[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]lmost a year ago Mografi launched a Kickstarter project for an adventure game called Jenny LeClue. It’s the story of a young detective who, appropriately, solves mysteries. All Nancy Drew style. Anyway, they just released a “playable teaser” to whet our appetites while it is being worked on. This short demo takes place apparently as the beginning of “Chapter 13” titled “The Journal of Professor Zazer”. I played through it and here are my thoughts on how it’s shaping up.
First off, the controls. You move around with the arrow keys and interact with objects using either the “Enter” button or by left-clicking on the item. There’s an inventory in Jenny LeClue, which is opened up by pressing “I” on the keyboard, but is really not used in the demo. The majority of the gameplay is environmental. Still, there are objects that you can pick up such as a flashlight and five scraps of paper that count as clues to solving this part of the case.
As for the plot, the teaser for Jenny LeClue really doesn’t have much of one beyond what you can find hidden in various books. She basically breaks-and-enters a house for reasons that I can’t comfortably explain and starts rummaging through the inhabitants’ belongings in the study. After nearly getting caught, she finds a flashlight to help her see around the place without being found.
Despite the lack of plot there’s plenty in the way of puzzles in this slice of Jenny LeClue. And the bookcase is the main focus of this. Remember the five scraps of paper that I mentioned above? It’s a major clue and these can be found hidden in certain books and the locked safe. Do you love jigsaw puzzles? Sure you do! You gotta put this shredded document back together again to be able to get past a secret door. What’s behind it, you may ask? You gotta play the teaser yourself to find out. I’m not giving EVERYTHING away you know.
There are a couple other admittedly minor puzzles in the teaser as well. To get into the house you gotta pick the lock first. Using a paperclip, of course. And the reassembled document? It’s the key to getting behind the bookcase. Decipher that and you’re golden. Most of the rest of the interactible objects are pretty much just decoration although you can find some interesting tidbits in the books that you can actually read.
While it’s still some ways off just this playable slice of Jenny LeClue shows promise. There’s no official release date as of yet but after playing the demo of sorts I can honestly say that I’m glad that I backed this one and that I look forward to when I can play the finished product. While I would have liked a standard point-and-click adventure game at least the controls are simple enough and intuitive to the point that it won’t dampen my experience.
I highly suggest that if you’re a fan of young detective tales you should try out the playable teaser.