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

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek

Fall 2007 Software
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $19.99
Platform: Windows

Here we go again - another Nancy Drew mystery that, like the 15 before it in this popular girl-gumshoe series, is a high-quality production and a fantastic workout for young brains.

This two-CD game kicks off with the teen detective answering the call of Canadian innkeeper Chantal who is troubled by a number of suspicious accidents at Icicle Creek Lodge, her wintry resort in the Canadian Rockies. Add to that the appearance of a menacing howling white wolf around the time of the accidents and you’ve got another thriller!

Even as Nancy arrives at the lodge, a howl echoes from the snowy horizon and one of the resort’s bunkhouses explodes. That sends the teen into sleuthing mode using the usual ND first-person navigation point of view. On the left of the new and improved ND screen layout are Nancy’s standard detective gear - her knapsack, phone, journal (for note-keeping), checklist, etc.

But the storyline has Nancy filling in for the inn’s maid and cook who quit days earlier, so she can remain inconspicuous while conducting her investigation. That sets up several of the fun chores, mini-games and puzzles - from picking up dirty laundry and cleaning rooms to cooking burgers, salmon and other orders for the lodge’s guests (yup, breakfast, lunch and dinner!). Other min-diversions include a snowball fight, a fish-catching trip, a minesweeper-like skating-pond game, an ice-flow puzzle, a fox-and-goose game and a pig-pyramid brainteaser.

As always, between tasks and mini-games, Nancy is a snoop - throughout the lodge, into guests’ rooms when they’re not there, outside the lodge (though watch the hyperthermia meter ‘cause it’s cold out there!) and face-to-face with suspects. And this adventure is filled with characters - handyman Ollie Randall, cross-country skier Yanni Volkstaia, suspicious birdwatcher Guadalupe Comillo, guest Lou Talbot and ice-fisherman Bill Kessler.

Beginners take note: Do the "How-To-Be-A-Detective" tutorial at the beginning of the game and start off playing the junior difficulty level (which provides hints). ND returnees will appreciate the harder senior level and recognize the same high-quality graphics, animation and sound make this yet another top-notch ND mystery. In fact, this adventure plays a little longer than shorter recent titles fans had complained about, suggesting that HerInteractive isn’t going to sit on its laurels and let its franchise series slip.

Don Oldenburg   ©2007 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:
Her Interactive, Inc.
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
HighWater Group

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