Lack of Posts Apology/Here’s What’s Coming…

Hello everybody, I’m back!

It’s been a super busy month for me, and I apologize for the long absence of posts.

Since my ranking list posting spree, I have finished up an internship with a fantastic non-profit in Ohio. It’s a wonderful organization that is dedicated to helping those in need and spreading positive ideas. I had a blast working there.

I’m also two weeks into my junior year of college at West Liberty University in West Virginia. I’ve been running around getting used to my classes, and I’ve also stepped into the role of editor in our student-run weekly newspaper publication, The Trumpet! It’s been really fun so far, and it was so rewarding seeing the finished product of our first issue on September 1.

whale

All of that has been going on, and I’ve sadly neglected two of my favorite things, this blog and my readers! Well, I’m back, and I’m getting settled into my weekly routines. So that means its time to kick this blog into overdrive!

I have several ranking lists in mind that I’d like to start within a week, I just haven’t decided which I will choose first. I’m definitely working on a suggestion that some readers gave me, which is a ranking of the characters that I would like to see return in a game! More information will be on the way soon.

I wanted to do a ranking list of the mini games to coincide with the Olympics, but that didn’t quite happen. It’s still in the works though.

millie

I also want to start having conversations and start ideas, like “What would’ve happened if…” scenarios and “What if the culprit had been…” It’s so much fun talking to you guys about the games.

And of course, we can FINALLY discuss “Midnight in Salem!” It seems that Her Interactive is back on track with the production, and I cannot wait to see what it’s like. It’s been far too long since I’ve played a new Nancy Drew game.

I’ll let you guys know as soon as I can (before the end of this week) about what the next ranking list will be!

Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t checked out my complete ranking list of the games, let me know what you think!

tino

Reader Appreciation and Future Ideas

Hi everyone!

I have been thrilled to see the end results of my ranking list of the Nancy Drew games! Since the entire list was posted on Monday, my blog has received over 6,000 views in just two days!

Seeing all of your comments and shares have made me feel so happy. This blog started out with little to no daily viewers, and now my viewership has skyrocketed!

Thank you all for your support and for reading throughout July. I really appreciate the feedback and positivity, especially Her Interactive.

ethel gif.gif

Now, I need your help!

What would you like to see next from The Senior Detective Blog?

I’m happy to do more ranking lists, maybe on characters and villains, mini-games, puzzles, etc, but what else would you like to see? I’d need a little bit of time to create another ranking list, so I need to fill that space with other things.

Heck, I could just write posts about the game that I’m currently playing, or other random but fun stuff. Let me know! I don’t just want to publish filler posts that nobody is interested in.

Regardless, I’ll keep posting about the games and super-sleuth that we all love, Nancy Drew!

I’ve recently started re-playing “The Phantom of Venice,” so I’ll brew up some interesting things to talk about in the meantime. Perhaps my weird infatuation for killing Nancy? Come on, you know you love it too.

tino

Anyway, I’ll see you soon!

Daniel

Complete Ranking List from Worst-to-Best

In case you missed parts of my daily ranking list of the Nancy Drew games, here’s the complete order of the games from “worst” to best.

Click on the hyperlinked title of each game for the reasoning behind its placement (trust me, I’ve provided plenty of information about each game in its post). As I’ve said again and again, none of these games are completely “bad.”

32. “Labyrinth of Lies”
31. “Secrets Can Kill”
30. “Tomb of the Lost Queen”
29. “The White Wolf of Icicle Creek”
28. “Secret of the Old Clock”
27. “The Creature of Kapu Cave”
26. “The Shattered Medallion”
25. “Trail of the Twister”
24. “Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake”
23. “Message in a Haunted Mansion”
22. “Danger by Design”
21. “Legend of the Crystal Skull”
20. “The Silent Spy”
19. “The Captive Curse”
18. “Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon”
17. “Sea of Darkness”
16. “The Haunting of Castle Malloy”
15. “Ransom of the Seven Ships”
14. “Secret of the Scarlet Hand”
13. “The Deadly Device”
12. “Ghost of Thornton Hall”
11. “Warnings at Waverly Academy”
10. “Shadow at the Water’s Edge”
9. “Curse of Blackmoor Manor”
8. “The Secret of Shadow Ranch”
7. “The Haunted Carousel”
6. “Treasure in the Royal Tower”
5. “The Final Scene”
4. “Danger on Deception Island”
3. “The Phantom of Venice”
2. “Stay Tuned for Danger”
1. “Alibi in Ashes”

Thank you all for reading my ranking list! Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Please let me know! I’d love to hear your opinions.

