Let's talk about the Nancy Drew games


#1

I have no idea how to start this topic besides a quick introduction. Hi. I’m OkamiGotFuzz and you’ve probably seen me around here and there for the past few months on this forum. I’m a Film and Media Studies graduate student and I’ve been trying to pick a fandom to discuss for an upcoming term paper.

As someone who has played Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness and loved it, I’m just surprised that no one really talks about Nancy Drew games. Sure, there are articles about her games but that’s really it. It’s nothing like the Fortnite fandom or even Telltale’s The Walking Dead fandom. There are 33 Nancy Drew games by Her Interactive. Thirty-three. That’s a realllllllly large number and no one is talking about them!!

Has anyone else here played Nancy Drew games? What do you think about them?


#2

You have to keep in mind we’re talking about a series of low budget point and click games here. The point and click genre has never had mainstream appeal outside Telltale, who had to basically rip out most point and click elements and convert their games into movies with decision points to get a significant audience. They’re not going to get the same number of people around them as one of the most popular cable TV shows in history and quite possibly one of the most successful single games ever made.

I haven’t played them but they have been on my radar. I play a ton of point and clicks and can give some recommendations on other detective themed stuff from the genre, both recent and older stuff.


#3

They’ve never really interested me enough to try them, but I do know that Kat Brewster (of Rock Paper Shotgun) has been streaming some of them along with Jack de Quidt: https://www.youtube.com/user/katbamkapow/videos


#4

I would seriously love some recommendations. I know that the genre itself is so niche but, I’m going to hang onto this fact until I die, there are 33 games means some type of audience is there. It just may be not online or it may be hidden somewhere on a website.

Also @juv3nal, I will definitely check out that playlist tonight while I’m working on some papers! Thank you!


#5

The most recent game worth a look is Lamplight City, a steampunk mystery game where you play as a detective who hears the voice of his dead partner in his head. There are five main cases, and your performances in said cases affects what progress you can possibly make in later cases. The creator basically borrowed the investigation point and click formula and added some structure from L.A Noire, which results in a game where cases only end once you finger a perp. You can be wrong, though, and this has consequences.

The Blackwell series from Wadjet Eye is a bit rocky, but the five games form a really strong story and improve drastically every entry. They follow a spirit medium and her ghost partner as they help spirits move on to the afterlife, dealing with various foes. Super New York, especially the second and third games making reference to two major New York City celebrities that turns into a really crazy story about reality shifting.

They also recently released Unavowed, set in the same universe and following a team of magic police tracking down a demon. The cool thing is the use of RPG elements, so you actually get to pick your gender and backstory, plus can choose who to bring in the field, which completely changes puzzle solutions.

The Gabriel Knight series is a must, those I advise you bring a walkthrough because they’re sierra games and were made at a time where they designed a lot of point and clicks that punished you with nonsense. They’re not as bad about it, but SOME MOMENTS. GAH. Anyways, they follow Gabriel Knight, a man who owns a bookstore in New Orleans and discovers he comes from a line of magical detectives. The first game has an all star cast and lovely sprite graphics, while the two sequels tried experimenting with FMV and 3D to…underwhelming effect. However, I hear their stories are way stronger.

Kathy Rain is good if you want something with a weird twist to it. The guy behind it said he was inspired by Twin Peaks and it REALLY shows.

I’ve also heard great things about Contradiction, a recent FMV point and click mystery game. Worth looking up.


#6

I will ditto both the Blackwell series and Unavowed, strongly recommend both. I won’t say the voice acting is always the best, though it is often good, but the early Blackwell games especially are notable for being completely voiced which is while not necessarily unique, pretty exceptional considering the relative size/profile of the studio at the time.


#7

Fun fact: They often recorded in Dave Gilbert’s room up until Technobabylon, which came out in the mid 2010s.


#8

Yeah that’s one of the neat things about that series is there’s developer commentary and voice outtakes available throughout.


#9

These are wonderful. I cannot thank you enough for this list. Thank you thank you.