|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.5|
|Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device|
December 18, 2012 | Ted Bade
Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: Intel | RAM: 512 MB | HD Space: 3 GB | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000, ATI Radeon X1600, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
Nancy Drew and the Deadly Device is another installment of the Nancy Drew mystery adventure games. Once again we help Nancy investigate a mystery. This time a brilliant scientist is killed by a high powered electrical device he was working on and no one knows what really happened. In this game you investigate the environment, the people in it, and solve a variety of puzzles ranging from easy to quite difficult. Mystery fans will enjoy searching for clues and piecing together what happened.
The slain scientist was killed while working with a high voltage Tesla coil, late at night in a research facility. Although the police have a suspect, there is no concrete evidence. Nancy was hired to pose as a representative of a company interested in purchasing the research facility. This cover puts her in a position to look around and ask questions, without making the employees think she is investigating the death. However, given that she has to ask some specific questions, it is hard to hide the truth. The killer apparently figures this out and some mysterious things happen around Nancy.
As always, the Nancy Drew mysteries have an educational component. Books and other information found in the game expose the player to the history of electricity and Nicola Tesla, one of the notable figures heavily involved in the development of electricity, as well as some fun facts about energy conservation.
Gameplay is pretty straight forward. You move Nancy around the facility, inspecting the offices, lounges, laboratory, and other rooms. You will also need to interact with the employees, finding out what they think about the person murdered and the prime suspect. This game is driven by the investigation. Often nothing will happen or no new information can be found, until a certain task is completed or a clue uncovered. But the game isn’t specifically linear, there is generally more than one path to investigate. The player usually has an idea of what needs to be done next, although there were a few instances where it wasn’t so obvious. If there is a question, Nancy keeps a journal which includes a list of tasks that need to be completed as well as keeps track of important information, such as codes found, and other information gathered.
This game takes place in a high tech facility. A few of the puzzles require figuring out an employee’s password so Nancy can access their computer to gain more knowledge. While clues are provided, assembling the clues to make a working password can be a challenge. All the information needed to solve the puzzles are included in the game, generally as part of the educational aspect in the books and other information documents. Piecing it all together is the hard part.
The spaces in this game are nicely rendered. They stay pretty much the same throughout the game. This is a 24/7 facility, with a day and a night crew. The player moves from day to night shift as needed, guiding Nancy through the investigation. The game characters are interesting. Interaction is via set phrases in a text box, although the characters and Nancy also speak the words. When there is more than one question to ask a list of possible questions will be in the text area. New interactions show up once you figure out one puzzle or another, or ask a specific question.
Nancy has her trusty cell phone, good for snapping images of items in other rooms that cannot be moved (for review when the information is needed). It also connects her to three outside sources of information: an acquaintance who is studying criminology, the man who hired her for this investigation, and the Hardy Boys. All of these people provide additional information and clues to help the investigation. They are great resources if you get stuck.
There are some timed events which require the player to complete a puzzle in a certain amount of time or to lose and restart. It’s always a good idea to save the game at various points so that if you fail a task, you can easily go back to that point. Losing isn’t a really big deal, you get some text about being caught or killed and are given the option to restart. The timed tasks give a goodly amount of time, but it might take a player more then one try to figure out the puzzle.
The audio in this game is pretty good. The music is background, but will ramp up when an important event is taking place. Interacting with certain objects will cause appropriate sounds, and other objects just hum or make environmental sounds.
Overall, Nancy Drew and the Deadly Device is very well done, fun but often challenging, and a bit educational. It requires some good problem solving skills to conquer the challenges ranging from easy to difficult. This is really a step above simply reading a mystery novel, since you, the player, will need to figure out many things. Of course, if a particular puzzle has you completely stumped, there are always walkthroughs available on the internet. :-)
If you are looking for a fun and challenging mystery based adventure game, you will definitely enjoy this Nancy Drew game. It is well designed, challenging, and a lot of fun. Heck, you might even learn a few things about electricity as well!
• Interesting story
• Good gameplay
• Realistic characters
• Should provide more information
• Doesn't allow player to look at all aspects of the environment