Be sure and share this post with your sleuthy friends to see how well their tastes match mine! Also, if you have any thoughts as to what you want to see from this blog, let me know, please!

 

Rank 1: ‘Alibi in Ashes’

The time has finally come for the unveiling of the best Nancy Drew game!

Posting my thoughts on each game for the past month has been a blast, and I’m really grateful for the unexpectedly large response I’ve gotten from this ranking list. The Senior Detective Blog team thanks you, which is just me, so I thank you for reading!

Drum-roll please…

The number one Nancy Drew computer game is…..

town halls
Alibi in Ashes,” case 25! (But you already knew that because of the thumbnail and title of this blog post, which made that intro fun but vastly unnecessary)

I don’t know if it’s the brilliant cast of characters, the excellently nontraditional premise, or the chance to finally explore Nancy’s hometown, but I absolutely love this game.

We start out as Nancy tracking down a lead from the “Clues Challenge,” a week-long city-wide competition of solving puzzles and riddles to find a medallion. This year, the winning team will be able to place an item in the River Heights‘ time capsule on Anvil Day (after the old time capsule is opened).

Cool, right? Obviously, Nancy has joined forces with her always reliable crew: Bess, George, and Ned. Their name is “Team Danger” wit the Nancy as the captain, of course. No one knows tracking down clues like her.

maps.png
For some reason, Nancy goes to the old town hall by herself after she decoded the next clue (gee, way to make it a team effort, Nancy. Trying to take all the credit?).

Once she arrives at the old town hall, she finds a strange, snowflake-shaped ice cube placed on the thermostat in the utility room. Then, the thermostat starts ticking and going crazy until it explodes. Suddenly, the whole building is on fire.

As we barely make it out, we see four witnesses (who are the only other presumed suspects), councilwoman Toni Scallari, Nancy’s arch nemesis Deirdre Shannon, Heights Nine reporter Brenda Carlton, and town reject Alexei Markovic.

Since Nancy was the only person seen in the building, Chief McGinnis arrests her for arson! Yes, Nancy Drew gets ARRESTED.

better van
We know Nancy didn’t do it, she knows she didn’t do it, and her friends know that she didn’t do it. So, we have to find enough evidence to prove Nancy’s innocence and determine the real arsonist.

Here’s the twist: since Nancy is stuck at the police station (the chief was reasonable enough to let her out of the holding cell), we get to play as her friends to investigate.

Yes, we get to play as Bess, George, Ned, AND Nancy! All you have to do is use your cell phone to call Nancy and switch between characters.

Now, I know that some people find the switching between characters to be very tedious and annoying. Yes, you have to do retry often in the game as well. I don’t mind it at all. I like the little break it provides, plus its much more fun trying to get all of the dialogue out of everyone that you can.

Some characters will only confide in one of Nancy’s friends. I think it’s fun, and most of the conversations are great.

This game, like my favorite “Stay Tuned for Danger,” involves a bunch of real snooping and grilling the suspects. Boy, do the suspects have a lot to offer up.

“Alibi in Ashes” has the best crop of characters in Her Interactive‘s series, in my opinion. Each are incredibly well-developed and have distinct personalities.

Brenda Carlton, the incessant TV reporter, has hated Nancy for some time now. She had some big story ready about an ancient antiquities exhibit, but Nancy beat her to it.

She’s already hurt Nancy’s good name throughout River Heights by blaming her for the fire, but is she trying to get Nancy locked up for good just to make national headlines?

Alexei Markovic, a former town sleuth just like Nancy, was dealt a bad hand by some rich big-wig who ruined his entire reputation. He was as good of a detective as Nancy, but he was publicly shamed and ridiculed so badly that he never got another case.

