Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nancy Drew Mobile Mystery: #1 Shadow Ranch

Her Interactive just released the first Nancy Drew Mobile Mystery, Shadow Ranch.  The mystery is an application for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad.  The iPod/iPhone app costs $2.99, and the iPad app costs $9.99.

I purchased the mobile mystery so that I could play it while waiting in line at the book sale.  I had not read any reviews of it, so I was under the impression that it is a mobile version of the Her Interactive game, The Secret of Shadow Ranch.  The mobile mystery is not at all like the game.  It is completely different.

The mobile mystery is primarily a book.  The book has activities consisting of a word scramble kind of like Scrabble at the end of each chapter.  By playing the activities, the reader can unlock one bonus mystery per chapter, which is a short story that contains a mystery for the reader to solve along with Nancy.

Aside from the bonus mysteries, the mobile mystery contains eight chapters.  Several of the chapters have their own mysteries.  The text is written well and is very engaging.  Scattered words can be clicked, making sounds such as a galloping horse or thunder.  This adds to the atmosphere of the story.

During at least one point in each chapter, the reader must make a decision on how Nancy should react to a certain situation.  In some cases, both reactions work out fine.  In other cases, one reaction leads to disaster, and the reader must go back and try again.

The game aspect of the mobile mystery is very easy to manipulate.  It is not nearly as difficult as the regular Nancy Drew PC games.  I have read a few reviews of the mobile mystery from members on Her Interactive's site.  What I noticed as that some devotees of the games were disappointed because the mobile mystery was very different from the games.  Other people were very favorably impressed because they love to read.  Follow this link to read a detailed review that explains exactly what the mobile mystery is like.

I loved reading and playing the mobile mystery.  The story is loosely based on the revised text version of The Secret of Shadow Ranch with Frances Humber, Dirk Valentine, and his treasure.  However, the story is also very different.  It is like a second version of the revised text Shadow Ranch.

I highly recommend the mobile mystery to people who enjoy the Nancy Drew books.  I think most all readers of the Nancy Drew books would greatly enjoy this story.


Jenn said...

I liked the new story too, so it was enjoyable. I think I like the combination of a book and game almost better than the regular games since I'm more of a reader than a gamer.


Jennifer said...

The regular games can be very frustrating at times. I enjoy them, but I use spoilers each time I encounter a puzzle that I do not wish to solve. Sometimes the puzzles are very hard even with the spoilers.

The mobile mystery was quite pleasant and not hard like the games.

Mike G said...

I Just finished Shadow Ranch,and I was pleasantly surprised and entertained. I had only played one of the Nancy Drew computer games in the past and it kind of wore me down. I, like Jenn, am much more of a reader than gamer, and enjoyed the text component of the mobile mystery. It was nice that there was similarities with revised Shadow Ranch, but stood alone quite nicely.