The Brutal Murder of Jenny Lee

by Daniel Gao

Mystery
2020

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Number of Reviews: 4
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Quest murder mystery with interesting narrative tricks, October 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game is written in Quest, and I engage with Quest games differently from Inform and TADS games.

Quest games tend not to come from the culture of ‘implement everything smoothly’ that other systems have, which is both bad and good. Bad because there’s less immersion, but good because you’re less likely to miss important things.

This game uses a lot of fancy features, like the parser voice and the player being separate entities; different worlds; timed text (used sparingly); and some clever writing tricks.

The style of the gameplay was difficult for me, so I went to the walkthrough and followed it all the way through. Overall, the writing is fairly solid; I don’t think I could do better myself; but it could be improved. I didn’t get a lot of the hints behind the big reveals, and the gradual reveals about the narrator flew over my head. I know that’s on me as a reader, but I wonder if we could improve narrative flow.

I do think the whole key thing is pretty neat, and I’d love to work something like that into a game into the future.

+Polish: For a Quest game, this is pretty smooth.
+Descriptiveness: The writing was creative and interesting.
-Interactivity: I struggled to engage with the game as intended.
-Emotional impact: The big reveals didn't land with me.
+Would I play again? I could see me trying another time.