Rank 12: ‘Ghost of Thornton Hall’

Here’s where I’m going to get most of my disagreements on here.

Case 28, “Ghost of Thornton Hall,” takes spot 12 on my ranking list. It’s a critically praised game that seems to be one of the absolute fan favorites, if not close to THE favorite Nancy Drew game ever.

I like the game, a lot actually, but my personal opinion is preventing me from ranking it any higher than number 12. Call it nostalgia or me just being a hipster (which I’m definitely not. I’m just as obsessed with Pokémon Go as everyone else), but I love the  older games way better than this one.

The plot goes like this: A bride-to-be, Jessalyn Thornton, and her friend went on a spooky scavenger hunt around Blackrock Island in Georgia, which is home to the Thornton family’s estate. All was well until Jessalyn suddenly went missing.

So, her mother Clara, fiancé Colton, and uncle (or cousin?) Wade are on the island searching for Jessalyn along with every member of the family’s staff. The Thorntons have a family business that has been passed down for decades. Although, they never say what they actually do.

They’ve had a shady past, the Thorntons. So many members of the family died before their time, some tragically. That’s where the “ghost” of “Ghost of Thornton Hall” comes in.

The family ghost, Charlotte (Clara’s sister/Jessalyn’s aunt) haunts Blackrock Island since her death in a fire. We see a bunch of “scary” images/scenes of her, some are well done, some happen too frequently. She’s not too bad though, but I never understand how she can kill you on so many different instances.

There’s also a lunatic in the family (Sound familiar? We all have them.). Her name is Harper, Clara’s other sister. She went crazy after Charlotte died, and she’s back on the plantation (though nobody but Nancy knows she is)! She’s easily the best character, since the others are so touchy, annoying, and fly off the handle every tie you try to talk to them. Harper is whacky, funny, and just plain awesome. She’s tells it like it is.

So, the purpose of this game is to find Jessalyn, yet it seems like we’re really trying to solve just how Charlotte died. It’s not really a split plot game, as both are eventually resolved. The two plot aspects work their ways into the game well.

The puzzles are alright in this gone, some of them are tedious and just thrown in, in my opinion. Others are kind of fun.

Locations keep revealing themselves as the game goes on; that’s nice. The overall game is designed pretty well, except for the fact that this is supposed to one of the scariest games in the series; I don’t see it. The setting, while foggy, doesn’t scream “scary” to me at all.

The game as a whole is great, but it’s not scary. It’s a toss up between being boring and being sad. The music is hilarious if you ask me. It’s not scary, it’s mediocre.

If you’ve read my past post regarding “Ghost of Thornton Hall,” you’ll know that I hated this game the first time I played it. I didn’t understand what the hype was all about. After my second play through, I liked it. Just liked it, not loved. I originally had the game ranked lower than this.

My favorite part of the game is actually the phone segments between Nancy and Savannah Woodham, who helped us out in “Shadow at the Water’s Edge.” The story about now she became a ghost hunter/paranormal person made the game for me. It was a chillingly excellent testimony.

charlotte gif
So, “Ghost of Thornton Hall?” It’s a good game. Just not my thing. I like some of the games on lower spots way better than I like this game, but since it is a good game, I couldn’t justifiably rank it lower. There are some really good things about this game, I’m just not going into that much detail in case I give something away.

It just edged out “The Deadly Device” on this list because of this game’s alternate endings. I thought that was a really nice touch.

The biggest reason why this game isn’t in the top 10 is the availability of in-game “hints,” just like in “The Deadly Device.” I think it’s just a cheap way for more people to say that they’ve completed a game.

Come back tomorrow to see which game takes spot 11!



  1. Pingback: Rank 10: ‘Shadow at the Water’s Edge’ | The Senior Detective Blog

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

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