Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion – Review
Follow Genre: point and click
Publisher: Her Interactive
Developer: Her Interactive
Platform: PC, Mac

Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Great puzzles
Bad: More chaotic, "flat" characters
User Score
4.6
(8 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.6/10 (8 votes cast)

The Nancy Drew franchise is well-known for its great detective games in its own particular style. The latest game, the thirtieth from the series, isn’t any different. Be ready to find hidden clues, solve mysterious puzzles whilst trying to stay alive!

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Story

The story isn’t as dark or mysterious as other Nancy Drew games mostly are. You and your friend George are competing in a television show, “Pacific Run – New Zealand”. You’ll have to complete several stages to earn points and medallion pieces. This doesn’t sound quite sinister, right? Well, think again, as multiple weird events happen and your friend gets injured.

After using your investigation skills, it is quite clear that there is something seriously wrong with the show. The dodgy director Sonny is the only crew member you’ll find running around and the more you dig, the more you’ll get into trouble. You’ll find out that your puzzle skills and your intuition for clues is the reason why you’re participating in the show. Everything is not what it seems.

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Graphics

The graphic are nicely done and the developers really had a lot of eye for the facial expressions. These are very detailed and seem to splatter of your screen. Next to that, you’ll find that the overall environment is finished well, although there are some downers to be told.

The biggest negative point is the physical appearance of the characters, namely the curves of a body. While the facial expressions are really good, the curves of the more lower parts of the body feel flat, without any depth. This doesn’t seem a big deal at the beginning, but this gets quite disturbing after a while. This flatness can be seen in the environment as well, as some leaves and greenery have a dull and lifeless feeling.

Sound

Sound wise, the game offers you some new tracks, mixed with old, familiar tunes. The Pacific Run game is quite an adventurous show, so it needs some vivid and energetic music. When you’re running around and solving puzzles, you might recognise the same tune you hear when you’re were solving mysteries in previous games. This doesn’t seem to be bothering at all, as you’re more focussing on finding clues rather than stopping and checking the scenery while enjoying the music.

Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion has some sound effect as well. Rowing a kayak, the clattering of a waterfall, … it has all its own distinctive sound pattern. This is a nice feature, as it sharpens your senses when you suddenly don’t hear anything anymore …. (*scary music*).

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Gameplay

Since there are already thirty games of the Nancy Drew franchise, it could be that you’ve already solved one or maybe several mysteries. This next part might be a bit recognizable, but bear with me ;).

Nancy Drew games are point and click games. Most of the time, you’ll be chasing clues and trying to solve puzzles. You’ll be able to move around by arrows you can find while hovering your screen. There isn’t a real map implemented, which might make it harder sometimes to find the several directions you can run to.

Another small downer is that the moving system is too responsive. The area you need to click to move to another place is quite big. It might happen you were trying to click a clue and end up turning around or going into a room. Something else particular odd is that certain areas, for example in the main playfield, is only accessible when you’re looking at it from one point of view. It happens that you’ll need to take step forward first and then turn around before you can enter that specific area.

The games are all in first-person view, meaning that you’ll be close by the action (and giving a more creepy effect when someone just suddenly appears behind your back).

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The puzzles in the game are rather diverse, if you see in what environment you’re working. You’ll be surprised to which crooks and crannies the clues send you. The game offers you two types of difficulty, namely amateur and master. Playing the game on amateur gives you the advantage that you can get help by obtaining hints. The masters will have to do it on their own and they will have to face harder puzzles than the “amateurs”. If this game is your first Nancy Drew experience, it would be best to stick with amateur.

This game feels more chaotic than its predecessors. It was hard to find what to do next and where to find the next piece of the plot, while this wasn’t the case in previous games. A nice bonus is that you can see the several confessions that players make during the show. It is quite funny sometimes and worth to see if you want to have a laugh.

Conclusion

Hooray for thirty games full of mysteries! Nancy Drew still does the trick and combines mindbreaking puzzles with quite nice graphics and music. Although this game might have been more chaotic, it still gives you the pleasure of finding the answer on the smart riddles and hidden clues. The story isn’t that “scary” this time, but you’ll have your “oh damn” moments!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.6/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion - Review, 4.6 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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