Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy

Common Sense Media says

Fab fun as teen super-sleuth goes undercover at prep school.





What parents need to know

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.


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.

Not applicable

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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Available online?Not available online
Developer:Her Interactive
Release date:October 14, 2009
ESRB rating:E for Mild Violence (Windows)

This review of Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy 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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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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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. It's like the teens getting annoyed at the middle schoolers for thinking that they're all that. High school does not always reflect what is portrayed in the game and even though it is a very friendly Nancy Drew game it might scare or give younger children ideas. It really is wonderful game though. I've played it myself and I think it is one of the best that HER has ever put out! A real 10 out of 10.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
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 recommending it for ages 12 and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written bymilesofsmiles101 February 19, 2011


Nancy Drew games are THE BEST! They are so educational-in the game, I needed to create a DNA model...the next day at school, we had a pop quiz about the DNA model-if it weren't for Nancy Drew, I would have failed! Nancy Drew games are fun, challenging, and suspensful (without being too scary)! I also like how you get to explore the different rooms, it is a very interactive game!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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