Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister

Common Sense Media says

Enigmatic puzzles and scary storms highlight this mystery.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game encourages players to use deductive reasoning, think analytically, and try out multiple possible solutions to a problem. When Nancy eats too much candy, she also gets ill -- so there's a little mini-message in that, too.

Positive role models

Nancy is a smart, resourceful female role model. She's polite, helpful, earnest, and yet strong and independent at the same time. She admits to a bit of a sweet tooth, though.

Ease of play

Players can choose to play as either a Junior or Senior Detective, the latter being quite a bit more difficult. Either way, though, the puzzles you'll find here are real brainteasers, all requiring a lot of trial and error. Don't expect to breeze through any part of this game.


In one scene, you experience -- from a first-person perspective -- Nancy getting knocked to the ground and blacking out. There are some scary storm moments, too, in which dark clouds and whipping winds make for an ominous atmosphere. You see a tornado destroy an abandoned house.

Not applicable

"Gosh," is about as rough as the language gets here.


From the opening screen, set in Nancy's home office, you can look at her "scrapbook" of previous adventures, which is essentially a catalog of the 21 previous Nancy Drew games by Her Interactive.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is a mystery experience from the first-person perspective of the world-famous teen sleuth. As Nancy, players will experience some scary moments -- most involving the weather, but a few that feature genuine bad guys. The story features a large number of pretty challenging puzzles, too -- kids will need a good deal of patience to work their way through. This is a good game for a mother and daughter or two friends to play together.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In NANCY DREW: TRAIL OF THE TWISTER, the 22nd entry in Her Interactive's series of games about the famous girl detective, Nancy goes undercover as an intern with a group of storm chasers -- people who hunt down and study tornadoes. Her goal is to figure out who has been sabotaging their missions and destroying their equipment. Playing as Nancy, you'll need to piece together the clues to find the culprit, and on way, you'll interview all sorts of interesting characters, explore the old farmhouse where the storm chasers are headquartered, and wrack your brain on a series of enigmatic puzzle challenges.

Is it any good?


If you've played any of the previous Nancy Drew games, you may feel like the puzzles in Nancy Drew: Trail fo the Twister have ramped up the challenge factor a bit. You'll also be impressed by the graphics and animation as well, because they are stunning. While you are basically free to roam around as you please, the story has a very linear arc to it, which is good in that it prevents you from possibly missing out on any important information. The puzzles, when they come along, are very nicely integrated into the story, even when they don't provide any clues to the mystery at hand. Early in the game, for example, you need to file away a bunch of folders -- sounds boring, but it ends up being a rather fun logic puzzle. One aspect that could use a little work is the driving -- Nancy can hop in a car to drive from place to place around the Oklahoma town she's in, but navigating the maze-like roads with a computer mouse can be sloppy. All in all, though, this is another wonderful addition to an already great series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the storm chasers featured in the story. Is that a job you would ever want to do? Or does it seem too scary or dangerous for you to be a part of in real life? Do you think any of the information you learned from the game can be helpful in real life?

  • Families can also discuss Nancy Drew as a role model. Brave, smart, resourceful -- she puts forth a good example for anyone. Yet she is still widely considered a character for girls. Could boys enjoy this game just as much? What could boys in particular learn from Nancy?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Her Interactive
Release date:June 29, 2010
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief, Mild Violence (Mac, Windows)

This review of Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister 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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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 25, 2010


It's really awesome I loved playing it it's not really that scary though.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old August 2, 2010

Great Thinking Game

I have played almost every Nancy Drew game and never had a problem. The only scary thing is the power goes out, and there is some bad weather. Otherwise it is a great game. I totally recommend it!
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byDangerRanger101 September 5, 2011

Great game! but, know you kids before buying

This is a really good game. It's not as scary as some of the other games in the series and it delivers alot of information on Tornados, disaster preparation, and historical events (mostly The Dust Bowl and The Trail of tears). But it's not absoluptely flawless for there are a few moments you may want to take note of so you can know your kids. Most of the scary scenes involve the weather. Like, in one part of the game Nancy gets caught on a violent thunderstorm and the scene scared me a bit. Also, you experience a tornado in the first part of the game, and in the middle of the night and they may be scary, depending on the kid. Finally, near the end of the game Nancy gets knocked out by the culprit. But if you look past those you have yourselves a fun, educational game with a positive role model, Nancy.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence


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