1921 Paris is a connotatively loaded setting for the Kickstarter funded Jennifer Wilde. Societal disillusionment and post-modernism inspired many artistic expats in Paris. This game, however, draws from that well but distills it into a more light-hearted point-and-click adventure and mystery game. The protagonist, Jennifer Chevalier, is an artist. When her father dies mysteriously, she tries to summon his ghost to discover the truth. However, she instead summons her deceased father’s former and ill-fated lover, Oscar Wilde. She then traverses Western Europe with the author and dramatist in toe to solve the case.
Point, Click, and Solve
Jennifer is an artist and translates the clues she finds as sketches in her sketch book. Along with traditional adventure game puzzles, there is an element of combining sketches to attain new insights in a visually distinctive and satisfactory way. The premise’s mysticism, and focus on puzzle solving reminds me of Phoenix Wright. And the period fiction evokes its spin-off Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken in which the protagonist works with Sherlock Holmes to solve mysteries.
The art style is black and white, ink washed, and hand drawn, reminiscent of the comic-book style the game and its story derive from. There is no shortage of environments either, as the narrative progresses Jennifer and Wilde traverse through Paris, England, and Ireland. This style works in tandem with jazzy and noire overtones to communicate an inviting atmosphere that possess somber intrigue.
Those familiar with Outsider Games’ previous title, Wailing Heights, may miss the predecessor’s color but will recognize the returning artistic and writing talent. Stephen Downey and Maura McHugh were also the original creators of the comic series Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries. Curious? You can try out the demo. Jennifer Wilde surpassed its Kickstarter goal and Outsider Games anticipates that it will release next year.