Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave PC DVD
Published by: Focus Multimedia
Developed by: Her Interactive
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave is only the second (of the many available) Nancy Drew adventure game that I’ve played but it’s already clear to see that Her Interactive like to stick close to the series’ popular formula. Many of the elements there were present in the other game I’ve played, Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, are here too and the same can be said for that game’s problems too. Still, good puzzles and a decent storyline mean that Nancy Drew fans should definitely find some enjoyment here.
Nancy has been invited to work as an unpaid research assistant in Hawaii for Dr Quigley Kim, an entomologist. Trouble abounds on Big Island (the island in which Nancy finds herself) however as pineapple crops are mysteriously being ruined and certain individuals along with the mysterious Hilihili Research Centre appear to be up to no good. Thankfully Nancy has a few friends on the island as the Hardy Boys are there on an undercover investigation. In a welcome twist you’ll get to control both Nancy and the Hardy Boys during the course of the game as you attempt to find out what’s happening on Big Island.
The storyline in The Creature of Kapu Cave is, for the most part, enjoyable. Being able to play as both Nancy and the Hardy Boys certainly helps to keep things interesting. It also helps that the puzzles are well thought out and fit in with the general theme of the game. The game, like The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, likes to give you mundane chores to do and whilst they don’t manage to completely spoil the experience, they will certainly dampen your enthusiasm for the game at times. Having to make necklaces from seashells, fish and do chores for the head of the research centre is just tedious and I think if Her Interactive were to cut this element from their games they would be much more inviting.
As with other Nancy Drew titles you have the option of playing as either a junior or senior detective. Playing as a junior detective means you’ll get an assortment of hints and additional help that isn’t offered to you when playing as a senior detective. Junior detectives get a notebook and a task list that helps them remember what they’re doing and what needs to be done next. Having multiple difficult levels is a nice touch and is something all adventure games should include.
Once again we have another Nancy Drew game that has a functional if rather dated presentation. The graphics are once again locked to a low resolution of 800x600 and look very dated. The character animations are rather wooden and the environments at best look average. The game also features closed captions but neither the captioning nor the subtitling are as comprehensive as they should have been. For the most part it’s not too bad for deaf gamers with all of the tutorial messages, objectives and hints being shown in text. None of the puzzles will represent a problem and if you do manage to make a mess of things you can retry the puzzle without having to reload and go back to redo everything since your last save.
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave is an enjoyable adventure game that offers some well thought out puzzles and a storyline that will keep you interested. This is just as well as the game does offer some virtual chores for you to do and these do become tedious after a while. Thankfully the inclusion of, and the ability to play as the Hardy Boys definitely livens up the proceedings and will give the game extra appeal for some. Whilst it’s a game that fans of the series will no doubt enjoy it’s a shame that some of the more tedious moments (when doing chores for instance) have to be present in the game as this could deter some from what is otherwise a solid adventure game.