New Nancy Drew Game Has Arrived!!!

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Matt Barton
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Yes!!!

That's the reaction I got when I received my review copy of Her Interactive's latest game, Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy. And just in time for my fall break! I haven't got this installed yet, but this involves a trip to Ireland to thwart a banshee who is threatening a friend's wedding. I love Ireland, especially Irish music, so I'm really hoping that this game will do it justice. Heck, I should probably get a pint of Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's. Geez, then I wouldn't be able to play the game.

As soon as I've completed this adventure I'll be sure to give you an in-depth review with plenty of screen shots. I've been doing this for Adventure Classic Gaming, so it'll be treat for you guys to see that sort of thing here.

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Rowdy Rob
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Socially Playing Adventure Games
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Along those lines, I saw a news story a while back on how some people play those Nancy Drew games--socially. A bunch of girls and their moms get together and play the game in small groups. Seems a very female and very interesting way to approach the game, as a shared experience. I must admit, sounds like fun to me.

It is fun to play these games as a group, and in fact the few times I remember beating an adventure game was as part of a group of players (as I mentioned in a previous thread about my "computer club" experiences). It's not a "female" thing, since we (a bunch of high school boys) used to do it that way.

There's only TWO adventure games I recall beating on my own in my life: "CIA Adventure" on the TRS-80, and Matt Barton's adventure that he posted a couple of years ago. It seems that the only real chance you have against these games is to play them "socially."

The "Junior/Senior" levels Matt mentioned in the Nancy Drew games sounds like an excellent compromise, though.

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Bill Loguidice
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Alternate ways to play
Rowdy Rob wrote:

These "Nancy Drew" adventures sound like a great way to introduce young females to the videogame world. The only problem I have is that these Nancy Drew games seem tied to the flawed "adventure" genre (yes, I said "FLAWED" ADVENTURE GENRE), and might scare potentially-intellectual girls back to their "Barbie" dolls, thinking "I'm not smart enough to play this game," simply because they cannot come up with the "crackhead" solutions adventure games ALWAYS (without fail!) throw at their players.

Before you (Matt) jump down my throat, admit that you confessed that it took TWO highly-educated adults (you and your wife) to beat these "Nancy Drew" adventures. How do you think a pre-teen female (who reads the inspiring "Nancy Drew" books) would feel when faced with such "adventure" scenarios?

"Hey, I'm not that smart, I might as well find a man and stay barefoot and pregnant, and let my man do the thinking for me..." they may say to themselves. Is that what you would want for your daughter????

I admit that I've never played a "Nancy Drew" adventure, so I may be presumptuous, but it sounds to me like you (Matt Barton, super-brainiac) have trouble with these games. What am I supposed to think?? Should people let their young daughters play these games???

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Along those lines, I saw a news story a while back on how some people play those Nancy Drew games--socially. A bunch of girls and their moms get together and play the game in small groups. Seems a very female and very interesting way to approach the game, as a shared experience. I must admit, sounds like fun to me.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Childhood memories

I am beginning to feel like I should be very glad the 'Hardy boys' nor 'Nacy Drew' has hit Dutch shores. :-P



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Difficulty
Rowdy Rob wrote:

I admit that I've never played a "Nancy Drew" adventure, so I may be presumptuous, but it sounds to me like you (Matt Barton, super-brainiac) have trouble with these games. What am I supposed to think?? Should people let their young daughters play these games???

By the way, are there any "Hardy Boys" adventure games out there?

Where to start. Okay, I just finished the "Hardy Bros: The Hidden Theft" game, so that answers that question. I'm going to be preparing a full review for ACG, but suffice it to say it wasn't as good as the Nancy Drew games. Apparently the actors they got to voice the Hardy Bros were major teen hearthrobs (Cody Linley and Jesse McCartney), but I hadn't heard of them. The game was mediocre at best.

As far as the ND games go, there are two modes: Junior and Senior. We always play at Senior level, so my comments are directed at that mode. Junior mode apparently has much more hand-holding, so I'd recommend that for anyone under 16. But, I caution anyone--DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE KIDS' INTELLIGENCE. Kids tend to be much smarter than we give them credit for. I hate to hear anyone acting like kids can't handle a challenge; I say, let them have a go at it. I make a point of never assuming someone can't do a task just because he or she is young. Indeed, I think one reason behind all the "ADD" nonsense is that kids aren't being properly challenged. Yeah, given how dumbed down school is these days, we'd ALL BE ADD.

