A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The year is 1930, and you are behind the wheel of a classic blue roadster, driving to meet your friend, 17-year-old Emily Crandall, who has recently inherited the Lilac Inn in the sleepy town of Titusville. While visiting, inexplicable happenings motivate you to start investigating your surroundings and the people of the town. The next thing you know, you have solved a mystery, helped your friend, and launched a career as a detective. That's because you've been playing NANCY DREW: SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK.
New to this mystery is the player's ability to drive Nancy's car. When you're driving, a small car appears on a map of the town; you direct the vehicle by using the arrow keys or the mouse. The software incorporates your driving into many aspects of solving the mystery.
Is it any good?
This 12th interactive mystery by Her Interactive offers a compelling storyline kids will want to solve. It has all the Her Interactive trademarks: first-person play as Nancy Drew, intriguing characters, a rich storyline that is constantly branching, fabulous graphics, a "second chance" button so Nancy never dies, and challenging puzzles. Compared with others in this series, Secret of the Old Clock is easier and less scary, making it a good entry for kids as young as age 10.
Cyber-sleuths will enjoy the period music, a playable mini-golf course, research in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and a nice variety of classic and novel puzzles. Testers particularly enjoyed a Rube-Goldberg type sequence when they solve a puzzle to focus light from a window to hit a radiometer. Playing this software with another person can be a terrific bonding experience for parents and kids -- especially mothers and daughters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the world of the 1930s depicted in this game is different from the world today. Since one of the characters claims to be an expert in extrasensory perception, families may want to explore whether the accomplishments of this character are real. The mystery is based on the very first Nancy Drew book, so if your child is new to the series, this is an easy one to start with.
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