Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock (#12) PC CD-ROM
Developer & Publisher: Her Interactive
Released: July 2005
It’s 1930 and Nancy Drew is asked to visit Emily Crandall in Titusville, a girl whom Nancy knows only through a mutual friend. She and her mother had been counting on the generosity of their kindly but strange neighbor, Josiah Crowley, to leave them part of his estate to support the inn they own. But in his will, everything was left to Richard Topham, his ESP teacher. A contested will, a suffering girl, and suspicious psychics – can Nancy solve the mystery before time runs out?
Secret of the Old Clock has a mouse-controlled point-and-click interface. The game also provides two levels of difficulty: Junior and Senior. The Junior Level provides a notebook with a to-do list and occasional telephone conversational clues that are not available on Senior Level. I recommend Senior Level because of the challenges and you would want to figure out these puzzles yourself without hints or clues.
On the plus side, the majority of puzzles and chores connect the story and dialogue with enough finesse to keep you interested. Some are minor and will be easy to pass over without a second thought, but there are many to find. There are also a number of hidden "75"'s to find within the game (the number itself) and it will be a challenge to discover them all, even for the most devoted Nancy Drew fan. The downside about this game is that there are some difficult puzzles which will take you hours and hours to solve. One instance is a mini-golf course puzzle. It’s a very, very tricky course that requires exact precision when aiming your putts – and that’s very hard to do. Sometimes you want to start over because you know you’re not getting the exact par you need to win the game and win your next clue, but you have to see the game through to the end.
You will be required to run a number of errands for people, so you are going to need to know where you are going. Thus, the game provides you with a built-in map of Titusville so that you can quickly find the bank, or more importantly, the gas station. The roadster may look cool, but it empties gas faster than some small countries.
The graphics are as good as ever, especially the detail in the locations. It does a good job at setting that 1930's feel and to help this along there are some interesting black and white photographs of the period used for some locations with music to match. As well as using an old sewing machine you can tinker with old clocks, a phonograph, and use an old telephone. The sound is a treat as well; as you'll be treated to some amusing 1930's sounding dialogue and music. This game is entirely deaf-friendly, since all sounds and conversations are subtitled.
Challenging, but recommended for everyone.
Deaf Gamers comment: No problems at all for deaf gamers.