Nancy Drew: Secret of Shadow Ranch
Slow-moving adventure, with good storyline
Overall I liked this game, but maybe I made a mistake in choosing Shadow Ranch for my first Nancy Drew. I often wasn't sure what to do, even with extensive notes and a task list. I liked the concept of having to think ahead and plan things, and I'm definitely going to try another Nancy Drew after this!
I was immediately in love with the ranch and all the characters, but there was a terrible lull in the middle of the game that almost made me want to quit. All I seemed to do was ride around looking for arrowheads, with no hints as to where to look. I finally managed after checking out the game forum.
The sense of adventure was dampened a little by the constant saddling the horse and bringing the saddle back. The inventory box took up half the screen and you had to keep opening and closing it all the time while doing this. Also the tasks were very household-oriented (feeding animals, baking, sewing...) and they required some studying first. I enjoyed learning about horses, and a bit about Arizona.
Exploring the ghost town of Dry Creek was my favorite part, as well as talking to people to collect clues. There aren't many wild west -themed games so it was a change from the usual. Having lived in a city all my life, spending time on the ranch talking to cowboys was fun. I enjoyed the barrel-racing game which a few people seemed to complain about in the forums! I guess the problem is you can't move on until you beat that game and it took awhile, but then EVERYTHING in this game takes a while.
I can't wait to try another one of these. I was happy to come across something different and more challenging than the usual HOPAs.
August 18, 2013
I like the fact that I can select the level of difficulty and most of the puzzles are intuitive. The story lines are fun. The one thing that would have improved the fun factor for me is if once I get to a new destination, that there be a quicker way to travel between locations. I enjoy puzzles more than hidden objects and the story line defines the puzzle themes. Took me a while to get the hang of roping but once I did, I couldn't believe it took me so long. Cant wait for the next Nancy game.
April 5, 2012
Enjoyed it - nav is still a pain tho
I'm playing all the ND games in order of release on Senior mode.
Fun Factor: O.K. but could have been so much better. I don't know why, but it seems that nearly all ND games are plagued by downright horrific navigation. Sadly, this really takes away from the fun factor. In addition, at times it could get a little bit frustrating trying to figure out what to do next. The vegetables were definitely frustrating and the penalty for getting it wrong was over the top. I noticed a number of other people who quit the game just b/c of that.
Visual/Sound: Voice overs were great (compared to other early ND games. They really had character even if the wrangler was a bit cliche. I loved the facial animation on the perpetrator at the end (if you first fail in your escape). They really nailed that one. Sound was o.k. but nothing special.
Level of Challenge: It had a good mix of challenges in it. Some tasks required reading, others common sense, some with problem solving skills, and some just plain good luck. I docked a bar on this tho because some of the challenges needed better explanation. For example, figuring out when to throw the lasso OY! Picking vegetables.. (GRRR)! Essentially, it wasn't quite as intuitive as it could have been.
Storyline: I enjoyed the storyline. It was so tragic. In the end, I felt a twinge in my heart b/c all I could think was how sad of a story it was. How what could have been never was and how so many lives were shattered. There was a very sweet counter balance love story which I thought was absolutely adorable and helped create a nice happy ending for the game.
Overall, the storyline is the main reason I gave it 4 stars. At times it offered creative new ideas for adventuring which I enjoyed but that stupid navigation system and some of the abrupt fails for silly things did take away from the fun factor. It is one of the longer games and I don't think the back and forth was too bad (compared to ie: Scarlet Hand and Deception Island).
I would recommend this game but only to experienced adventure players and preferably those who have some experience with ND game mechanics.
August 30, 2013
I have played many of the Nancy Drew Games. This is an interesting one.
October 14, 2012
Hard game for a Nancy Drew newbie....
This was the first Nancy Drew game I ever played and I needed to refer to a walkthrough a lot to be able to finish it. The reason why I played it first is because Big Fish offers a free trial of it. This game and the Final Scene are the only Nancy games that Big Fish lets you trial. I wish there were free trials for more of them because I like to try a game out first to make sure it works on my computer and I also like to make sure I like a game enough to complete it before I buy it. I blindly bought the first game in the Nancy Drew series, Secrets Can Kill Remastered, on Big Fish. I found the game to be really boring and haven't finished it yet. Maybe someday I will, but if I had been able to try it out for free before buying it, I might not have purchased it and wish I had had the chance to do so. So please, Big Fish, if it is possible for there to be more free trials of Nancy Drew games they would be much appreciated!
After completing the free trial, The Secret of Shadow Ranch lured me in enough to want to buy it, so I did. I especially found the story intriguing, but this is not an easy game, especially if you are new to Nancy Drew and after barely finishing it, I went back and played some of the earlier Nancy games and found them easier to complete. Shadow Ranch is the 10th game in the series, and it seems as if they can get harder as the series moves on.
Shadow Ranch has a great story that kept me intrigued until the end. I also found it to be a long game. I played it over a few days. I am new to the series though so people who are experienced with these games might not find it to be so lengthy, but I felt like I got my money's worth. I also enjoyed the puzzles a lot in this game, even if some of them did get a bit frustrating (it seems as if frustration comes hand in hand with playing these kinds of games, but there is also a feeling of joy that you get once you complete a frustrating puzzle and I think that makes it worth it).
If you are experienced playing Nancy Drew games and/or are an experienced adventure game player (which I am not), then I would recommend this game to you, but if you are new to adventure games and/or Nancy Drew games, then you should probably play some of the earlier games in the series before you play this one. I would recommend playing the Final Scene before you play Shadow Ranch if you are a newbie to this series. I have also recently played Message in a Haunted Mansion (game #3) and Treasure in a Royal Tower (game #5) and found them easier for a beginner of the series to play.
May 31, 2014
Nancy's "Cowgirl" Escapades Bring About A Winner!
Nancy Drew "Out West!" That is the setting -- the Arizona setting -- for this 10th game in the Drew Series, and my own 22nd Drew game traversal.
The game is good, but the reason for my four-star rating instead of my usual five-star rating for these games is because of a certain lack of forboding such as was seen in "The Curse of Blackmoor Manor," which immediately followed this game, and other Drew games such as "The Haunting of Castle Malloy."
Also, the constant twanging of Country-Western guitar music added nothing to the atmosphere.
Nevertheless, the game had an excellent plot, and the identity of the culprit behind all of the cunning and deception, revealed at the very end, didn't surprise me. because I thought this person was kind of "sleazy," anyway.
Great fun! I recommend this game highly!
December 17, 2012
Very solid adventure game!
Since I've stumbled over the Nancy Drew games, I'm basically trying to get them all. This one has a lot of atmosphere and even if some of the tasks are repetetive, it never gets boring. The storyline could have been a little bit more developed (especially around the phantom horse), but its very solid and the puzzles around the storyline are challenging but not impossible.
June 8, 2012
could be challenging at sometimes but very fun to i would reccomend this game to people who like challenge and fun.
May 1, 2012
Kept going in circles
This is a 360 degree games, which I personally don't care for. I had no idea what I was looking for or doing. You just keep going around in circles looking at a lot of things that are useless. Graphics are poor and not clear. Didn't like it at all.
March 18, 2012
Just not for me !!!
I tried the demo based on the reviews thinking it would be something new to try. Shouldn't have bothered it was all over the place. If this is what all the Nancy Drew games are like I definitely won't be buying any.
March 19, 2012