Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships

Common Sense Media says

Teenage sleuth offers puzzling PC mystery in Bahamas.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The messages in this game are positive ones in that Nancy and her friends are very loyal to each other. The game involves a kidnapping of one of Nancy's friends and she puts herself in danger to rescue her friend.

Positive role models

Nancy Drew is a excellent role model because she is smart, thorough, and creative. She is diligent about solving mysteries and always tries to help others.

Ease of play

This is a simple point and click PC game filled with puzzles. Most are solvable within the game, but one requires you to work outside of the game. The game keeps track of your pending  tasks and makes that task list available to you at all times. Hints are also available by feeding the parrot fruit.


Mild violence in terms of doing something in the game that can cause you harm including being sturng by jellyfish, running out of air while scuba diving, and having a cave collaspe around you.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a compelling mystery adventure game where you must rescue your best friend. You can find yourself in scary situations including swimming in a sea with stinging jellyfish, running out of air while scuba diving, and having a cave collaspe in on you.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

In NANCY DREW: RANSOM OF THE SEVEN SHIPS, you join teenage sleuth Nancy Drew and her best friends George and Bess for a mystery set in an ecotourism resort in the Bahamas. The lush island setting creates a beautiful backdrop for a mystery involving the kidnapping of Bess and the hunt for a 300-year old treasure. As with all of the Nancy Drew mysteries from Her Interactive, you see the world from a first-person perspective as if you were Nancy Drew. You explore the island paradise by driving, walking, and even sailing. You will also go scuba dive and spelunking to find clues and must solve a series of puzzles. Adding to the fun are the island’s super-intelligent monkeys who play 3 minigames with you, and a parrot who can provide you with hints.

Is it any good?


This is a challenging Nancy Drew mystery which is more about solving puzzles than it is about talking to suspects to collect clues. The puzzles are varied, and most are neatly incorporated into the gameplay. For example, when trying to decode some secret writings, you can experiment with which symbols stand for which letters by simply placing letters of the alphabet in slots above the symbols and the rest of the message auto-populates. On the other hand, a Sudoku-like puzzle requires you to solve it on paper, not in the game.

The game offers longevity because you can play it on two levels of difficulty. Plus an excellent feature in the game is its "Second Chance" -- where if you take a risk that causes a fatal mistake, you are automatically returned to the point before your error. You will face some harrowing situations involving stinging jellyfish, running out of air while scuba diving, and having a cave collapse on you so it is good to have this feature. This is the kind of game that parents and kids will enjoy playing together.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Nancy Drew games are still fun after 20 of them have been produced. What makes these games so good?

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Developer:Her Interactive
Release date:July 14, 2009
ESRB rating:E for Mild Violence (Windows)

This review of Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old August 6, 2009
love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bypizzavince June 13, 2010

Slightly Disappointing

I was looking forward to this game alot, and I must admit I was slightly disappointed by it in the end. Don't get me wrong, now, it was a fantastic game. However, it wasn't quite as good as the other Nancy Drew games. It was definitely a bit trickier, and there weren't many characters. The characters that WERE there were poorly developed, too. I rate this iffy for 10+ because it is, as I said, slightly more challenging than its partners. I would still recommend it to any Nancy Drew fan, as it remains a masterpiece from HER Interactive.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old December 14, 2009

fun game

I love Nancy Drew!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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