Jessika is an interesting take on a FMV mystery game. You play the role of a hacker hired by a firm that specializes in breaking into the files of the recently deceased on behalf of their families in order to retrieve any available information and give the family members some closure.
The game’s hacking mechanic is simply based on searching key words so those who are not computer savvy don’t have to worry about the game being hard to play. It’s more of a simple logic puzzle more than anything else.
By typing in the right keywords, files will show up on the computer. Some files will be locked and require you to search more correct keywords before they become accessible. Most of the files will be video blogs by the eponymous Jessika.
The video blogs are very fragmented and by watching them you will slowly piece together her life’s story and the moments leading up to her passing. As you start to see the bigger picture, you can then guess possible new keywords to search for, unlocking more videos.
There is also a texting app that you use to communicate with co-workers and the family members of the deceased. It’s mostly a method to deliver further narrative and character development and works fairly well as it gives the player a small distraction in between constantly searching for new keywords.
Overall, Jessika is a pretty neat FMV game. The element of mystery certainly piques one’s curiosity. I want to know what happened to Jessika. The voice acting is done fairly well although the English translation feels pretty awkwardly constructed mainly due to the fact that they lip synced the dub to the video. The original German voice acting sounds much more natural.
Performance aside, the game play of trying to piece together what actually happened from reading in between the lines and coming up with new keywords was very enjoyable to me. It did get a bit difficult towards the middle where I didn’t know what phrases to use anymore. FMV games aren’t for everyone but this one does a great job of making it feel more natural.