Nancy Drew - The Haunting of Castle Malloy  - Review

Nancy Drew - The Haunting of Castle Malloy
Ages: Everyone

Nancy finally gets a chance to visit Ireland as maid of honor to her friend Kyler, and while driving and talking on her cell phone crashes her car when an apparition crosses the road in front of her. A lesson not to drive while talking on your cell phone?

When she finally gets into Castle Malloy - the mystery really begins. The groom is missing, the dour caretaker Donal doesn't like him anyway, and a third man - the groom's best friend - but not best man, is hanging about with a black eye. On top of that, Kyler thinks that it's just a prank that Matt is pulling and that he is somewhere around because she can hear his voice.

As it is with Nancy Drew games, puzzles abound - almost every puzzle or game you play provides you with another piece to solve the next puzzle. Most puzzles are graphical - sliding squares, moving gears, constructing things, figuring out ancient runes and opening locks. There is an imaginative doll house puzzle that takes the whole game to solve and a nine square puzzle that is a challenge - even for Junior detectives. The Task List is a perk for the Junior detectives - lets you know what still needs to be solved. Some puzzles are orthogonal to the game story - making drinks at a bar, herding and shearing sheep, standing in as a pick-up drum player, playing at darts, but all these must be done because they provide pieces to later puzzles.

There is an Irish feel to the settings - using the Ogham lore of ancient Celtic Tree Alphabet, a banshee, leprechaun statues, Celtic artifacts - but there could have been much more. These games are wonderful opportunities to impart a little knowledge of people, places and things.

One of the pleasure of a Nancy Drew game is the environment - a new environment to explore and done with such artistry and detail that poking you nose into things is a large and enjoyable part of the game. The graphics in this game were so disappointingly dark that detail and direction was lost. The ending is also distressing. It truly felt like it had been tacked on from a completely different game and blew away, literally, the mood that was developed through the game. I want another replay in Ireland.

Fun Factor: Love Nancy - wish it were better.
Female Factor: Nancy - an adventurous gung-ho girl
Player Friendly: Amusing recoveries from deadly experiences.

Reviewed by: Editor - 11/08

  • Nancy Drew - The Haunting of Castle Malloy
  • © Her Interactive
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP
  • To Order: Win $19.99