Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy Game Poster Image
Fab fun as teen super-sleuth goes undercover at prep school.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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

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.

Sex
Language

Girls are catty and at times, malicious in their comments about others.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15 year old Written byAeliene September 2, 2010

Wonderful, good for eight grade and above really!

Just great! The only reason I recommend it to older kids is that they would have a more standard idea that what is portrayed in the game is not completely real.... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBooth_Bones_4eva October 11, 2010

hard to play but lots of fun!

really like the nancy drew series. love the books, the movie and the games. this is really fun and educational as well. pretty hard to play, so thats why im rec... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDangerRanger101 July 26, 2011

Kind of scary, know your kid

Most of the girls (except Mel and Nancy) are not good role models. They tend to bad mouth each other, call them names, and gossip and lie about them. I don... Continue reading

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.

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Her Interactive
  • Release date: October 14, 2009
  • Genre: Girl
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Violence

For kids who love mysteries

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