Nancy Drew -- Danger by Design - Review

Nancy Drew -- Danger by Design
Ages: Everyone -- 10 to Adult

Location: Paris
Assignment: Work undercover to find out what is delaying Minnette's spring fashion show.

Danger by Design is the 14th Nancy Drew game and it is a treat. Minnette's House of Design is in an old windmill -- hence the name Moulin Minnette. French is not the only thing you will pick up in the game. You will be exposed to a part of French history -- the time of the German occupation of France and words like collaborator, resistance and traitor will also be added to your vocabulary.

Nancy Drew -- Danger by Design has the best characters in all of the fourteen games. You will love them, hate them, sympathize with them and suspect them all. Minnette, the fashion designer is a nut case who throws temper tantrums, wears a white face mask not unlike the Phantom of the Opera, drinks strange herbal infusions and gets her creative ideas flowing for her new fashion line from a pile of junk. Nancy rooms with Jing Jing Ling who has been tricked into being Minnette's model and has to maintain a perfect size 12, which she does by baking and eating cookies. Size 12 is not the usual model's size and we learn that Minnette is designing for plus-size women.

Then there is Dieter von Schwesterkrank -- good looking, arrogant and an ex-boyfriend to Minnette. We learn that Heather, Minnette's assistant has a crush on him which he dismisses out of hand. Heather puts up with Minnette's outrageous behavior and one wonders why, since she is a designer herself. Jean Michel Traquenard is a fashion critic who can make or break a designer, and is no friend to Minnette. Characters good enough to have a presence even while you are doing the puzzles.

Nancy Drew games are formulaic and I think that is just fine. Players know pretty much what to expect, and there is always sufficient variety built upon the formula to keep players interested. You can hardly take a step without being confronted with something to solve, fix or find. There are the standard recipe puzzles for cookies, tea and parfait -- an underwater maze, some puzzles will cause you to take out pencil and paper, some a dictionary and, remember the Moulin is a windmill with gears and all, so some mechanical puzzles are in store. There is an especially difficult puzzle, developing pictures in the dark -- no red light -- startled me with a noisy big explosion. Yes, I had to start over. What could HerInteractive have been thinking?

You get around Paris via a Metro map, and there are plenty of interesting locations -- from Minnette's dark and bizarre work room to a sunny Port Neuf Park and of course, the Catacombs. Thank you HI for resisting the temptation to make this a "dress-up" game and for the "perfect size 12" model.

Reviewed by: Editor - 08/06

  • Nancy Drew -- Danger by Design
  • © Her Interactive
  • W98SE Me XP 2000
  • To Order: Win $19.95