A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this puzzle game geared for girls features a smart, affable heroine who relies on her intelligence to unravel mysteries. Consequently, the player must also put on her thinking cap and employ logic and memory to solve the game’s conundrums, which include dynamic hidden object puzzles and text-based riddles. There is no sexuality or offensive language, and very little in the way of any real violence (the prank bombs she investigates release things like goo and bugs, and aren’t really dangerous).
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What's it about?
NANCY DREW DOSSIER: RESORTING TO DANGER, the latest downloadable PC game to bear the name of the classic youth sleuth, is the second entry in Her Interactive’s new Nancy Drew Dossier series. The first one mashed together a variety of casual game types, including hidden object puzzles and matching games, and this one follows the same formula. Nancy Drew has been called to a celebrity spa to investigate a series of prank bombings that are wreaking havoc among the guests. She searches rooms in the building, looking for objects such as scraps of paper and switches, then either combines or interacts with them to reveal yet more clues. Between these puzzles are games in which players must match up halved letters to spell out words of warning left by the troublemaker, make molecules by matching like-colored spheres to create chemical formulas, and answer and route phone calls to learn more about the spa and its workers and guests. Your detective rank gradually increases as you earn points for solving smaller mysteries and identify potential suspects and victims.
Is it any good?
Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew games have a reputation for quality, and Resorting to Danger lives up to the franchise’s high standards. The narrative is engaging and features a cast of colorful characters such as a dour janitor, a moody mogul, and a pompous manager, all of whom are voiced enthusiastically by a talented cast of actors.
The activities are, by and large, a lot of fun -- especially the hidden object games. Finding a metal ingot, a key mold, a towel, a bucket of water, and smelting iron, then combining them in order to create a functional key that opens a hidden lock, for example, is a nice change of pace from traditional hidden object games that don’t offer players anything to do with the items they search for after they’re found. And while the matching games aren’t as habit forming as a blockbuster like Bejeweled, they’re engaging enough for the few times we have to play them. Nothing in the Resorting to Danger is particularly innovative, but everything has been polished to a fine shine.
Online interaction: Not an issue.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lasting appeal of Nancy Drew, a character that has charmed girls for nearly 80 years. Have you read her books? Watched the recent movie? Played other games in which she has appeared? Does her character remain constant throughout? Do you think she’s best suited to one particular medium?
Families can also discuss under what circumstances -- if any -- it is okay to snoop. Nancy Drew does it quite a bit, and she always seems to have good reason, but could she get away with this sort of behavior in real life? What would the repercussions be like?
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