Perhaps you remember when we previously discussed the Kickstarter for Jenny LeClue, an intriguing and stylish Graphic Adventure — claiming to be inspired by Twin Peaks — that promised users with an interactive plot filled to the brim with meta-literary twists! Not only would players help Jenny explore the town of Arthurton — in an attempt clear her mother of grisly murder charges — but they’d also deal with the tale’s fictional author as well: Author K. Finklestein, whom would have his own story-arc as he narrated the tale. Although the game is not out yet — which is fair enough, since the expected release date was planned for December 2016 — the staff over at Mografi released a playable teaser a few months back, and we here at iFanzine recently took this out for a test drive.
The demo opens up with Jenny breaking into a house that she’d normally be allowed in with open arms, but — thanks to the trouble she’s currently facing — is instead forced to slink about. After first picking the house’s lock — which seems built to fit a key with a most curious shape — she successfully makes her way in, only to find a radio listing off a most peculiar set of numbers. She doesn’t get a very good chance to listen to these numbers — however — because almost immediately afterwards the house’s owner went downstairs, forcing her to hide for fear of being caught.
After the owner left, I tried to have Jenny listen to the radio again only to have the author admonish me with a claim that Jenny — due to a fear of being caught — was too smart to turn the radio back on. Ignoring this advice I touched the radio yet again, this time the radio sprang back to life and the author informed us that it was okay — despite Jenny’s poor judgment — as the radio’s battery thankfully died before anyone heard the noise. Although not the most prime example imaginable, this would — of course — be a sampling of Jenny LeClue’s meta-literary interactions that Mografi previously promised us during their Kickstarter.
After deciding to not play with the radio anymore — as the author had thwarted my efforts with dead batteries — I next directed Jenny over to examine the typewriter that the home’s owner had been using, what was so important for him to type up at this particular hour? Turns out that it must have been a note to the cleaning staff, which declared how they were to not to be touching — or moving around — any of the books contained within his study. How odd that someone would be that particular about not having their books moved around, which — as you might have guessed — immediately prompted Jenny to desire an extensive look at this man’s massive collection of dusty tomes.
While some of these books were genuinely readable — and admittedly more than a little unsettling — Jenny quickly discovered that most of these seemed to just be props, wherein gears could be heard grinding when you tugged upon them. Obviously this was a puzzle, and after finding the necessary scraps — tucked away in the few real books available — the key to deciphering this bookcase’s secrets were quickly pieced together. With the proper books pulled — and in the correct order, no less — the bookcase slid back to reveal a room for surveillance, complete with an elevator listing more floors than the house rightly had.
Playing with the computer terminal — which prompted the author to wonder if Jenny would be able to deduce such a complex controller array, despite there really only being one lever and two buttons — she quickly discovered there were cameras all over her town. Before she could spend too much time wondering as to why all of Arthurton was being watched from just this one house, the camera’s feed was quickly overriden to a view of her standing at the computer terminal. It was at this moment that the demo ended, jumping to a trailer for the full project — narrated by Author K. Finklestein: jam enthusiast — which reminded us that the final product would feature full voicing (unlike the demo).
It’s one thing to say that you aim to make an intriguing and stylish Graphic Adventure, but it’s another thing entirely to actually succeed at the lofty goals you’ve set before yourself. I would have to say that Mografi has thus far succeeded massively towards their intents, as I was genuinely unnerved — as well as massively intrigued — during my short time with the demo and Professor Zazer’s enigmatic notes. If anything, the Jenny LeClue Teaser has only served to increase our demand for the final product, which we’ll be sure to cover in full whenever Mografi finally finishes their Graphic Adventure masterpiece.