Now he owns an antique shop in town, living a sad, lonely life. He was good friends with Carson Drew, Nancy’s father, too. He even hired Carson to represent him in court. Unfortunately, Carson was too young to hold any ground, and he lost.

Is Alexei jealous of Nancy to the point of trying to ruin her career, too? Or is he trying to get back at the Drews for losing his case so long ago.

Deirdre Shannon, Nancy’s arch enemy, is the rich, popular girl around River Heights. She hates Nancy because Nancy gets so much acclaim. She’s also incredibly jealous that Nancy is dating Ned.

Could Deirdre be fed up with Miss Drew to the point of framing her with arson? She’s also in the Clues Challenge, and she wants to win. Maybe years of hatred and jealous have caused her to reach the breaking point.

Toni Scallari is a shrewd councilwoman who is running for re-election. She’d never admit this in a press conference or anything, but she despises Nancy because she makes city officials look bad for not doing their jobs.

She owns Scoop, the local ice cream joint, so she’s more than willing to talk to her number one customer, Bess. But after all is said and done, she wishes that Nancy would quit meddling around and let law enforcement handle everything.

scoop
The characters just make the entire game, for me. They’re diverse, entertaining, and have a lot of secrets.

Gameplay consists of interrogating the suspects, finding evidence, and having some fun along the way. Another reason why this is the number one game is because, like my number two game again, there’s no chores!

Picking locks, finding fingerprints, collecting items for the evidence board, and finding alibis are just some of the gameplay activities. Everything has a purpose for being a part of the game.

Now, the end of the game gets a little tricky, especially the very last puzzle, but it’s not impossible. I don’t want to spoil anything, though.

antiques
While there’s a pleasant absence of chores, there’s also a nice presence of distractions.

We can stop any time and play some of the best mini-games in the series, like the unscramble arcade game in Scoop and the number punch game at Alexei’s. We can also order and eat as much use cream from scoop as we desire.

Nancy’s house is also open for us to explore (yay!) There’s so much memorabilia from past cases and a lot of fun other things to see.

One note though. We get to play as and see Bess and George, but we never actually see Ned in the game. His picture is on our cell phones, but we never see him. I just thought that was weird.

police
Other than that, I just absolutely love “Alibi in Ashes.” River Heights is everything I hoped it would be and then some.

The game barely scraped past “Stay Tuned for Danger” for the top spot. However, I think that this game is just a different, improved take on that game’s model, and that’s saying a lot. This title is also completely different from every other one in the series.

Well, there you have it; the ranking list is finished! I plan on posting a condensed version tomorrow with all of the games in one place.

Now, I need YOU GUYS to give me ideas as to what you want to see next on my blog. Would you like more ranking lists of different aspects of the games? How about just my thoughts on certain things related to Nancy Drew? I want your ideas!

capsule_467x181

Thanks a million for keeping up with The Senior Detective Blog!

Rank 2: ‘Stay Tuned for Danger’

Lights, camera…falling klieg light? There’s some suspicious things going on at a daytime soap opera studio in spot two, and coincidentally game number two, “Stay Tuned for Danger.”

The next-to-top spot on my ranking list goes to this game for many reasons, one of which is that it was the first game I ever played.

I was at my cousin Nicole’s house when I was about six or seven years old, and she introduced me to the games! We set up shop in the computer room and spent most of the trip right there playing games.

DetFeature_staytunedfordanger02
I wasn’t quite aware of what we were really doing for a while, but I sure know that it was fun! Heck, I even remember getting scared a few times.

In the second installment of the series, Nancy flies to New York City after solving the murder case in Florida because a soap star is getting death threats.

Apparently, Nancy’s Aunt Eloise is renting out her New York apartment (Gee, an apartment in Florida AND New York City? On a librarian’s salary?) to Mattie Jenson, one of the stars of WWB Broadcasting’s “Light of Our Love” (I know, what a cliché soap opera title).

wwb
Anyway, Mattie invites Nancy to stay with her so she can do some investing. Rick Arlen, her costar, is the suave actor who is receiving the death threats; a broken watch, dead roses, and tainted chocolates are among the weird notes he’s received from the anonymous “B.T. Kaiser.” He’s too proud and famous to go to the police, though.

