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Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy

Fantastic mystery set in Scotland has terrorist theme.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn reading, listening, and investigative skills as they solve a mystery. Some mini-games involve patterns and shapes. One puzzle teaches kids to read notes on a musical clef to play the bagpipes. Kids learn about Scottish history, including Mary Queen of Scots, clan tartans, and traditional cuisine. The Silent Spy delivers challenging puzzles and an engaging mystery steeped in Scottish culture.

Positive messages

The love of Kate Drew, Nancy's mother, for her family and the struggle she has balancing family with work is the game's major theme. Nancy is trying to thwart terrorists, which is a positive goal.

Positive role models

Nancy is a positive role model, demonstrating fearlessness, tenacity, and intelligence. The other characters she encounters have more complicated morals and motivations.

Ease of play

The game offers two difficulty levels: Amateur Sleuth and Master Sleuth. Master Sleuth offers more challenging puzzles, no hints, and a less detailed checklist to keep track of goals. When you mess up a puzzle and get the "You Have Made a Fatal Error" message, you're always given a second chance.


Characters are knocked unconscious by gas. Nancy’s life is threatened numerous times, and she's seen in perilous situations such as having to escape from a garbage compactor. Nancy must stop terrorists from launching a nonlethal biological weapon. One puzzle involves dismantling a bomb. Failure is met with the message "You Have Made a Fatal Error," but you're given a second chance.

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Clicking on the More ND link from the main menu takes players to a page where they can browse other games in the series and visit the publisher's website and its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest pages.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy is the 29th mystery title in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure series from Her Interactive. There are two levels of difficulty, and younger kids might need a parent's help to solve some of the puzzles, which can't be skipped. There's a lot of reading required. The subject matter -- terrorists, biological weapons, threats to Nancy's life, and the events surrounding Nancy's mother's death -- is heavy for a Nancy Drew game and might upset younger players.

What's it about?

In NANCY DREW: THE SILENT SPY, Nancy travels to Glasgow, Scotland, after receiving a letter containing new information about the death of her mother, Kate Drew, a former spy. Nancy gets caught up in a new intrigue involving the same terrorist group that her mother was investigating shortly before her death. Nancy interviews her mother’s former associates -- none of whom can be entirely trusted -- and searches various destinations around Glasgow for clues. Players also decipher coded messages and open sophisticated locks.

Is it any good?


The Silent Spy is a full-on spy thriller complete with secret hideouts, daring infiltrations, coded messages, and high-tech spy gadgets. Ruggedly scenic, history-rich Scotland is a fantastic setting, and kids will learn a lot about Scottish culture along the way. The puzzles are as challenging as ever, and the storytelling is mature and compelling. Like its predecessors, the game lets players fast-forward through the dialogue if they choose. The Silent Spy is a high point in a series that's already full of fantastic titles.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about spies. Do you think a real spy's life is as glamorous and exciting as it's usually portrayed in media?

  • Talk about family relationships. How do your own caregivers balance work with family time?

  • What draws you to mystery games? Do you like all mysteries or only Nancy Drew mysteries?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Subjects:Social Studies: cultural understanding, historical figures, history
Arts: music
Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension
Math: patterns, shapes
Skills:Communication: asking questions, listening
Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, investigation, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
Available online?Available online
Developer:Her Interactive
Release date:October 22, 2013
Topics:Book characters
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Violence

This review of Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy was written by

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Educator and Parent Written byCSM Screen name... April 3, 2014

Spy Game

It is cumbersome for those who are not used to playing games on computers i.e. it is not very easy to navigate. Learning comes slowly after many clicks and time is past. Graphics and feel of the scenes are good but a player has to really wait to learn things. Every step, click and second in a computer game like this should be used for learning.
Kid, 11 years old December 8, 2016

Great storyline and gameplay!

When I saw this game, I knew that I had to buy it. The gameplay was easy and give me the good kind of chills. Definitely recommend this to people who love mysteries and puzzles.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use