Rank 4: ‘Danger on Deception Island’

This game has jumped around a lot on this Nancy Drew game ranking list. It’s never left the top ten though, and I think it finally found it’s niche at spot four.

Danger on Deception Island” is one of those games where you know it’s great, but it’s hard to explain it.

Nancy takes a trip to Deception Island (with a name like that, there has to be a mystery there) to visit George’s friend Katie Firestone for a whale watching excursion around Snake Horse Harbor. Sounds fun, right?

Well, once Nancy meets Katie at her boat, they discover that it’s been vandalized! Glass is shattered, the GPS is busted, pipes and books are spewed all over the place, and the engine is in need of major repair. The only clue was a note left behind, which reads “Stop meddling or else!”

Now if that isn’t the quintessential opening to a Nancy Drew game, I don’t know what is. You have what starts out as a “vacation” in a mysterious place with a problem and warning. I mean come on, it’s perfect.

Poor Katie though, her boat is completely ransacked for no reason. Or is there a reason?stop meddlingYou see, at the town hall meeting last night, Katie heavily voiced her opinions on the orphaned killer whale that showed up in the harbor. She has convinced town hall to let her monitor the orca, meaning that she can get up close to it.

Could there be some resentment in Snake Horse Harbor? Of course there is.

The owner/operator of Whale World, an interactive museum that also offers whale watching tours, isn’t the biggest fan of Katie. He offered to buy her out once, but she declined. He resents the fact that she can bring customers on her boat and go right up to the orca.

The local gossip girl and Hot Kettle Cafe owner, Jenna Deblin, pretty much hates Katie, especially after that town meeting. Jenna thinks that the whale should be released back into the ocean where it belongs.

Fisherman and current town harbormaster candidate, Holt Scotto, isn’t a fan of Katie either. He’s a no nonsense kind of guy, and he believes that the whale is preventing fisherman from doing their jobs. He’s very influential, and quite scary to be honest.

Well, we have all of these people that don’t like poor marine biologist Katie. Any one of them could’ve easily trashed her boat.

Or, it could’ve been Katie herself. Maybe she’s playing out the whole thing in order to get sympathy and distract people from something. Who knows? It’s up to us to find out.

Now, this is a really fun game, but it takes a little bit to get the ball rolling. First, we have some chores, like fixing the sink and putting books back together. But after that, we get to gossip, go kayaking, and explore.

While trying to figure out what happened with Katie’s boat, we soon get wrapped up with the local crazy lady, Hilda Swenson. She’s been isolated since her husband died (I think he was the mayor or something like that). But she’s left behind a bunch of cryptic messages because she believes that fowl play is taking place at Snake Horse Harbor.

We’re soon on the way to taking to her a figuring out what she really knows.

It all sounds kind of convoluted, and at times it is. But most of the game flows pretty easily. I can’t go that much into detail without giving away parts of the plot since it’s all inter-connected.

whae world
There are basically three plot-lines, though. We have Katie’s boat, the whale, and shadiness going on around Snake Horse Harbor.  It can get a bit confusing as so much happens in this game, but it’s all worth it.

There’s also some fun to be had identifying a piece of driftwood, which leads to a lot of discoveries

I can say that the setting for “Danger on Deception Island” is outstanding. The fog makes it feel so eerie, and the water, waves, and dreariness is an accurate description of the Pacific Northwest, so I’ve heard.

hot kettle
There are some really fun puzzles, like operating the lighthouse, navigating through secret tunnels, and cracking the code to Hilda’s messages.

The Hot Kettle Cafe is a fun location, as is Whale World and the lighthouse. The game even offers some optional fun, like building sand castles.

We also learn about the local sea monster, “Caddy,” which is nod the “Nessie,” the Loch Ness Monster.

Now, the game is fun, while sometimes confusing, but the ending sequence makes it completely worth it. From the start of it until the conclusion, it’s a tense whirlwind. It’s one of the best endings in the series, and that alone brought “Danger on Deception Island” into the top ten.

So, that’s all I’m going to say about the game. It’s great, and I like it.

Honesty though, I probably like spots five and six better than this game. But I think the ending sequence basically bumped this game up.

That’s it. Only three games left! I can’t believe it.

Oh, and remember…

“Whales rule!”



  1. It’s getting closer to number one! Yay! I have to say though, I love all your picks so far. I definitely enjoy the older games more as well. I’m not sure what it is about them that the new ones lack.. Maybe it’s how in depth the story went and it also touched down on Nancy’s life more? I don’t know. All I know for sure is that I miss the quality of the older games, especially the letters at the beginning and end of each one. Good thing I’m not the only Nancy Drew fanatic out there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Making an account for this site is by far easier than putting my name in over and over again! Anyways, I had another thought about your countdown ranking. Once they release a new Nancy Drew game (at this point I don’t think they ever will – why, HerInteractive, why?!) are you going to add in the new game to your list or just leave it as is?

    Liked by 1 person

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

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