It’s up to Nancy to sneak around and see who could be behind these threats, and this is about the only game where we really get to SNOOP. I mean, we get to snoop in a a lot of games, but I LOVE this one because of the hardcore snooping.

Each character has a motive for threatening Rick, and games where everyone is a suspect are the best. As only the second game in the series, “Stay Tuned for Danger” has one of the best cast of characters; there’s a lot of them, which is a plus because we get to interrogate each one!

Mattie is the “America’s Sweetheart” type, seeming to be kind and well-grounded. Since she brought us onto the case, there’s no way she could be behind the threats.

However, she and Rick used to date until he dumped her for the show’s director, Lillian.

Lillian Weiss is the cranky, no nonsense director for “Light of Our Love.” Rick and her are no longer dating, and she definitely seems to resent that “ball of slime,” or whatever she calls him. Could she be trying to chase Rick off the set, permanently?

Speaking of “off the set,” the Rick supposedly wants to leave the daytime show, which has made producer William Pappas furious. He’s upset because if Rick leaves, the show may drop in ratings and eventually be cancelled. Is Papas using fear as a motivation for Rick to stay put?

We never see Pappas, as he maintains the stereotype of the “absent producer,” which makes the game seem all the more realistic.

He’s not the only one that Rick has upset, though. Dwayne Powers, Mattie’s agent, used to represent Rick as well. Of course, Mattie and Dwayne used to date as well, which is perhaps the reason why Rick left his agency.

Mattie and Dwayne have since broken up, but could Dwayne be jealous of she still has feelings for Rick? On top of that, Rick abandoned the guy that “discovered him.” Has Dwayne reached his breaking point?

Above all of these suspects is the awesomely eccentric prop master, Millie Strathorn. She’s a ditsy old lady who confuses the show for real life. She doesn’t like Rick’s character, and has submitted story lines that killed him off. Could she be trying to literally get rid of Rick for good?

Add those six characters plus the big security guard, Ralph, and you have yourself a full cast of crazy, divers characters. What makes it even better is the fact that it almost seems the like game is a soap opera itself.

We have break-ups, backstabbing, jealousy, craziness, and a terrible acting cut-away that makes me laugh every time. It’s extremely clever and very fun.

set
The pacing of the game is excellent and very believable. We have our suspects, then things keep getting more and more tense until the “dangerous” finale.

Rick’s threats start getting stranger too. It started with notes, then tainted chocolates, then a falling klieg light, and then an explosive surprise! Very realistic.

One of the biggest reasons why this game is excellent is the hardcore snooping. Each room and building requires scrutinizing sleuthing; nothing can be left unturned.

There are tons of clues everywhere, some cryptic and some obvious. It’s not until the very end of the game that we discover who the culprit is (or before that if you pay enough attention).

die rick
Another huge reason as to why I love this game so much is because there is not one chore. There’s no favors you have to do or dumb side-quests that need attending to before getting to snoop. We’re here for one reason: to find out who’s threatening Rick.

We do that by snooping, uncovering secrets, and exploring the studio and beyond. It’s fun and sometimes creepy exploring around, and sometimes it’s kind of scary because it feels like someone could jump out and murder you. The atmosphere is perfect.

props
Exploring at night is fun when we’re trying not be caught, and puzzles that reveal hidden sections of the studio are easy enough and lead to interesting discoveries.

Every time I play this game, I find something different, which makes me love it more. It’s an incredible game, and there is nothing that I don’t like about it.

There are a few chance bugs, like the ending puzzle and the possible absence of a needed tool, but it’s easily overlooked.

dressing room
“Stay Tuned for Danger” is 100 percent enjoyable, realistic, and fun. It’s a snooper’s dream, and the characters bring it to an even higher level.

Well, tomorrow I’ll reveal the “best” Nancy Drew game. If you’re really a super sleuth, though, you’ll be able to deduct which title it is.

Tune in tomorrow for the top spot!

