Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek PC DVD
Published by: Focus Multimedia
Developed by: Her Interactive
Given the sheer amount of Nancy Drew adventure games that exist, it’s probably fair to say that they have been hugely popular. Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek was my first opportunity to experience the series and on the whole it’s a thoroughly decent point and click adventure game that should appeal to fans of the Nancy Drew novels. That’s not to say the game isn’t without its problems however. The characters in the game are one-dimensional and the gameplay at times can feel more like a chore than entertainment. Thankfully there’s a fairly enjoyable storyline here though that can help you forgive the game’s shortcomings.
Nancy has been invited to the Icicle Creek Lodge in Alberta, Canada, to investigate the mysterious goings on, such as suspicious accidents and explosions that have been occurring there. Nancy has to investigate the lodge without drawing any attention to her activities so she decides to pose as a maid. Unfortunately, the woman who runs the lodge, Chantal Moique, also decides to use Nancy as a general dogsbody so that she can make up for the lack of staff at the lodge. This subterfuge is the ideal cover for Nancy to snoop around the lodge but it also gives the game an unnecessary dollop of tedium that it could have done without as you have to tidy rooms, cook meals and even remove the ice from the pool within specific time frames.
If that seems like the game is set to be one whole load of interactive drudgery you’ll be pleased to learn that you’re not expected to keep doing your chores after you’ve done them a few times. However, Nancy still has to keep her eye on the time as it’s only safe to explore outside of the lodge during the daytime for instance. Thankfully you don’t have to sit around and wait for time to pass as you can set Nancy’s alarm clock to the desired time to simply get on with your plan of action.
The game’s puzzles are generally fine and for the most part fit in with the game’s storyline. The game offers both a Junior and Senior difficulty levels. Those who are used to the Nancy Drew series and adventure games in general will probably want to play on the Senior difficulty level but younger gamers might want to opt for the Junior difficulty level as you’re given help, hints and a task list to help you keep track of what needs to be done.
The game’s presentation whilst functional is extremely dated. The graphics look as though they are from a game that’s around a decade old and not from only three years ago. In fact the game runs at a lowly 800x600 which only adds to the ugliness factor when running the game on a modern computer display. Of course the game is so light in its requirements that I suspect hardly anyone will have any problems in running the game if their PC is less than a decade old. The game offers subtitles and closed captions and they are enabled by default. The closed captioning and subtitling can be a little spotty at times however. For instance there is no caption for the explosion at the start of the game. Should you burn the salmon whilst cooking it, you’ll find that there are no captions for the smoke alarm and no subtitles when you’re told that “Chantal isn’t going to like this Nancy!” by Ollie, Chantal’s handyman. These omissions aren't problematic however. Tutorial messages are shown in text however.
Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is a good adventure game on the whole. A fairly enjoyable storyline with solid puzzles which helps to compensate for the one-dimensional characters and tedious chores. It is unfortunate that the game doesn’t look any better however given that the game itself is only three years old. Still fans of the Nancy Drew novels and adventure games in general will certainly want to give the game a look and the inclusion of closed captions is appreciated but both the captioning and the subtitling should have been much better if they are to make the game fully accessible to deaf gamers.