Monday, November 12, 2012

Nancy Drew Game: The Deadly Device

I never did a writeup of Tomb of the Lost Queen, mainly because I didn't have much to say about it.  I enjoyed it, but not as much as the earlier games.  This has been a trend with recent games.  Shadow at the Water's Edge is the exception; it is one of the very best games Her Interactive has ever produced.

I just finished playing The Deadly Device.  I have to give Her Interactive kudos for coming up with different game ideas that keep the franchise going.  Each of the recent games has been very different from earlier games.  This is good, but unfortunately, I did not enjoy most of the recent games as much as the earlier games.

Gone are the annoying chores, but some chores are fun.  I hated the mundane chores that made no sense in The Secret of Shadow Ranch, but I have missed other types of chores that are important to each game.  For instance, many of the earlier games require Nancy to find certain items in order to earn money to buy necessary supplies.  In one game, Nancy has to find shells.  Those types of chores serve a real purpose, and the search for hidden objects is fun.

The recent games have had very little searching for hidden objects.  The Deadly Device does have two instances of hidden objects, but the objects are placed in such a way that they are extremely easy to find.  Only one of the two searches is vital to the game, and that one is the one that is too easy.  In that case, every single one of the objects is in plain sight all in one small room.  What is the fun in that?

The culprit is extremely obvious in The Deadly Device.  The culprit is not obvious at the very beginning, but some statements are made which clue the player in very quickly as to the culprit's identity.  By three-fourths of the way through the game, I was 100% certain, and usually, Her Interactive keeps me guessing until the final reveal.  Not this time.

Both Tomb of the Lost Queen and The Deadly Device use the plot device of Nancy getting stranded, yet it has no effect on either game whatsoever.  What is the point of having Nancy stranded when it has no effect on the game play?  I recall an early game in which a blizzard occurs.  In that game, Nancy is able to go outside until the blizzard begins, and then she is confined to the indoors.

In Tomb of the Lost Queen, a sandstorm hits.  We do hear the sandstorm, but it occurs at a stage in which Nancy is finishing up the mystery.  The sandstorm serves no purpose.

Around halfway through The Deadly Device, we learn that Nancy is stranded due to a snowstorm.  Nancy never goes outside during this game, so what is the point?  The storm is hidden from view completely and has no impact on the game play.

In conclusion, I continue to enjoy the Nancy Drew games but not as much as the earlier ones.  Her Interactive has now released 27 games since 1997.  I looked over the list, and the games changed at around #22.  I have not enjoyed #22-27 in the same way as the earlier games, with the exception of #23 Shadow at the Water's Edge, which is absolutely outstanding.

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