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Rowdy Rob
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Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Books (and an attack against M. Barton)
Matt Barton wrote:

I enjoy the books as well, though you're right about there being so many. I haven't found a convenient way to get all the books, though; the collections tend to offer only the first five or so.

Believe me, after a few days struggling with "theory" books, reading one of those Nancy Drew books is like ice cream. I recently finished Last of the Mohicans, which I was reading for pleasure alongside Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which I felt I "needed" to read.

I remember reading a few "Hardy Boys" books in the third or fourth grade (in the 1970's), but my good friend "Dale Fox" (Izmir, Turkey, are you out there, Dale?) would read a "Hardy Boys" book in two hours (he couldn't have been more than 10 years old). I can't even do that now, at 42!!!

In my recollection, "Nancy Drew" was the female analogue of the "Hardy Boys" (perhaps even written by the same person(s)), but I wouldn't have been caught dead with a "Nancy Drew" book back then. (but now, I'm not objecting; Nancy Drew sounds much cooler than the "Hardy Boys"!)

These "Nancy Drew" adventures sound like a great way to introduce young females to the videogame world. The only problem I have is that these Nancy Drew games seem tied to the flawed "adventure" genre (yes, I said "FLAWED" ADVENTURE GENRE), and might scare potentially-intellectual girls back to their "Barbie" dolls, thinking "I'm not smart enough to play this game," simply because they cannot come up with the "crackhead" solutions adventure games ALWAYS (without fail!) throw at their players.

Before you (Matt) jump down my throat, admit that you confessed that it took TWO highly-educated adults (you and your wife) to beat these "Nancy Drew" adventures. How do you think a pre-teen female (who reads the inspiring "Nancy Drew" books) would feel when faced with such "adventure" scenarios?

"Hey, I'm not that smart, I might as well find a man and stay barefoot and pregnant, and let my man do the thinking for me..." they may say to themselves. Is that what you would want for your daughter????

I admit that I've never played a "Nancy Drew" adventure, so I may be presumptuous, but it sounds to me like you (Matt Barton, super-brainiac) have trouble with these games. What am I supposed to think?? Should people let their young daughters play these games???

By the way, are there any "Hardy Boys" adventure games out there?

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Matt Barton
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I enjoy the books as well,

I enjoy the books as well, though you're right about there being so many. I haven't found a convenient way to get all the books, though; the collections tend to offer only the first five or so.

Believe me, after a few days struggling with "theory" books, reading one of those Nancy Drew books is like ice cream. I recently finished Last of the Mohicans, which I was reading for pleasure alongside Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which I felt I "needed" to read. I really enjoyed Last of the Mohicans, and was thinking all along that that time period would make an excellent MMO or setting for all sorts of games. Yes, I know about Age of Empires (which I own and need to get back into). I'd like to see a pre-colonial game where you could play in all those different Indian empires. Think how fun it would be to play as an Aztec warrior or Incan shaman! I'd really dig that, especially--well, maybe ONLY if--they kept it historically accurate.

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yakumo9275
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I'm talking about the books.

I'm talking about the books. there's 10,000 nancy drew books.

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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I'm not quite sure where

I'm not quite sure where you're coming from on this one, Stu. They're definitely not recycle jobs. Each game in the series is unique, with a different setting, puzzles, characters, etc. As far as being formulaic goes, I don't see how any series could avoid that. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a series. If the games have nothing in common, why even call it a series? I've heard that criticism already about Far Cry 2. Apparently, it has so little in common with the first Far Cry that people are saying it's not a sequel.

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yakumo9275
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I didnt complain. I've never

I didnt complain. I've never played one. I just know from the books, its all recycled, change someone's name and shift location, reprint... shrugs. its all formulaic. good games should stand on their own. if they are good, so be it.

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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It's not really fair to

It's not really fair to complain about their interface. I don't see much reason to try to alter a working formula; the key is to make small but needed refinements while concentrating on the content (story, puzzles, etc.) Each game tends to offer at least one challenging, sprawling puzzle, but you'll still find many of the old stand-bys. My wife loves logic and spatial/shifting/sliding puzzles, so I let her do those. My forte is usually the inventory-based puzzles and, to some extent, navigation, though I must admit I still easily get lost in games without built-in maps and what-not. BioShock would be nearly impossible for me without the map and nav points.

These games aren't hardcore, but fun, casual entertainment. They're quite charming and do wonders for your disposition. It's hard to be depressed playing one of these games; they'll uplift your spirits for days. I think part of these games is to inspire confidence and make you want to explore and learn.

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