Bell Park, Youth Detective is an interactive fiction game created by Brendan Patrick Hennessy. The game follows a 12 year old teen detective Bell Park as she solves her biggest case yet, a murder at a high end tech conference.
Bell Park is at the Toronto Reference Library, where she meets Mr. Kelbourne, the organizer of an up and coming tech conference called cyberNExT. Kelbourne is faced with a sudden problem along the organizing of the conference and needs the help of Bell in order to mitigate any disruption to the conference. A murder has just occurred, and Kelbourne needs to keep it low, fearing that it will detract visitors and turn cyberNExT into a complete disaster. He enlists Bell to solve the case for him.
The victim is Paige McKinley who was going to speak at the conference about the dangers of technology and the internet. Nobody in the library has entered or left since the time of the murder, so Bell sets out to meet the potential suspects.
First is Miles Carnarvon an intellectual who embraces many ideas of future technology and software. He speaks to Bell about the possibilities of future technology as well as his knowledge of Paige McKinley. He claims to have no knowledge of Paige McKinley's murder, and Bell moves on.
-bitmap-zer0-, a white hat hacker who doesn't seem to be awfully bothered by the murder.
-bitmap-zer0- is investigating the computer network of the library, which is acting strangely.
After that Bell interviews Chet, an anxious surfer at the conference speaking about surfing and the internet. He is unaccustomed to the city environment, finding everything stressful and anxiety inducing, and has a breakdown, after finding out about the murder.
Lastly, is Argent Sunflower. Bell feels that none of the other suspects committed the murder, and infers that it must be Argent. She accuses an already irritated Argent, and who is frustrated with her behaviour, and exits the conference room to speak to Kelbourne about calling the police. Attendees are now arriving, and Bell has to make her accusation before it begins. The accusation goes wrong, as nobody seems suitably guilty of the crime, and Kelbourne gives up and decides to go and call the cops.
Miles Carnarvon then begins to act strangely, being protective of the room and its wiring network. Carnarvon reveals that there is a "living being" inside the library's computer network. The sentience caused each of the presenter's data being uploaded to it. Carnarvon declares that he must protect it, and that the network simply killed Paige believing that her opinions were a threat against its existence. As Carnarvon defends the network, cables begin to latch onto him, which begin to attempt to choke and kill him.
-bitmap-zer0- hacks into the server network to stop the machine. The rampant network is destroyed, and an unconscious Carnarvon is freed as the presenters prepare to call emergency services.
- Bell Park: Bell is a 12 year old detective. Although experienced in solving cases before, she has never participated in something as high calibre as a murder. As a youth, Bella is still a little naïve towards certain concepts, despite her detectiving skillset.
- Mr. Kelbourne: The organizer of cyberNExT. He fears that the event of the murder will scare conference attendees away and hires Bell to keep it low. He seems to put the stake of the conference first rather than anything else.
- Paige McKinley: The murder victim. McKinley was an author who was vehemently against the usage and spread of the internet.
- Miles Carnarvon: A "futuristic thinker" and intellectual. He is a staunch supporter of technology and embraces many ideas around the future of the internet and tech. He's very verbose and uses complicated diction. Although not directly responsible for Paige's murder, he does little to tell anyone about it, and desperately attempts to protect the murderer, a rampant computer network.
- Argent Sunflower: Argent is a "Silicon Valley" guy. He's the creator of frthr a social network that is supposedly about to become the next big thing. Throughout the story he seems irritated, attempting to get his slideshow presentation to load, and then getting accused for murder by Bell.
-bitmap-zer0-: A "white hat" hacker speaking at the conference. She is extremely familiar with technology and hacking, seeming to having it practically be a huge part of her life. She spends a lot of the conference investigating the library's computer network.
- Chet Bader Ginsburg: A surfer who is speaking at the conference about the relationship between surfing and the internet. He is extremely anxious, unaccustomed to the stressful environment of the urban city.
Youth Detective follows a general plot that doesn't deviate very far, although the player still has the ability to make choices such as which dialogue to follow. The game has an undo button to allow the player to go back and redo a choice.
The game itself is all text, written in a second person prose style, unlike Birdland and Known Unknowns which utilize a script style to write its dialogue. It also lacks images, whereas Birdland and Known Unknowns feature character portraits.
Youth Detective was created in 2013 for the Interactive Fiction Competition. It was updated with new formatting and minor text changes in 2015.
- The story takes place at the Toronto Reference Library, an actual existing public library in Toronto, Ontario.