Spot 21 takes us to New Orleans for game 17: “Legend of the Crystal Skull.”
This is another game that starts out as a “vacation” (yeah, we know how that usually turns out). Nancy and Bess take a trip to New Orleans, and Nancy makes a stop by herself to check in on her boyfriend Ned’s friend, Henry Bolet (sounds very Louisianan). Henry’s last living relative, his uncle Bruno, recently passed away, and he left Henry the estate.
So, when she enters the house, the power goes out, and Nancy suddenly gets knocked out by this person in a skeleton costume. Soon, we learn through his housekeeper Renée that Bruno was the owner of the “Whisperer,” an illustrious crystal skull that is rumored to protect someone from any form of death except murder.
BOOM. We have ourselves a mystery: who killed Bruno (or how did he die), where is the crystal skull (or does it actually exist) and just who was that disguised figure?
If that isn’t enough, the remainder of the game is spent collecting glass eyes. Yes, you heard right: glass eyes. Apparently Bruno Bolet was quite the character, and he had a bunch of funny, colorful glass eyes that are now, for whatever reason, obscurely hidden throughout his home.
Located in a different area, Bess is also a playable character in this game! A lot of gameplay is actually spent as Bess, and it’s a welcome change. Bess gets the funnest puzzles (and, of course, the best food).
I was all excited when I learned that this game takes place in New Orleans, but it could really take place anywhere since 3/4 of the game unfolds in a house or in a graveyard. There is some nice creole flair thrown in every once in a while, especially at the food truck.
The characters in the game are pretty good. Renée is cooky, but she’s nice and funny; Henry is an emotional stick in the mud who is always reluctant to talk; Bruno’s doctor, Dr. Gilbert Buford, is a creepy old man who keeps trying to charm everyone; and Lamont, a shop owner, is pretty funny and has some really cool stuff. They all had a motive to kill Bruno.
Honestly, the first time I played this game, which is the only time I’ve fully completed it, I didn’t quite “get it.” Far too much time is spent lurking around in the cemetery (and who has a cemetery the size of a city in their backyard?).
Some of the puzzles are way too intricate, a lot the time spent searching for the eyes is boring, and it’s all so dark at Bolet Manor, making it actually hard to see at times.
Bess’ gameplay is a breath of fresh air though, and she gets maybe the best cut-scene of the entire Nancy Drew series.
Also, we get to hear from our favorite author, Professor Beatrice Hotchkiss (go team Hotchkiss!).
This game can be really fun, but it’s a really long game. Sometimes it just gets tedious and boring. It’s not the best game, but it’s far from the worst. All in all, “Legend of the Crystal Skull” is a good game.
Check back tomorrow to see spot 20! Boy, this list is flying by!