Girls Become Nancy Drew
Players step into the shoes of Nancy Drew, a teenage sleuth who is strong, resourceful, and intelligent. Nancy has been hired to investigate the baffling death of brilliant physicist Niko Jovic, a scientist who was inspired by the work of Nikola Tesla. A device malfunction at a private lab caused the scientist to be electrocuted. While suspecting foul play, the police didn't find enough evidence to charge anyone. Consequently, Victor Losset, the lab's CEO, hires Nancy to continue the investigation in hopes of finding the murderer.
How To Play
Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device is a point and click game where you use your cursor to control the game. The cursor changes to a glowing magnifying glass when you can look closer at something. The icon will change into a hand when you can move, use, or pickup an item to store it in your inventory.
The game takes place in the two-story lab that contains the workspace where Niko died, an employee's lounge, sleeping quarters, a security room, offices, and more. Players navigate the game by bringing the cursor to the edge of the screen. In many of the rooms, you have the ability to scroll sideways to see the whole room. If there is someone in the room, you can approach him and talk. A conversation menu lets you control the interrogation; but if you aren't careful, you will antagonize the suspect and he will quit talking to you.
By going to your sleeping quarters, you can move the time forward by setting the clock to wake you in the daylight or nighttime. You also control Nancy's phone to make calls, take photos of clues you can't pick up, and play four casual games.
Gumshoes can choose to play Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device as an amateur or a master sleuth. The two levels of difficulty affect the amount of help you can get, as well as the level of difficulty of the game's many puzzles. On the amateur level, the game will keep a detailed task list and provide hints when requested. The game also automatically keeps a journal with observations and suspects.
Solving the Mystery Involves Talking to Others
To solve this mystery, players will get to know the five other workers at the lab. Voiced by talented actors, these workers come alive on the computer screen. Their sometimes quirky personalities come through in the dialogue; and your opinion of their potential guilt frequently shifts throughout the game. In other words, this is a well developed mystery story that is exciting to unravel.
The other part of solving this mystery involves searching for clues. You must pay attention to the suspects' work hours and patterns so that you can sneak into offices and workspaces when others aren't around. For example, the security guard is a knowledgeable guy who's irascible when he is at his best. To snoop in his office and on his computer, you can pull the alarm button to get him to leave his office. You will then have a limited time in which you can explore his domain.
Tons of Puzzles to Solve
While this mystery is exciting, what makes it even better is that it is filled with intellectually challenging puzzles -- most of which are baked into the story. For example, to program a key card so that you can access a restricted area, you must solve a puzzle about filling a rectangular space with overlapping geometric shapes to match a color-coded solution. You will also be challenged to create a 3D object from blueprints, piece together shredded papers, reassemble circuit boards, mix chemicals, use math to unbolt locks, and more.
Since this mystery is set in a physics lab, it is a world filled with Tesla coils, Faraday cages, transistors, resistors, and circuit boards. Players will also pick up information about Nikola Tesla and his work, as well as learn about physics, electricity, and chemistry.
The developer does a great job of combining real science with a compelling mystery. The spooky soundtrack contributes to the suspense, as does the parts of the game where you are working under time pressure. If you fail to complete a task in time or make a fatal mistake, the game provides you a second chance.
Since this mystery is confined to a two-story physics lab, it does feel a little cramped and repetitive, especially when you are constantly going up and down in the elevator. Even with this limitation, the "electrifying" mystery shines through, making it well worth playing.
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