.