A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn how to think and reason like a detective by stepping into the shoes of Nancy Drew as she solves her latest case. By talking to others, using police equipment, and snooping, kids collect data, analyze evidence, and make deductions based on the facts they gather. Mini puzzle games, offered in two levels of difficulty to suit younger and older players, require kids to recognize math patterns. This Nancy Drew game delivers an intriguing mystery and engaging puzzles within a small-scale world.
The positive message of the game is that it’s important to uncover the truth, despite how unpopular the truth might be to certain people.
Positive Role Models
Nancy’s friends are wonderful role models who rally around Nancy in her hour of need. Nancy and her friends refuse to be intimidated in their quest to discover who the real arsonist is.
Ease of Play
Players can play as Senior or Junior Detective; the latter provides a task list to keep players on track about what they need to do next, and simplifies the mini-games slightly. No matter which mode is selected, though, puzzles are challenging and can't be skipped. If a fatal mistake is made that causes the game to end, players can restore the game to the moment before making a bad decision.
Violence & Scariness
There are some instances of mild violence. A rock is thrown through a window as a form of intimidation. Players can make “fatal mistakes” that cause Nancy can succumb to smoke inhalation, but players get unlimited chances to redo the scene.
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Products & Purchases
From Nancy’s desk, which is available from the main menu and by visiting Nancy’s house in the game itself, players can click on a Scrapbook that contains summaries of the first 24 Nancy Drew games by Her Interactive, along with links to the developer's website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and newsletter signup.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes is a mystery game about the famous literary detective, Nancy Drew. Unlike previous Nancy Drew games, in this one you spend much of your time playing as Nancy's friends, since Nancy is in jail charged with arson. Players can explore the game at two levels of difficulty, as Senior or Junior Detective. No matter which mode is selected, though, puzzles are challenging and can't be skipped. If a fatal mistake is made that causes the game to end, players can restore the game from the moment before making a bad decision.
Is It Any Good?
Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes effectively shakes up the formula of past Nancy Drew mysteries. With Nancy confined to a police station, players spend most of the game switching between her three friends while Nancy coordinates the investigation on her cellphone. The setting – Nancy’s quaint hometown – isn’t as exotic as the settings of some of the other games, but it’s still fun to explore Nancy’s childhood haunts (including her home and the famous desk that players see at the start of every Nancy Drew game). And like previous games, Alibi in Ashes is full of challenging puzzles, interesting characters, and a compelling mystery to solve.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.