Rank 18: ‘Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon’

Spot 18 goes to a really lighthearted game: case 13, “Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.”

Frank and Joe Hardy invite Nancy to join them on a semi-star-studded ride aboard a centuries-year-old train, which belonged to Jake Hurley (a random person who was somewhat significant).

nancy-drew-last-train-to-blue-moon-canyon-2
A snobby rich guy’s daughter, Lori Girard, had the train repurposed and back in running condition so that she can find Jake Hurley’s treasure. However, she needs help. So, she rounded up a super team of semi-famous stars:

-Charleena Purcell (who has helped Nancy in the past) because of her knack for research and knowledge of the old west.

-John Grey, a tv star-ghost hunter because Jake Hurley’s wife, Camille, is said to haunt the train.

-Tino Balducci, a famous (yet bumbling) police detective because, well, he’s a detective.

kaboose
Add them plus the Hardy Boys, Nancy, and a cranky conductor, and you have yourself a train full of people in search for some treasure.

So, in the opening sequence, Lori goes missing when the train goes under a tunnel, so the first priority is to find her. Once that’s done, she trusts Nancy with the task of finding the treasure, or at least its location.

The rest of the game, like most of it, just feels like a really fun game. Unlike basically every other title in the Nancy Drew series, “Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon” has no serious or even slightly-serious situation that needs solving or uncovered. There’s nothing dramatic whatsoever about it. Perhaps that’s why it’s below a lot of other ones.

horses
Other than that, it’s actually a really great game. The puzzles are great, not to easy yet not too hard. The characters are all fun and incredibly different from each other. Bess and George are fun phone contacts.

There’s really not much at all to complain about.

Just thought of something. I’m guessing that a lot of the game can feel boring because of the lack of drama. Aside from the treasure, there’s really no reason that we need to find it. There’s no threats, no hauntings, no crime, just fun.

dining car
For that reason, a lot of it just feels bland and without much motivation. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s not like it isn’t true.

That’s about all I can say. The entire game is fun, with a few really challenging puzzles, and it goes by rather nicely.

I do think that it gets more boring after we reach Copper Gorge and the train stops. It’s less movement and just kind of stale. It’s not a terrible place though. The cemetery is kind of creepy, and Buell’s is pretty fun. It has some mini games, but they’re almost entirely based on chance, which takes forever.

nancy-drew-last-train-to-blue-moon-canyon3

Overall, “Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon” is great. Not the best, but really fun.

Check back tomorrow for the next spot!

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3 Comments

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

  2. This has been my favorite for years. Maybe that’s because this was my first Nancy Drew game and I still remember the thrilling sensation of mystery I got when first encountered the series as a kid. But it doesn’t lose its charm for me when being replayed now.
    I feel that it’s full of drama, although this game’s drama has almost nothing to do with an actual life threat for Nancy (except for the ending with its speed and anxiety) – but I subjectively find all these dangerous and threating things that happen to Nancy during her investigations more of a distraction. In this game nothing distracts Nancy from exploring the artifacts of the cosy and at the same time weird life the young Hurley family once led in this old and dusty train. The image of Jake Hurley living there solely being obsessed with his dead wife (and even having her corpse there in the train) still makes me thrilled and impressed (that’s why I believe there IS drama, and a lot of it, in the game). This drama is well expressed by the music, which is also my favorite of all the series.It is tragic and beautiful, expecially in the moment when you complete Jake’s invention and watch the gemstones shine as the map reveals its secret.
    I agree that it becomes somehow more boring when having arrived to Copper-Gorge (because surely the best parts of it are placed in the train, whch is one of the most fascinating locations of the whole series for me). And the games at the Buel’s are certainly extremely tedious and annoying!
    The characters are a lot of fun, and so are phone conversations with Bess and George, which you rightfully noted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This has been my favorite for years. Maybe that’s because this was my first Nancy Drew game and I still remember the thrilling sensation of mystery I got when first encountering the series as a kid. But it doesn’t lose its charm for me when I replay it now.
    I feel that it’s full of drama, although this game’s drama has almost nothing to do with an actual life threat for Nancy (except for the ending with its speed and anxiety) – but I subjectively find all these dangerous and threating things that happen to Nancy during her investigations more of a distraction. In this game nothing distracts Nancy from exploring the artifacts of the cosy and at the same time weird life the young Hurley family once led in this old and dusty train. The image of Jake Hurley living there solely being obsessed with his dead wife (and even having her corpse there in the train) still makes me thrilled and impressed (that’s why I believe there IS drama, and a lot of it, in the game). This drama is well expressed by the music, which is also my favorite of all the series.It is tragic and beautiful, expecially in the moment when you complete Jake’s invention and watch the gemstones shine as the map reveals its secret.
    I agree that it becomes somehow more boring when having arrived to Copper-Gorge (because surely the best parts of it are placed in the train, whch is one of the most fascinating locations of the whole series for me). And the games at the Buel’s are certainly extremely tedious and annoying!
    The characters are a lot of fun, and so are phone conversations with Bess and George, which you rightfully noted.

    Liked by 1 person

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