Nancy Drew – That’s all Folks!

Last time I wrote about the Nancy Drew series, I had said it was the end of the road for me, at least until the release of the now almost mythical Midnight in Salem. Continue reading Nancy Drew – That’s all Folks!

Nancy Drew – End of the road?

It finally happened. Earlier this week I reached the end of the line with the Nancy Drew adventure game series, playing and finishing Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness, the last title released in the series so far. Continue reading Nancy Drew – End of the road?

Playing with Expectations – Not So Scary Nancy Drew

Last month I wrote about expectations and how they have an impact on the emotional response you have with stories, games or any other form of entertainment. I wrote about how my expectations for a light-hearted romp made two Nancy Drew titles get to me. They managed to create tense atmospheres and even managed to scare me.

When I published that article, someone commented that I should have waited to play Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall, as it was the scariest of all Nancy Drew games.

Having recently finished this title—on my way to play all the games in the Nancy Drew series, a goal I’m very close to achieving—I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about my experience with Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall. Continue reading Playing with Expectations – Not So Scary Nancy Drew

7 Things you Need to Accept to Enjoy the Nancy Drew Series

I promise, this will be one of the last Nancy Drew articles I write…maybe. Ok, it’s not likely. I like the games and there’s lots of them to talk about.

But what I want to talk about today is not about my experience. Instead, for those who haven’t played a single game in the series and don’t know how or when to jump in, I’d like to help you out. These are the things you need to know and accept before you jump into HeR Interactive’s long-running Nancy Drew series. Continue reading 7 Things you Need to Accept to Enjoy the Nancy Drew Series

Nancy Drew Series – The Road so Far

I said it on Twitter a few days ago, that this week I was going to name-drop or speak of HeR Interactive‘s Nancy Drew series quite a bit, because it’s the only thing I’ve been playing lately. I wrote last week’s article on how some Nancy Drew games surprised me with their fantastic handling of horror material and someone dropped a lovely comment and said I should have waited until playing Nancy Drew: The Ghost at Thornton Hall, the scariest game in the series apparently.

The truth is I’d have loved doing just that but monetary restrictions prohibited that. In other words, too broke to buy that game. So, instead I decided to go back to the first games in the series, as I began with The White Wolf at Icicle Creek, the 16th entry in the Nancy Drew series, and which, as I’ve mentioned several times now, I had seen on the YouTube channel Game Grumps.

Around Christmas I bought most of the Nancy Drew games in a bundle, missing only a fair few, and with Wikipedia offering a handy list of earlier entries in the series, I tracked down the earliest possible title—that I owned—and picked it up from there. That title is the remastered version of Nancy Drew: Secrets can Kill. Continue reading Nancy Drew Series – The Road so Far

Puzzle Design – Narrative vs Challenge

If there’s one thing that you can expect from an adventure game, it’s puzzles. They’re part of the genre, and even the slew of choice-based adventures we’ve seen in the past few years have at least one puzzle in them, a little challenge to break the pace from the monotony of watching interactive cutscenes.

If the above sentence makes it sound like I don’t like choice-driven games, you’re getting close, though it’s not exact either. I like challenges and puzzles in my videogaming, and when it comes to adventures, I want puzzles, be it logic, inventory or even conversation based. It’s why I loved Life is Strange, it didn’t sacrifice the puzzling for the choices, finding a good balance between them.

But as I sit here contemplating adventure games I realise there are different approaches to puzzle design, and while this might a gross oversimplification and generalisation, I believe you can put the overall design approaches into two categories: Narrative Driven and Challenge Driven. Continue reading Puzzle Design – Narrative vs Challenge

Nancy Drew Scares: Playing with Expectations

I have spoken in the past of the Nancy Drew games by HeR Interactive and despite the continued contrivance of its puzzle design and placement, I do thoroughly enjoy every title in the series I have played so far. Mind you, I didn’t start at the beginning of the series but jumped in around the 16th entry, The White Wolf of Icicle Creek after I saw it on an episode of Game Grumps—I am now going back to the earlier titles.

The Nancy Drew adventures are usually light-hearted and even if there is something sinister afoot, it’s never scary or tense—except for those timed-puzzles, those are nerve-wracking. So my expectations when playing one is that I’ll just have a good time with puzzles and some nice if sometimes over the top voice acting. Continue reading Nancy Drew Scares: Playing with Expectations

Game Building – Homebrew or Third Party Engines?

Video Game engines are at the core of any video game development. They provide the tools the content creators will need to build the game the audience will enjoy. Engines also come with constraints, limitations that often drag games down or make further entries in a series a harder task.

We all know of the popular engines such as Unreal and Unity, but there are dozens out there we never hear of, as they are homebrewed creations by the developers, built from the ground up to serve the need for a specific game. It’s not unusual for developers to use these private engines once and then switch to a new original engine or adapt an existing one. Continue reading Game Building – Homebrew or Third Party Engines?

Puzzle Detective – Nancy Drew Series – Overview

December 2015, during the last Steam Sale of the year, I purchased the Nancy Drew adventure game collection after watching the stars of the GameGrumps YouTube series play one of the games—at least for a few episodes until they gave up—and as a fan of adventure games and just getting into Let’s Plays, I decided to buy the collection and perhaps do a few playthroughs on the games in the series. Continue reading Puzzle Detective – Nancy Drew Series – Overview

Let’s Play – Jade Empire – Complete

If you’ve kept an eye on The Mental Attic’s YouTube channel, you’ve probably noticed the three on-going Let’s Play (or more accurately LawfulGeek Plays) series: Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Tales of Zestiria and of course, Jade Empire.

I first picked up Jade Empire with the intention of playing it during my Twitch broadcasts on the old channel and review it afterwards, but after just one night in which I forgot to turn on the mic while playing (happens more often than I’d care to admit), I abandoned it. When I decided to push harder on the YouTube content, as part of the LawfulGeek rebrand for Twitch and the revamp of the YouTube channel, I decided to continue this playthrough. Continue reading Let’s Play – Jade Empire – Complete