Intelligent female protagonist, charming noir vibes, expansive world, full cast voice acting to come and a FREE PLAYABLE TEASER? Why, it’s like this game fell right out of our indie dev dreams. 2018 may well be the year of young detective Jenny LeClue, and Forge Games is ready for her point-and-click-mystery-solving goodness, flashlight in hand.
The playable teaser, The Journal of Professor Zazer, is available to download for free at jennyleclue.com. Showcasing some lock picking, sneaking, casual book browsing and clue gathering, the teaser sets the scene for what looks set to be an enticing game. Alongside all this, a choice-based narrative will see Jenny’s story slowly unfold.
The puzzle in the teaser is straightforward, requiring the player to browse through a bookshelf to find five missing clues – torn pieces of paper which need to be pieced together. The time you take to solve this puzzle is at your leisure, with fun information you can discover that isn’t integral to the story. This includes information on, Arthurton, a fictional town which is an expansive, world to explore.
The demo establishes a quirky tone, despite the absence of voice acting. The player peeps through a window accompanied by thunderous weather and a gentle yet eerie soundtrack; Jenny is unwelcome in this place, but any explanation is buried in the coming chapters, keeping the story ambiguous until release. The teaser shifts quite quickly from cutesy to unnerving (in a “did you just see that?” kind of way), but Jenny’s confident narrative and the game’s humour prevents too much unease.
The developers had this to say about Jenny’s character: ““I’m hoping that people – of all ages and genders – can appreciate and celebrate the idea that interesting, intelligent and engaging protagonists can and should be portrayed by females as much as males. Interesting, intelligent and engaging characters are not gender specific. It’s about the story. The layers of the individual. There have been some great female protagonists as of late in books, games, TV, and film. I think Jenny LeClue is a great addition and helps to better balance representation in the games industry.”
Those who love the teaser may be in for a wait, however. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the game will be coming to mobile, Steam and PS4. The PC demo has been available since 2015, but recent media murmurings suggest that development of Episode One (of the soon-to-be-triple act) should be wrapping up this year, so get ready to grab your magnifying glass and keep a close watch for any release date announcements.
Until any more clues surface regarding the games release though, you can add some mystery to your inbox by subscribing to monthly updates from the small development team, giving you an insight into the processes behind Jenny such as animation and character design.