Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase  - Review

Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
Ages: Everyone

Nancy is called in by her old friend Helen to unravel a mystery at Twin Elms, a house that seems to be haunted. Objects are missing, actually misplaced, the house rattles, chandeliers shake, a shadowy figure is seen running though the house and grounds. Helen's grandmother will sell the house if the mystery isn't cleared up.

There are plenty of suspects in this game - besides Helen and her grandmother - Aunt Rosemary, the housekeeper, the gardener, Dr. Eric Morrison, Realtor Nathan Gombear, a seemingly homeless man taking shelter in a cave, even a Policeman.

Solving the mystery depends upon finding the missing objects as detailed by two characters on each level of the game. Levels are separated to the outside buildings and gardens, the first floor, the second floor and finally the attic. As is standard for most Nancy Drew games - the exploration involves large and complex interiors - the Twin Acres floors have at lest 19 rooms per level. Finding how to navigate through the house and grounds is part of the fun.

The search is timed - approximately half an hour per level. If you do not succeed you are returned to the beginning of that level. Success will generally take two attempts - the first to get the lay of the land before you can zip along to hit the locations that will become familiar upon replay. Objects are changed, as are the locations with each playing, and so with the familiarity of the game comes the challenge of besting your last time.

The house - as with many ND is really a mansion with sumptuous rooms and are quite fun to explore. No voices, dialogue is relegated to lists of missing objects. Sounds are mostly sound effects so you won't miss much by turning the volume down. Navigation is sometimes deliberately obscure, still it offers excellent training in reading plans and maps. The environment is interesting enough to intrigue players into repeat plays - even if getting a higher score isn't enough of a draw.

Fun Factor: A simple search and find with a Nancy Drew motif.
Female Factor: As always - Nancy saves the day
Player Friendly: No tricks or impossible hiding places.

Reviewed by: Editor - 09/08

  • Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
  • © ValueSoft
  • Platform(s): GBDS
  • To Order: GBDS $19.99