The year is 1930, and you are behind the wheel of classic blue roadster, driving to meet your friend, 17-year-old Emily Crandall, who has recently inherited the Lilac Inn in the sleepy town of Titusville. While visiting, inexplicable happenings motivate you to start investigating your surroundings and the people of the town. The next thing you know, you have solved a mystery, helped your friend, and launched a career as a detective. That's because you've been playing Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock by Her Interactive.
Her Interactive has built a reputation for delivering top-notch, family-friendly entertainment based on the Nancy Drew license. And this release, the 12th in the series, won't disappoint loyal fans. It has all the Her Interactive trademarks: first person play as Nancy Drew, interesting characters, a rich storyline that is constantly branching, fabulous graphics, a "second chance" button so Nancy never dies, and challenging puzzles.
New to this mystery is the player's ability to drive Nancy's car. When you're driving, a small car appears on a map of the town; and you direct the vehicle by using the arrow keys or the mouse. The software incorporates your driving into many aspects of solving the mystery.
Compared to the others in this series, Secret of the Old Clock is an easier and less scary mystery, making it a good entry for kids as young as age 10. Cyber-sleuths will enjoy the period music, a playable mini-golf course, research in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and a nice variety of classic and novel puzzles. Testers particularly enjoyed a Rube-Goldberg type sequence that happens when they solve the puzzle of how to focus light from a window through a series of four mirrors to make it hit a radiometer.
If your children have never tried one of these Nancy Drew interactive mysteries, this is the perfect one to start with because, like them, this is the first mystery Nancy has ever solved. And, playing this software with another person can be a terrific bonding experience for parents and children—especially mothers and daughters.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.