A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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What's it about?
NANCY DREW: WARNINGS AT WAVERYLY ACADEMY is the 21st installment of the popular Nancy Drew series of PC games. This time Nancy is undercover at an elite boarding school for girls. Someone has been threatening the valedictorian candidates and making \"accidents\" occur, like sneaking peanuts into the food of a highly allergic student. You play as Nancy, who is pretending to be a transfer student so that she can snoop out the fiend. You solve this point-and-click mystery by talking to others, solving puzzles, and exploring the school and its grounds.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroines in video games. Who is your favorite and why?
Nancy broke several school rules to solve this mystery. She hacked into computers, broke window, went out after curfew, and more. Why is this behavior OK within a video game, but not in real life?
This mystery is set in an elite girls' boarding school. Do you think the dialogue and interaction between the girl students caught the feel of what it is like to be in high school? Why or why not.