Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse Game Poster Image
Solve a mystery while learning about German folklore.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game encourages players to be observant and think logically to solve puzzles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nancy is an articulate, observant, and persistent young lady who makes a great role model. Despite being in her teens, her detective skills are world-renowned.

Ease of Play

Players can play as Senior or Junior Detective, the latter providing a task list to keep players on track as to what they need to do next. No matter which mode is selected, though, puzzles are challenging and can't be skipped. In an added twist, Nancy can't always use her cellphone to call her friends for advice due to "poor reception." If a fatal mistake is made that causes Nancy to die, you have a redo which brings you back to the moment before making a bad decision. The navigation is this game can be confusing.


There are some scary moments and mild violence. A woman is chased and grabbed by a growling creature. The player can cause Nancy to make several "fatal" mistakes that end the game, including falling into a pit and getting severely burned by a glass-maker's oven (but you always get a redo). One of the mini-games involves moving monster tiles to "kill" cow tiles, which makes X's appear over the cow's eyes to show that they're dead.


From the main menu (Nancy's Desk), players can click on a Scrapbook that contains summaries of the first 23 Nancy Drew games by Her Interactive, but there are no links to outside websites or prompts to purchase the games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse is the 24th adventure game in a long-running series of interactive mysteries starring teenaged sleuth Nancy Drew. The game offers two modes of difficulty, and both contain challenging puzzles and mini-games that can't be skipped. The story, in which Nancy investigates reports of a monster terrorizing the community, contains some scary moments and mild violence. The game also exposes players to German culture, folklore, and language.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written bySuperSadie March 18, 2012

~Warning, this Review has some Spoilers!~ c:

I think this game is really great, (just finished playing it a couple hours ago!) and it's good in plot. However, I think the creators needed to go more in... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 17, 2011

Great German culture!

I was excited about this game!
The graphics and culture made my mouth hang open!
Beautiful scenery, awesome architechual culture same with clothing!
One of the... Continue reading

What's it about?

In NANCY DREW: THE CAPTIVE CURSE, Nancy travels to Germany to investigate reports of a creature that has been terrorizing a remote Bavarian castle and surrounding community. As Nancy, players investigate the mystery by searching for clues, interviewing suspects, and completing mini-games and inventory-based puzzles.

Is it any good?

The Captive Curse follows the same successful formula as previous Nancy Drew mysteries, combining challenging inventory puzzles and mini-games with a cast of interesting characters to talk to. There are also collectibles to hunt for (coins and medallions scattered throughout the scenery) and trophies to earn. The setting is the weak link this time around, however. The nondescript castle has a layout that makes it difficult and confusing to navigate, and the same goes for the game's other two primary locations. The good does outweigh the bad, but The Captive Curse isn't quite in the same league as some of the other top Nancy Drew mysteries.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the words that they learned in German. Do some of the German words sound similar to their English equivalents (such as "maus" for "mouse," and "einhorn" for "unicorn.")

  • Families can also talk about other famous monster myths, such as yeti and the Loch Ness Monster. Why are there so many stories about monsters, and why do you think people make them up?

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Her Interactive
  • Release date: June 28, 2011
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Violence
  • Last updated: April 29, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries and creepy games

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