Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island

Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island

Fall 2004 Software
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $19.99
Platform: Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP
The biggest mystery in this series of Nancy Drew games is: How does Her Interactive do it?

How has this imaginative and classy, by-the-book, Girl Detective software evolved through 10 titles from "as good as it gets" to "better than ever?" I dunno.

But this latest Nancy Drew mystery is better than ever.

As in the past couple of titles, Nancy the Teenage Sleuth gets out a little more these days. No sooner does she arrive at Deception Island for a vacation of relaxation and whale watching, her pal's boat gets trashed--the first of several troubling "accidents" that seem to be somehow related to an orphaned Orca in a nearby channel.

Nancy's crime-solving antennae immediately go up and the plot quickly thickens as she scopes out the scene of the crime in 360-degree first-person perspective, visits the lighthouse, the town meeting, and marine museum and other local hotspots, questions suspects, and tracks the criminal--with you in the feature role of Nancy Drew, of course.

As always, the mystery has a large and well-developed supporting cast of witnesses, suspects and friends--from marine biologist Katie Firestone to a local fisherman, a café owner, etc. And along the way to resolving the case, there's a boatload of case-related puzzles and brainteasing diversions--everything from rearranging books on a shelf and identifying wood types to going clam-digging and making a Tabasco sandwich.

The graphics and sound--including the mystery-laden soundtrack--are compelling and realistic. Nancy's got her cell phone and laptop for getting hints from the Hardy Boys and keeping detailed notes. And getting around this time takes the form of biking and kayaking--and the kayaking is a blast!

Two difficulty levels--Junior and Senior detective--broaden the age-appropriate appeal and up the return-play factor. But the appeal of this game is tied to the quality of yet another must-solve mystery for Nancy Drew fans!

Don Oldenburg   ©2004 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Her Interactive, Inc.

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