Everyone loves a good murder mystery, right? Well, Jenny LeClue – Detectivu offers a doozy, with developer Mografi’s tale of murder, intrigue, and deceit sending players on a wild romp through the supposedly peaceful town of Arthurton. Following a successful stint on PC and Apple Arcade, it has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch – believe me, Switch owners, you won’t want to miss out on this one…
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu tells the story of two people: the titular detective Jenny LeClue and Arthur K. Finkelstein, her creator. See, Jenny LeClue is actually the heroine of a series of books written by Arthur, which have found success despite being quite light-hearted and innocent in tone. It seems that the book-buying public don’t want that type of mystery anymore though and Arthur is told he has to ramp up the mystery, the intrigue, and, of course, the murders in his latest effort, much to his disdain. With the pressure on, he writes his latest novel with Jenny LeClue having to investigate the murder of the University Dean, with her own mother being the one accused of the murder. Gasp! Shock! Horror! Thus, the story is told through both Jenny’s eyes and those of Arthur, with both often butting heads as to how the story should play out…
Seeing the story of both characters unfold and witnessing how they actually affect each other is utterly compelling, especially since both Jenny and Arthur can feel like polar opposites that are still entirely connected. They even get to engage in discussions with each other (which are mostly disagreements) from time to time, which just adds to the charm of each character and the conflictive relationship that they share – Arthur is an author who is stuck in his somewhat tired and stubborn ways, whilst Jenny is desperate for more excitement.
Seeing how they work together to change this (and how they both misinterpret these actions in-game) just makes it so much easier to immerse yourself into both characters. I don’t want to delve into too many details here to avoid spoiling the tale, but there’s so much more going on than just a ‘murder mystery’ and you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for both leads and hoping they find a way for things to work out.
In a similar vein to titles such as Life is Strange or any of the Telltale Games releases, you’ll also make narrative choices throughout the mystery that can change how scenes actually play out. A lot of these choices won’t necessarily affect the overall narrative, but they will certainly see Jenny’s relationship change with the characters around her. Sometimes, she might have to a bit shady to get what she wants, whereas other times you might be a bit nicer. There are other times where your choices even break the fourth-wall a little, with these making for some really special moments in-game… I’ll leave those for the player to uncover, though. Thanks to the brilliant writing and the fantastic range of personalities of the supporting cast, all of these interactions and choices always feel intriguing in-game. It turns out that you need more than good deduction and puzzle-solving skills to be a detective – you need to be a people-person too.
Of course, the vast majority of your time will be spent doing detective work, with Jenny able to explore the incredibly well-presented 2D environments freely. Each location looks fantastic in-game and there are plenty to uncover, so you’ll *always* find yourself examining something new as you look to unravel more clues behind the Dean’s murder. You’ll find those clues by examining different points of interest, whether that’s an item in your surroundings, a small crime scene that needs a closer look, or a character you need to interrogate. It’s easy to find yourself completely immersed in the experience during these segments, especially since they’re so well presented and put your detective skills to the test.
There’s also an old-school point and click adventure vibe to Jenny LeClue – Detectivu, with players expected to collect items and use them in the environment in a variety of ways to gather more evidence. There’s just plenty of variety on offer across the entirety of the game and it’s brilliant to feel like a bona fide detective as you make each deduction that progresses the case further.
One of my favourite things about Jenny LeClue – Detectivu was the sheer variety of puzzles on offer, with plenty of tricky head-scratching enigmas to figure out amongst all of the detective work. A lot of these take on the form of small mini-games that just take a bit of tinkering to figure out, but others will put your logic to the test as you work out the solution. There wasn’t a single puzzle that I encountered that wasn’t fun to solve though and they really complimented the enjoyable deduction-based gameplay found elsewhere in the game.
It should take most players around eight-hours to beat Jenny LeClue – Detectivu, though the ending will leave you itching to see more – especially since it ends a bit more abruptly than I’d have liked. Those who want to get a bit more from the game will be glad to see there are collectibles scattered across the environment to find, which gives a neat incentive to replay the adventure. You can even tackle individual scenes after you’ve cleared them if you prefer, if only to see how the other choices you can make would affect the story.
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu offers both an intriguing mystery to unravel and brilliant crime-solving mechanics… it really makes for one heck of an enjoyable adventure. I was glued to my Nintendo Switch from start to end, with the constant unravelling of clues and solving of puzzles immersing me further into the case.
If you’re a fan of crime-solving mysteries that have a unique and quirky twist, you REALLY won’t want to miss out on Jenny LeClue – Detectivu.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC