Choosing a game in this spot has been really hard. Not only are all 11 remaining games pretty excellent, but depending on subjective-ness and random factors, any one of these games could be very close to the top.
So, here we go, just being edged out of the top 10 is…..”Warnings at Waverly Academy.”
This game, which for some reason I relate closely to “Ransom of the Seven Ships,” was one of my Christmas presents a long time ago. I loved it then, and I love it now. Something about it is just so replay-able because it’s mindless fun.
Perhaps the reason that it’s “mindless fun” is why it’s ranked down to spot 11 (I originally had this pegged at spot 2, so that shows how hard and random ranking all 32 games is.).
Nancy is called in by the headmistress of the high-society Waverly Academy, an all-girls boarding school in New York that has a reputation of cultural and academic excellence. An unknown culprit, known only as the “Black Cat,” has been leaving behind notes with a paw print, thus “cursing” the valedictorian candidates.
Nancy has to infiltrate the school to figure out who is behind it all. It’s pretty obvious from the get-go that one of the valedictorian candidates is behind it all since they’re the only students getting threats. One girl was sent home after being poisoned by one of her allergens; another was sent home after being locked in a closet all night with a fear of claustrophobia.
Pretty intense plot, right? Well, it gets better. Every candidate left is such a stand-out character.
Your roommate, Corrine, is a lonely, super-smart geek who talks too much and overwhelms everyone. Izzy is the student body president and queen of popularity and gossip. Mel is the resident goth girl who sits in her room playing the cello.
Leela, Izzy’s roommate, is the jock (she gets on my nerves). Rachel is the one nobody likes, besides Corrine, as she freaks everyone out because she never acts the same around people. There’s also Megan, who was the one with the allergic reaction. She’s a phone contact because she’s still in the running.
Add them plus Paige, the uber-annoying resident assistant that looms over the hall while plaguing you with demerits. Rachel and Leela are kind of annoying too, but the rest are awesome for their addition to the game.
So, Nancy has to keep up with all of these characters to figure out which one is the “Black Cat.” It kind of becomes obvious nearing the end, but there’s also a plot twist that NOBODY saw coming.
When I mentioned earlier that this game was mindless fun, I was meaning that most of the game unfolds while you’re on missions (mostly for Rachel) and everyone else. It gets kind of old running around doing errands, but that’s basically how the whole game plays out. It doesn’t take much fun out of it.
“Warnings at Waverly Academy” is definitely a character-based game, but some of the puzzles are really well done.
So, why am I putting this game just out of the top 10? I really don’t know. It’s a fantastic game, without a doubt, and the random twists and turns are seamlessly great. However, the rest of the games hold a bigger place on my shelf, apparently.
Nothing about this game is really flawed, other than the fact that, at times, it’s hard to figure out what to do next. Like I said, it’s very character-driven, so talking to everybody again helps (and really, it’s not that hard to figure out what’s next).
The setting of the school and its grounds are well done, too. It’s all high-class, as its centuries old and promises its valedictorian a free-ride to a college of her choice (the incentive to get rid of the competition).
One thing that’s probably making me rank this lower is the nostalgia from most of the other games. Something is just more magical about the older games; you just can’t beat the classics.
That and Rachel’s dumb chores.
Tune in tomorrow to see which title takes the first spot in my top 10!