Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower

2001 Her Interactive
Designed by Erin Brown, Robert Riedl
Reviewed 2001 October 19

Rating +0 Linearity narrow
Reasonability deductive Connectivity moderate
Difficulty pedestrian Relevance moderate
Interface 1st paned simple Real-time minor

Nancy goes on a skiing vacation to her father's friend's lodge, an old castle in Wisconsin. Part of the castle was imported from France. A blizzard socks the place in with only a handful of people, and a strange vandalism and a robbery put Nancy into sleuth mode. Nancy learns about the castle's builder, and the castle's connection to Marie Antoinette. Foul play is afoot, and all present are exhibiting suspicious behaviour.

Storywise, it's pure formula, but it's a servicable framework for the mystery. The Antoinette connection provides exotic appeal. The characters are given simple but effective motivations for secrecy. It's not Shakespeare, but it is Nancy Drew.

Most of the comments for the previous game, Message in a Haunted Mansion, apply here. This is mostly an exploration game, wandering around until you trip the next trigger, with only a few challenges. My biggest complaint is that the challenges aren't very creative. My biggest praise is that the pacing of the story with the triggers and challenges is very good.

One particular note for this episode: The 3D character mannikins are well done. The colouration and shading matches the backgound graphics well. The gesticulations are restrained, giving them a more natural look than the spasmodic zaniness most such mannikins seem to display.

The Nancy Drew series has hit its stride. I especailly like the ambience of the artwork and the music. The formula might not make for the greatest of adventures, but it does fit well the franchise and intended audience.

Beware! Here are some spoiler-ridden notes on the game. They're only recommended for people who have played the game and want to see some of my rationale for my evaluations.

Related reviews:

  • The Nancy Drew Series
    David Tanguay's Game Reviews
    Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.