I’m just loving these indie games that are coming out and I love that they’re coming out on the Switch even more. Week four of Indie September features Jenny LeClue – Detectivu. This game was put on my radar a few years ago by my dear friend Daniel. Back then it was still in its development stages and had no release date in sight.
Jenny LeClue has been out elsewhere for sometime, but I insisted on waiting for the Switch release of the game before I bought it. I’ve managed to resist the temptation to read the reviews of others… Why? Because the Switch is the best way to game – don’t @ me.
Jenny LeClue has a curious premise – it’s a multilayered, 2D puzzle-adventure. On the one hand, it’s about young Jenny LeClue, the best detective in the world, and on the other it’s also about her creator, the author Arthur Finkleton (who also narrates the story). Meta? Absolutely.
The two layers are interrelated. As you play as Jenny, you are occasionally faced with choices. At first I didn’t believe that my actions had any effect on what happens in the world – but upon deeper reflection (AKA a small replay), that is exactly what happened. The things that you make Jenny do seem to effect Finkleton, and I assume that the converse might be true too.
The game has a cute 2D artstyle yet with such vivid, incredible colours at certain points, I was genuinely in awe. The world of Jenny LeClue is well-crafted and you can tell that it was made with lots of love. And the level of detail within the gameplay – if you make Jenny run for too long, she will visibly slow down and when you stop moving, she will be bent over, panting.
My detective senses are tingling!
I wish that the pacing was just a tad bit faster than it is. This isn’t the kind of game that you would be able to speedrun – I believe it is on purpose, but I’m occasionally an impatient girl gamer and would love nothing more but to speed things along and get to the good parts of a video game. That isn’t possible in Jenny LeClue: Detectivu. You have to follow along with the narration of Finkleton, and the conversations between the characters. Your movements are limited by the stamina coded into our heroine, Jenny. If you’re one with a short attention span, you might have difficulty following along.
Another thing that irked me was the occasional spot in the game where the means of progress wasn’t obvious in the slightest. I know, I know, it’s a mystery puzzle-adventure game and part of the “puzzle” might be figuring out how to move forwards, but that’s besides the point. This issue I have isn’t with the puzzles of the game (it has nothing on Layton), it is with the lag between one scene to the next because the way forward isn’t clear. This occurred both while playing as Jenny, and during certain Finkleton scenes, too. Maybe its a bug that hasn’t been fixed before being ported onto the Switch, maybe not – I’ll never know.
Dead bodies, don’t tell.
It is a simple game, but a fun game nonetheless. The double-layeredness of this game is something that I adore. I love the general mood and feel of the game – the artstyle and the storytelling. But like most games, Jenny Leclue: Detectivu isn’t perfect.
With the slow pacing caused by Jenny’s movements, to the absolute head-scratching moments in the game where I just can’t seem to figure out how the heck to get to the next scene – this game isn’t perfect. But, despite all of that, I still highly enjoyed most of every minute that I did spend playing it.
And with that…
Blaise gib dis game…
FOUR STAR-SHAPED GLASSES!
I bought this game on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99 (RP: $24.99) thanks to the support of my Patron, Dylan. The game is available now on Nintendo Switch, Steam (PC/Mac), PlayStation 4 and iOS (via Apple Arcade). Screenshots are all mine tqvm 🙂
Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook where I’ll let you know when new posts come up. I also make zero money on this site so if you enjoy my content and would like to support my one-woman show, do consider joining my Bit Crew on Patreon! Some links on this piece are affiliate links, which give me a small commission per sale at no extra cost to you.