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Jenny LeClue: Detectivú

TL;DR, perfectly serviceable puzzle adventure that ends on too much of a sequel hook/cliffhanger.

Jenny LeClue: Detectivú is a 2019 puzzle adventure where you play as the titular Jenny, the protagonist of a long running children's book series that is due for a more grown up makeover with real mysteries like murder.

The premise of being a character in a book being written and getting to see the author's thoughts on things is great and makes for a setting where everything can happen and could be interesting in a meta-narrative sort of way. It could be an interesting depiction of how characters grow and change in ways that the author didn't plan. It could be a cool way of changing story events later to make a more interesting story as it progresses.

That's a lot of "coulds", shame they didn't do any of that.

that's not to say that the result is bad. It's a perfectly fine game, I enjoyed the visual design and the overall tone, the voice acting is good(and fully added mid 2020 so if you played it before that it might be time for a revisit) and I liked the characters.

The potential for more exploration of the writing process and meta-narratives is a shame but really doesn't detract from the game, it's just something I'd like to see explored more.

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What does bring down the whole experience for me is the ending or lack thereof. Without going into specifics, you find the murderer but the massive conspiracy you've like 50% uncovered in the process is kept for a sequel. So I don't know if they struck the wrong balance in trying to finish this game while leaving room for the sequel or if they just ran out of time but it is a shame to end the game on such a low note. I even googled the ending to see if there were maybe more than one(there are) and I had just picked one that ended abruptly. For a game that literally invokes a denouement it feels very sloppy to end so unsatisfyingly.

And I am now curious if there are games I've missed that explore the meta of writing and art more. So any recommendations in that regard would be much appreciated.


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