Hardy Boys - The Hidden Theft - Review

Hardy Boys - The Hidden Theft
Ages: Everyone 10 +

Maybe I shouldn't have played with the Hardy boys so soon after spending the night with Nancy Drew wandering around the moors and bogs of Ireland - they don't do well by comparison.

The Nancy Drew syndicate learned long ago to get the girl out of her hometown and into more exotic locations. Although both series were the brainchild of the Stratemeyer Syndicate back in the early 30's, Nancy has weathered time better.

This is the first Hardy Boys game - and Nancy's 19th, but it's the boys' character that seem dated. Particularly in the opening scene where the interaction between the boys and their mother make them look like twelve year olds instead of the independent sleuths that are supposed to be.

The story begins with an investigation of a theft of a large sum of security bonds from the safe of Samuel Spenser, who accuses his brother, Thomas, of the theft. The accused is portrayed sympathetically and just happens to be the father of the girl one of the boy's is attracted to, and so the boys go on an investigation spewing suspects right and left. You play mostly with the boys linked together, but occasionally they are de-linked and are controlled separately, Frank dark haired, Joe the blond. Strangely - this doesn't add much to the story. The settings are bare bones plain. There are no added extras to make the interiors feel lived in.

Eventually the perp confesses, but the story doesn’t end there - a long denouement is played out to match all the histories of the characters with each other. The most interesting venue is the costume shop were you match the correct costumes to the mannequins. And nobody bothered to explain why Mr. Samuel Spenser is living in a three story immense house that is clearly a sanatorium. You will also most likely need a walkthrough or hints at some point, because some of the situations come completely out of left field. It's a first try so there's lots of room for improvement. They should keep the voice acting because it's good. Having a companion game to the Nancy Drew series would be fun - but these guys are going to have to get a way lot cooler.

Fun Factor: Zilch
Female Factor: Zilch
Player Friendly: Awkward - inventory box gets in the way

Reviewed by: Editor - 11/08

  • Hardy Boys - The Hidden Theft
  • © The Adventure Company/XPEC
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP W2K
  • To Order: Win http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99