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

Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device

Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device

Spring 2013 Software
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $19.99
Platform: Windows

No doubt, familiarity is part of the appeal of Her Interactive’s award-winning Nancy Drew video game series. Most of the games (there are twenty-seven) are essentially similar in the basic interface, interactivity and story concept, from the puzzles, character interviews, hidden clues, and 360-degree first-person perspective. The consistency is welcome. The titles in this series all promote exceptional values, strong educational content, excellent storytelling and forward-thinking technology. The latest Nancy Drew episode, The Deadly Device, layers scientific investigation over these familiar game elements for a title that not only changes from the usual but challenges players, too.

The Deadly Device is an intriguing mystery that’s scarier and certainly more clinical than previous titles. This is the first hardcore murder case since the start of the series, and there are lots of brainy scientists featured in this one. The new tale is set at a remote laboratory in Colorado following the suspicious death of a respected physicist who resembled the great and legendary Nikola Tesla. On a more fundamental level, The Deadly Device is a quality, character-driven game that presents an engaging mix of enjoyable and relevant puzzles (mostly sci-lab electronics, computer circuitry, chemistry and physics that include anagrams, connect-the-wires puzzles, binary code, even the chemical periodic table), strong storylines, and captivating characters.

Previous Nancy Drew games have taken players to a host of exotic destinations rendered in rich graphics. Compared to those settings, the scenes of scientific labs may seem mundane. But the game makes up for it with new or reinvigorated innovations, such as the day-night time adjustments, a hyper-cinematic soundtrack, and an extended hint system for junior detectives. The bottom line, even for Nancy Drew veterans, is that this is a terrific who-done-it title with some new twists, certainly new test tubes, and a compelling plot line that creates an entertaining and educational sleuthing experience.

Don Oldenburg   ©2013 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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