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Computer Game Review – Nancy Drew Secrets Can Kill Moves Up a Notch from Vintage

Nancy Drew Secrets Can Kill Cover

My love for Nancy Drew began at ten when I read my first Carolyne Keene, The Secret in the Old Clock. In the next four years, I consumed all the rest of the series and it was time to move on.

A generation later, my firstborn Bunny found some old books and began reading them. I smiled as I saw my mysteries in her hands. It gave me a warm feeling to know we shared a common interest. After she grew up and out of them, I packed them away again for another child someday. My three sons hadn’t much interest in reading much less Nancy Drew. The cliche is, “Boys will be boys.” Still I saved them for a grandchild perhaps.

A few weeks ago I was asked to review Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Remastered. How could I refuse? Nancy Drew was someone I grew up with, a childhood chum. I did some research on the original version which was well rated last time around in 1999. It garnered the Good Housekeeping, 1999 Top 10 CD-ROM, August 1999; Superkids Software Awards, The Best of 1999; Coalition for Quality Children’s Media – Best Software for Girls; Kids First? All Star Rating, 1999; Mothering Magazine, “Top Notch Pre-teen Media” July/August 1999; Parents’ Choice Honors 1999; and Teen People Online, Editor’s Choice, Best Mystery Game for Girl. One decade plus later, I asked myself, “Will this game stand the test of time?”

Time to check out for myself the Her Interactive’s adventure-mystery game on my MAC. (A PC version is also available.) Requirements compatible with Windows 8, Vista, and XP:

* Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard/10.6.3 Snow Leopard or
* Intel Processor?–This game will NOT run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems (PowerMac).
* 512MB RAM
* 1.1 GB or more hard drive space
* Intel GMA 950, ATI X1600, NVIDIA 7300 graphics card or better?input
* Keyboard and Mouse
* Internet connection the first time the game is launched

Great thing about this program is absolutely no disc switching. The two difficulty level game includes handy sleuthing tools, task list, and a detective’s notebook to help searching for and sorting out clues. Revisions from the 1998 version, specifically a new soundtrack, 3-D look and animated characters, an added detective and more suspects, and new ending, are with the times. Gamers who enjoy secret hidden messages, complicated codes, and timed messages with fatal errors, will enjoy Secrets’ interactive virtual environment even though it is somewhat limited to the school and a few minor locations. The job is to move Nancy around, have her speak to people, find clues, sort out puzzles, and solve the crime.

The game Secrets Can Kill plays well. It is based on Secrets Can Kill, first book in the Nancy Drew Files. The back story is Nancy Drew travels to fictional Paseo Del Mar, Florida, to visit Aunt Eloise. A student in librarian Aunt Eloise’s high school has been murdered. Undercover Nancy investigates as a new student. Now an 18 year old amateur sleuth, she appears more conventional, passive, and fearful than the teen Edward Stratemeyer created 80 years ago. Still she serves as a positive role model.

Here’s a look at the trailer.

Available since August, 2010, in stores like Target and Walmart, online, and as a digital download, the suggested retail price of Secrets Can Kill is $19.99.The ESRB rates it as E10+ because of references to violence and drugs.

This post was written as part of a campaign for Family Review Network. The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This review has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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