The NANCY DREW phenomena, like the CSI Games phenomena, is one that has grown and developed over time, drawing players in, and providing them with a certain degree of frustration during play followed by a high degree of satisfaction upon completion.  This format allowing for high Player Participation, mentally and physically, is very successful -stimulating, enjoyable, challenging, quirky, informative aka educational, interesting, and entertaining.

The very early games have some clumsiness in the game navigations and controls, but are still worth while playing with good storylines that keep the player involved.  Storyline is really important in these games – it drives them all, is key to not only understanding the game, but in knowing what is required next, what order is needed during play.  And you only have to look at the list of NANCY DREW games available to see just how many storylines (and games) there are.  Of course there is an underlying formula to these tales, but it is not overly apparent, and certainly doesn’t interfere with the game-play – or the enjoyment.

The later games are innovative, usually fun, though sometimes a little ‘dark’, requiring more player skills and mind-power offset by the improvement in navigation tools.  I like the way the games are continuing to move with the times – upgrading technology within the games to match that in the real world.

There is one element that I don’t really like – the changing of the game into a Hidden Object game format, as is the case with NANCY DREW DOSSIER: RESORTING TO DANGER.  This is a spoiled game – the graphics are slick, the HOs are tiny and hard to see as a result, and the Puzzles – I use that term loosely here – cannot be skipped despite requiring quick reflexes and high dexterity to complete them.  All very well for younger players, but the demographic appeal for these games is very broad, so the game play should facilitate this.  I believe the inclusion of a Skip button for the less able would be a really good thing – and if the Developers could add it to a Patch to ALL Nancy Drew games that ALL owners could download for free to add a SKIP action into their games, then they will have made even more fans and potential customers.

 As I am sure you are all aware by now, I really like HO games as well as Adventure games, and these can crossover or merge quite satisfactorily.  But, as with the CSI: NY game in which the format was changed to an HO game, I totally disagree with meddling with the great established format that the NANCY DREW (and CSI) games have.  They are what attracts their huge player following – their customers – and the Developers, Producers and Marketers should be mindful of this.

On the whole, I love the NANCY DREW games and will be gradually reviewing them individually, as I go back over those I own – testing the newer games is a little more difficult as being Large File games most of them don’t have Free Trials to use.  TIP: I can borrow some of them from local Libraries – always a great idea to check them for games to borrow.  You can still buy the ones you want after you’ve tested them.

So watch this site for Nancy Drew Reviews in the near future.

Jud House 27/03/2013

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