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

Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge

Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge

Spring 2011 Software
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $19.99

The latest Nancy Drew adventure, the 23rd in Her Interactive's high-quality series, takes the world-famous teenage detective to the other side of the world. As you might expect, even in Japan where Nancy is teaching English, she's a trouble magnet.

Seems the Ryokan Hiei, the Japanese inn in Kyoto where she's staying, has ghost problems. Yet, the Shimizu family that manages the inn won't acknowledge the eerie haunting hassles that are driving away guests.

The good news for Nancy Drew fans is that Nancy's investigation into who's hiding what and why at the Ryokan Hiei makes for a stronger and more engaging plot line than some previous titles. As always, the story unfolds through a first-person 3D perspective-you playing the role of Nancy Drew who, besides her gumshoe wits and instincts, has her cell phone and computers to help solve the mystery.

Like all Nancy Drew games, as Nancy pokes around collecting evidence, she chats with the several colorful and intriguing characters (Yumi is especially fun!) looking for clues and suspects. The scenes depicting Nancy traipsing around Kyoto are a bonus. Through the game's top-notch graphics and animation, Japanese scenery and culture come alive. Note: Navigating Japan's subways can be challenging.

Usual Nancy Drew elements continue in Shadows at Water's Edge. The option to play the harder Senior Detective or the easier Junior Detective modes, the expected brainteaser games and puzzles which, in this game, are based on Japanese culture and include a giant Sudoku, a Nonogram and a repetitive Pachinko pinball game.

Making the game more engaging and fun are opportunities to study Japanese alphabets, take calligraphy lessons and learn Japanese rock gardens and origami. Nancy Drew fans won't be disappointed in this adventure and newbies will be wide-eyed amazed.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 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.

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