Maybe it was because I was watching a new mystery show on Netflix (post on that to follow, I’m sure), but I got the biggest urge recently to play the Nancy Drew computer games I used to play with my mom. They were the absolute BEST, and I hadn’t played them in ages, so I decided to pick one up and play.
And now, I’m absolutely hooked. I’m going through those mysteries like they’re…some sort of candy I loved in the ’90s when I was first playing these games.
The first one I ever played with my mom was Message in a Haunted Mansion. And oh my GOSH was it scary but also so, so fun. I think when I played it I was nine or so, and looking back I can’t believe it didn’t give me more nightmares then. I think what I loved about it though was how based on history it was, and how complicated but fun the puzzles were.
Each of the Nancy Drew games has an underlying theme that the puzzles and mysteries are all usually based on, and the puzzles, themes, clues, and underlying mystery will revolve around those tidbits of real history and culture. Nancy is usually called to the location she’s at because there have been accidents, someone is missing, someone was killed, or sometimes poor Nancy is on vacation and stumbles upon a mystery. Either way, the mysteries flow like the books do or like watching Scooby Doo – if there’s something supernatural going on, Nancy will figure out which suspect is behind it all and how they were pulling it off.
I first picked up some of the newer ones, mostly because they were already downloaded and installed on my computer, and then I tried buying one of the new ones that I had never played. But my nostalgia wasn’t quite satisfied, which I think is because I was playing the newer ones and not the ones from my childhood that my mom and I used to sit up late on weekends playing together.
So I went back and tried them, and wow the graphics took a plummet from where they are today! Also, because of technical difficulties I was unable to play the first two games, so (after my awesome husband figured out how to get the older ones working with Windows 7) I started with the 3rd, Message in a Haunted Mansion, and got to fully indulge in my nostalgia. I’m not sure I realized how much I’ve changed since I played them, but where they used to take me a long time to finish, I’m finishing the games in only a few hours now.
I’ve played through to the 10th one (there’s 32 now, I have a long haul in front of me…) and while the controls get progressively easier and more advanced with each game the stories are all so varied that I can’t pick a favorite. So instead, I’m going to play through all of them and write about them as I go. Should be fun!