The Brutal Murder of Jenny Lee

by Daniel Gao

Mystery
2020

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Number of Reviews: 4
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting ideas but I needed more, December 6, 2020
by brwarner (Vancouver, BC)

Another one of the only parser gameís Iíve now played in my life, BMoJL is a short murder mystery where you play as an (Spoiler - click to show)AI detective guided by a mysterious, omnipresent narrator to solve the case.

I really enjoyed the narratorís interjections that arise as youíre investigating the rooms. It gives the game a sense of time and investment. Jenny Lee is nothing to me after all, but thereís someone accompanying me who cares (for reasons yet unknown). It made things feel more weighty, like the objects I am handling are not merely clues, but important objects in a now deceased girlís life.

The game begins with a date puzzle which kind of interested me. I hoped that future rooms and acts would involve more detecting, but unfortunately itís predominately ďlook at XĒ for each object in the room and when you see Important Object Y youíre wisked off to the next location.

The solution, too, is just a matter of (Spoiler - click to show)looking at the key object that contains the solution. Itís a real shame too because I actually figured out (Spoiler - click to show)that the saxaphone with the missing keys were smuggled treasures and was waiting for the opportunity to use that knowledge to prove to the game I had solved something, but no such opportunity arrived.

Iím not well versed in Chinese history, but the Cultural Revolution plays a key role in this game which I thought was interesting. I wish this was developed more deeply because it was the part of the game I grabbed onto the most. Thereís also a few other interesting things going on with the narrator and the real killer I wonít get into due to spoilers, but I also wished there was a bit more exploration of them. I also didnít really understand (Spoiler - click to show)how an AI detective running on a... game console? could discover new physical evidence in a simulation world...

Honestly the twist around who you doesnít add much to the story. I think it kind of takes away from it? (Spoiler - click to show)You have a motivation to escape the digital prison but the story is supposed to be about Jenny Lee and her relationship to Henry and her Dad.

Overall I liked a lot of the forces at play in this story I just felt it was underdeveloped. Game could have been longer and more in-depth and I would still be playing it!