Rank #28: ‘Secret of the Old Clock’

Spot 28 goes to game number 12: “Secret of the Old Clock.” This was a random game.

First you arrive at The Lilac Inn because Nancy’s friend Emily Crandall is going through the recent passing of her mother. Emily wants to take over the inn once she turns 18 in a few months, but she seems to be going crazy. At least her current caregiver, Jane, seems to think so.

I forgot to mention the funny, unnecessary opening narrative from an unseen voice from the 1930s. Oh yeah, this game takes place in the 1930s! So, it’s chock full old-timey words like “keen” and “jeepers!” It’s actually pretty fun.

Anyway, you’re trying to figure out what’s making Emily go nuts, when *GASP* her mother’s jewelry suddenly goes missing! Now how will she be able to take over the business?

And boom, the mystery really begins. Or does it?

emily crandall
A little ways past the inn, there’s this old house, horse shed, and mini-golf course. Yes, there’s a bright, fun mini-golf course out in someone’s backyard.

There’s this unsettling, know it all psychic that lives in the house, Richard Topham. Although the house originally belonged to old-man Josiah Crowley (an old man’s name indeed). Josiah had promised the Crandalls a great deal of money once he passed, but his will said otherwise. All of the money and the estate went to Topham.

Suddenly, Nancy is in pursuit of Crowley’s real will. It kind of makes sense, but I feel like the game is split into two mysteries.

nancy clock

While desperately trying to solve both mysteries, over half of the game is spent driving around town doing errands. For everyone. Whether it’s delivering telegrams, running out of gas, or completing an awful fishing challenge, I almost forget the purpose of the whole game.

However, the town and its citizens are about the only entertaining aspects of the game. The people are quirky and have interesting things to say, unlike the rest of the game’s actual characters.

The game eventually unfolds by some miracle, but it still leaves me confused as only one of the mysteries seems to have been solved (or at least only one of the culprits have been punished). I don’t know, it’s just weird.

nancy golf

Shakespeare also plays a big role in this game, as Crowley loved “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It’s weird, but I guess it works.

So why is this game on the lower end of the list? Well, this review has been all over the place, and that’s how the game felt.

Some of the puzzles were just pointless or impossible. There’s an evil sewing puzzle, and the mini golf course is SO hard to play on. It took me forever (And yes, you HAVE to get a certain score for the game to continue properly).

nancy car
This is another game that, to me, lost focus, had pointless puzzles, and bland (SUPER BLAND) characters.

There are a lot of other titles is rather play.

So, there you have it. Check back tomorrow and see which game takes spot 27.

Happy Fourth of July!



  1. Pingback: Complete Ranking List from Worst-to-Best | The Senior Detective Blog

  2. For me the nostalgic touch of it and the old man Josiah’s charm, which is felt much in his heritage (his radio pals, his Clara photograph, and his obsession with Shakespeare are so fun and eccentric – also a bit sad because obviously he never got courage to propose to his crush, and then both of them died), make up for tedious puzzles like playing golf and driving. Doing errands can actually feel fun too because of the comic relief it gives. All in all, this game has this incredible atmosphere of good old provincial romance (add the retro music) which makes it one of my favorites. And it was the only game I could play without cheating at least once as a kid, so personally I wouldn’t call it impossible. But the drawbacks you mentioned really can spoil it for somebody.

    Liked by 1 person

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