October 2, 2013 7:45 PM | Paul Hack
Brendan Patrick Hennessy (King of Bees in Fantasy Land) delivers another insightful, hilarious piece of interactive prose with Bell Park, Youth Detective, his entry to the 2013 IF Comp. Bell Park is tough, smart, and 12 years old. She's a "millennial" and an old-fashioned kid detective. But with her latest case, she may be getting in over her head.
Bell just happens to be downstairs at the Downtown Toronto Reference Library during an internet tech conference, when she's approached by the event's organizer to discreetly investigate a murder upstairs. I don't think Cam Jansen or Encyclopedia Brown ever handled a murder investigation, but Bell Park finds herself interviewing the 4 suspects.
The characters are well-drawn and speak with distinct voices, but each one is a piece of fairly brilliant satire. The suspects, in particular, are archetypes--or stereotypes--of the 21st century: the crafty female hacker, the social media CEO, the futurist intellectual, the surfer dude. Despite the peculiar situation, everyone is pretty believable in their behavior and how they react to young Bell.
This is a Twine game, so you don't have to type anything; you just click on your choices. You can play Bell Park, Youth Detective in your browser.