A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The overall message is that if you use your mind and wits, you can solve this mystery. While some of the girls depicted in this game are cruel and mean, Nancy never is and rises above the pettiness. She does, however, use some unorthodox methods to solve the mystery including breaking school rules and vandalizing property.
Violence & Scariness
If you fail to solve some of the puzzles correctly, you can hurt yourself, which results in a blank screen with words describing what happened. For example, one of the puzzles involves memorizing how a squirrel jumps from limb to limb to traverse a giant Oak tree. If you don't recreate the path correctly, you'll fall down and injure yourself (never shown, just told). The game automatically gives you a "Second Chance" to try the puzzle again.
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Girls are catty and at times, malicious in their comments about others.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy is a fabulous mystery game set in an elite New England prep school for girls. Amid rumors and gossip that are typical of most high schools, Nancy must learn to make friends and discover the truth of who is causing harmful accidents to happen to the seniors vying for valedictorian. Nancy's methods are not always above-board, as she resorts to vandalism, hacking into computers, and other rule-stretching tactics.
Is It Any Good?
This is a wonderful addition to the Nancy Drew series, and one that will resonate with tween and teen girls. The mystery is good, and it plays out, in part, by using Nancy's onscreen phone to deliver text messages. She can use a special "sneak mode" to avoid the hall monitors. To solve the case, Nancy must navigate a world full of insecure, catty girls and find the truth amidst the rumors.
Also good are the game's puzzles. Nancy has to take a series of photos that meet certain criteria. She must learn to decode musical notation so that she can open a drawer that only opens when a certain song is played. Plus, these puzzles can be played on two levels of difficulty. This Nancy Drew is a little easier than some of the others.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.