Nancy Drew - The Model Mysteries - Review

Nancy Drew - The Model Mysteries
Rating: E-10+ - Everyone 10+

We have probably reviewed all the Nancy Drew games so far - this one is fashioned somewhat differently. While Nancy and her friends were never shown (you play Nancy in first-person mode and her friends are phone voices), this game uses an RPG style of presentation - sliding an image of the character speaking onto the screen and putting the conversation text in a frame under the character. I found some of the pictures a bit jarring - not that my made-up image of Bess or Nancy had any basis, but I didn't quite expect them to look as depicted.

The game is a triple-mystery, sort of. Nancy has been invited to be a bridesmaid at the wedding of her good friend (and famous model) Sydney, who is marrying a reality-show TV star. From the beginning, it turns out that someone is trying to ruin this wedding, and of course, Nancy has to figure it out.

Most of the puzzles are seek-and-find, with the feature that one of the things you have to find is, in fact, a clue or somthing related to the story. The seek-and-find sessions are timed, and you must find everything in the list or you have to try again (and again and again ...) until you do find everything. Each time you try the list can have different objects to find, although the important/clue item is always on the list. When you find the clue/important object, the seek-and-find sequece is paused and you get extra info related to this item. If you have to re-do that puzzle, you still will get the interruption when you (again) find the important object.

From time to time you get to ask questions of a selected set of characters (you cannot choose the set). BUT - you get exactly 3 questions to ask from a list presented to you (Nancy) - you can ask one character all three or two and one or use the three questions one each on three characters. You have virtually no clue as to which questions posed to which characters will reveal anything useful.

After a while, you are supposed to have assembled enough information to figure out who the culprit is, and then you are presented with a choice to pick one person out of a given set. Pick (or guess) wrong and you are thrown all the way back to the beginning of the current chapter (the game has three chapters) and have to go through this entire chapter again! What a weird bummer. Although you can pause the game at any time by powering off, and resume when you power back on, there are no user-created saves. If you do get/guess the culprit correctly, then the game auto-saves and you go on to the next chapter, where more things happen to interfere with the wedding.

I found the mechanics of the game irritating. It was pointed out in the instructions that I could go back and play again for a higher score, but why would I? Sadly, this particular opus does not extend the Nancy Drew series well, as the story is also somewhat weak and arbitrary.

Fun Factor: Timed puzzles and constrained conversations
Female Factor: Nancy and Friends Score Again
Player Friendly: Poor game mechanics and no user saves

Reviewed by: Lou - Mar/10

  • Nancy Drew - The Model Mysteries
  • © THQ
  • Platform(s): DS
  • To Order: DS $19.99