Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water's Edge

This post is spoiler-free. I know how important it is to Nancy Drew game enthusiasts that details about the games not be spoiled.

The Nancy Drew game which was released this summer, Trail of the Twister, disappointed me. I found it to be a bit bland. There was not much interesting dialogue with the characters, and about all that happened was that the characters kept giving Nancy chores to do.

The farmhouse setting was boring, and so was the general store. There was nowhere to explore, so the game was lacking.

I live in Oklahoma, and I found some of the characters' accents to be annoying They don't sound like people from around here, at least not in central Oklahoma. I detected what sounded like an accent from the Deep South. Most people in Oklahoma do not have that type of accent. A Texas accent would have been much more appropriate, especially since the game is set in western Oklahoma, rather than in eastern Oklahoma.

It also didn't help that I felt like the characters were portrayed as kind of stupid, so it seemed like another slam at my home state.
I rank Trail of the Twister and Haunted Carousel as my two least favorite Nancy Drew games.

That said, I had high hopes for the newest Nancy Drew game, Shadow at the Water's Edge, which was released this month. Shadow at the Water's Edge is set in Japan at a riokan, which is a traditional Japanese family inn. By the time I was around one-third of the way through the game, I already knew that this game would rank as one of my very favorite games.

The game is very spooky, and Nancy gets to do a lot of exploring. The recent games have lacked the exploring that Nancy does in the early games, and I have really missed that. Nancy gets to interact with four characters in person and with two characters by phone, in addition to Bess and George.

The character interactions are well-done and natural, and the dialogue exchange is extensive and possibly the most of any Nancy Drew game to date. I absolutely loved talking to the characters. This game truly told a story, and I was kept on edge wondering which character was the culprit. It is not obvious like it is in some of the games.

I read reviews of Trail of the Twister after I completed that game. The reviews were lukewarm at best, and people complained about the endless chores. I just read the early reviews of Shadow at the Water's Edge by people who have just finished the game, and quite a few people are referring to it as the very best Nancy Drew game.

Shadow at the Water's Edge is a good game to try if you have never played a Nancy Drew game and wish to try one out. You can always go to Her Interactive's website to get hints, and you can also find a walkthrough online to help you out.

One last note: The game has a glitch that may not affect everyone. Some of us have run into a problem with needing to delete EVP recordings, and the game does not allow the recording to be deleted, even though the player has listened to it. You need to take any available second chance. That was how I was able to overcome my problem and continue with the game. It caused me to have to do a few things over again, but it was better than the alternative of starting the entire game over.

November 4 Update: Her Interactive has now released a patch for the glitch with the EVP recordings. Go here to get the patch.

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