Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse Review

A mysterious monster is terrorizing an isolated community in Bavaria, luckily, Nancy Drew is on the case!

Join Nancy Drew as she embarks on her 24th investigation in Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse. A mysterious creature is terrorizing the community of an isolated castle in the Bavarian wilderness. Is it the monster for the castles legends, or is someone just playing a cruel prank? It’s up to Nancy Drew to find the culprit before the monster attacks again.

Legend has it that a monster lives in the woods surrounding the castle and every so often it returns to find a new victim. The victim is always a pretty young girl in traditional German attire and wearing a gold and ruby necklace. After a series of events lead up to Nancy donning a costume for an upcoming festival, she realizes that she is intended to be the monsters next victim.

During the investigation Nancy will interrogate suspects, question witnesses and solve a vast array of mind boggling puzzles. Along the way she will uncover clues that will help you solve the mystery, as well as numerous red herrings to misdirect.

If you have played any of Nancy Drew’s previous adventures you will be very familiar with the gameplay here. The game is first person, so you are playing as Nancy Drew and seeing the world through her eyes. There are two modes of gameplay, Junior and Senior Detective. Junior Detective provides you with a checklist that tells you what you still need to do. This is incredibly helpful, as you will often find yourself lost in the castle hallways, wondering what it was you were supposed to be doing.

The graphics are excellent as is the norm for the series. The castle is very detailed and you can explore many different areas within it. However, the game world is quite small. You have access to the castle, its dungeons, the courtyard and the woods. While there are shops in the courtyard you will not be visiting any of them or meeting any of the other inhabitants of the castle community. Considering that everything in the game happens in one night, this is somewhat believable. Still, it would have been nice to have gotten more of a feel for the community than just the inhabitants within the castle.

Nancy will be questioning an interesting group of suspects this time around. There are only four other people in the castle but you will be talking with them quite a bit. There is Karl Weschler, the Burgermeister (mayor) of the community, although he seems much more interested in launching his new board game than managing the castle. Anja Mittelmeier is the castellan and in charge of the household. Lukas Mittelmeier is the young son of the security guard and a prankster who takes great pleasure is riling up Karl. Renate Stoller is the elderly storyteller who seems to turn up at the castle every time the rumor of the monster starts making its rounds. All of the characters seem to be hiding something and it’s up to Nancy to find out what.

The puzzles in The Captive Curse are a definite high point. They range in difficulty from moderate difficulty to extremely difficult. There isn’t a journal in the game so it would be a good idea to keep a notebook on hand while playing. That way you can jot down information as you go, such as German words and their translations. Puzzles cannot be skipped if you become stuck though and that can become frustrating. Luckily, there is a built in hint feature.

The hint line seems to be a new addition in The Captive Curse. In previous games Nancy could call her friends to ask for help. While Nancy can still call her friends and chat about the case, she can now call the hint line on her phone for hints pertaining to the game. When you call the hint line you will be given a vague hint at first. If you still can’t progress you will be given an option to get another hint, and so on. You can’t get hints about everything, but this feature is quite helpful for some of the more involved puzzles.

The only real annoyance in the game is that you still cannot skip through dialogue. You have to question the characters to advance the plot and they are all quite long winded, and a couple of them speak rather slowly. Even if you have finished reading the subtitles you still have to wait until they finish talking to continue the conversation.

In the end The Captive Curse is an excellent addition to the Nancy Drew series. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the series or who is looking for a good story with a lot of puzzles along the way.

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