Spot 19 takes us to Germany for case 24, “The Captive Curse.”
In this case, Nancy travels to Castle Finster because its residents and community are being tormented by a legendary centuries-year-old monster. It usually doesn’t show up very often. To this point, the monster’s only victims have been young women wearing a gemstone necklace.
Since it’s back, Nancy’s been called in by the castle owner to investigate. From the start, it’s easy to tell that this will be a moderately creepy game. For instance, it has one of the best, if not the best, opening scenes if a game in the series.
Anyway, we’re first introduced to Lukas, the mischievous kid of the castle. His father is the head of security, so he has some 411 about the whole spying situation.
His aunt, Anja, is the castellan, or the one in charge of castle guests. She’s firm, loud, and pretty annoying. Something’s definitely up with her.
Then we meet Karl, the bürgermeister (mayor of the castle community). He’s quirky and funny, but always on edge. Apparently, according to him, he’s cursed because he once met his dopplegänger. He also loves games, and created his own board game, em which is surprisingly fun!
The fourth character is Renate. She’s a storyteller who travels around to different areas of the world telling her tales. She’s kind of creepy and reminds me of a dead aunt who loves to eat. She’s definitely hiding something.
So, after we meet all the characters, it’s certain that someone, maybe not even them, but someone is dressing up as this monster and terrorizing everybody. It’s our job as Nancy to figure out who it is.
It’s basically a classic Nancy Drew game in a fun modern setting, and it works pretty well. The monster scenes are fun, all of the characters have something to bring to the table, the puzzles are pretty nice, and the feel of it all with the pacing is great.
So, why only spot 19? Well, parts of this game work really well, and others don’t work at all.
The ending, to me, is so crazy and weird, I basically had to cheat to figure out what to do. Also, a lot of the puzzles are just too hard that it turns the game from fun to boring and tedious really quickly.
Also, there are some pieces of dialogue that last far too long.
This game does have some fun mini games, though. Karl’s character board game is surprisingly fun, and you can play it endlessly on different difficulty levels. There’s also a board game you get to play with Lukas with a bunch of cows. You kill some cows and have to figure out which cows are actually monsters in disguise before all of the cows are dead. It’s sounds morbid when I put it like that, but it’s really fun!
There’s also a very weird side-plot involving Ned. It’s kind of hilarious, but I won’t spoil it.
All in all, it’s a great game with a lot of fun twists and turns.
So, there you have it. I think that the middle third of this list is going to keep consisting of games that aren’t bad at all, just not as fun as the final third.
Check back tomorrow for the next spot!