Rank 3: ‘The Phantom of Venice’

We’ve made it to the top three Nancy Drew games! The list will be wrapped up on Sunday, so we still have a few more days of fun reviews!

Spot three goes takes us to a beautiful snapshot of Venice, Italy in case 18: “The Phantom of Venice.”

This game is really fun because Nancy gets to go undercover for the Italian FBI (GdiF) in order to stop a theft ring during the Carnevale festival. An unknown man in a phantom mask and cape has been stealing precious artifacts throughout the city and leaving behind playing cards at every crime scene.

masks
So, since she’s proven to be such a noteworthy detective throughout the world, the GdiF called in Ms. Drew for help. Prudence Rutherford, whom Nancy has helped throughout the years (like in “Secret of the Scarlet Hand” and “Danger by Design“), talked one of her contacts into having Nancy help in the investigation.

Basically, the detective is hired to be a crime detective, which is AWESOME.

They arranged for Nancy to stay at the Ca’ Nascosta, the home of well-to-do socialite Margherita Faubourg. All she does is lay out on the rooftop terrace sunbathing and making snide comments towards Nancy. It’s pretty funny.

Sure enough, Nancy’s staying here because she has to spy on someone across the street, whom the GdiF believe is in on the crime spree.

Also headquartered at Ca’ Nascosta are Colin Baxter, an art restorer from England, and Helena Berg, an Austrian/German journalist who specializes in crime reporting.

Colin is shy, weird, and totally has a crush on Nancy. Although, he can’t really go two seconds without talking about tesserae. He’s obsessed with it, which explains his sad life. Is he just using awkwardness as a cover?

Helena is very smart and knows her way around Venice. She’s nice, but she’s very calculating and shrewd. Does she have some connections that we’re not aware of?

Our GdiF liaison wants us to keep a close eye on EVERYONE though, so everyone is a suspect.

While the people at Ca’ Nascosta are interesting yet kind of boring, there’s a whole city out there just waiting to be explored. That’s where all the fun is.

market
Well, we get to go some real locations around Venice to do some hardcore detective work.

To me, this game is really realistic, and that’s why I like it so much. We get introduced to some serious classified information and get caught in acts of crime itself.

That’s the funnest part, in fact: getting on the bad guys’ good side.

We have to go uncover (while we’re undercover!) as a highly respected thief, Samantha Quick (does that name ring a bell, “The Final Scene” fans?) for a club owner, Enrico Tazza. In fact, he introduces us to the hands down best mini-game in the entire Nancy Drew series: Scopa!

It’s a classic, addicting Italian card game, which we have to beat Tazza at to get the 411. However, after that, we can play as many times as we want, and it’s awesome! I actually bought a real life version of it, which I love.

Anyway, it gets kind of tense when we end up working with good and bad guys, but that makes it so much more thrilling!

dancing
We get to steal things, catch people, almost get caught ourselves, and dance through Venice.

Yes, we literally dance through Venice. In order to earn some money for undercover costumes (and for other reasons) Nancy has to get hired at a dance club. Yes, Nancy becomes a club dancer nicknamed Punchy LaRue. What would Carson and Ned say?

We also get to interact with messenger pigeons. That’s fun.

This game does have a pretty hard ending, which is why I can’t rank it any higher.

venice

Also, most games give us a few clues as to who the culprit is, but there’s such a huge one in this game. I’m not going to spoil it, though. For that reason, I can’t say that much more about this game.

We do get to ride around on gondolas with singing Guidos and Luigis. That’s a nice touch. The setting itself is really, really nice.

The best part does occur while interacting with Tazza and the theft rings. It’s so fun and very anti-Nancy. Plus, the club is the only place where we can play Scopa!

roof
“The Phantom of Venice” is a home run for the series, in my opinion. There’s so much I like about it. It is one if the harder games though, at least I think it is.

If you want me to discuss any other aspect of the game, just ask me in the comments! I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can’t be too specific.

There’s only two games left! What do you think their order will be? Tune in tomorrow and Sunday to find out!

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?

nancydeception1T
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.

whale
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.

kayak
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.

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

Oh, and remember…

“Whales rule!”