A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
In DANGER BY DESIGN, the 14th Nancy Drew software mystery, Nancy jets off to Paris to investigate the erratic and bizarre behavior of Minette, an American designer who's been rising quickly in the fashion world. When Nancy arrives, under the cover of being Minette's new assistant, she discovers that Minette has taken to wearing a white mask and never shows her face. Minette has fired numerous assistants, and she's behind schedule on her upcoming spring collection. Nancy also discovers that Minette is receiving threats and there are rumors of historic art treasures hidden in the windmill where Minette works.
Players interview Minette's contacts, run errands for her, explore the parks and underground catacombs of Paris, ride the Metro, and visit cafes. In the process, they encounter many puzzles that need to be solved to move the story forward.
Is it any good?
As with all the previous Nancy Drew software mysteries, these visual environments are stunning. But while Her Interactive continues to refine how to create photorealistic environments and characters, they haven't advanced the technology of their gameplay. To move, players click and wait for the computer to advance the scene. This low-tech method of exploration works well in this setting because it allows players the time to determine which objects they want to explore more closely.
Danger by Design is great fun for families, and especially girls, to play together. Younger children can play on the Junior Detective level, with easier puzzles and more hints. Another kid-friendly feature is the "Second Chance" option, which allows you to restart from wherever you fail.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the long-term popularity of Nancy Drew. Why has she stayed so popular? How does she compare with other fictional female heroes -- past or present? Parents may take this opportunity to introduce the original book series to their kids. Families might also want to talk about how many great works of art were hidden during World War II.
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