Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand
SSH - one of my favourites
SSH is one of my favourites. There's a wonderful ancient story, on top on the modern mystery, and if more museums were like the one in this game, kids would love to visit them.
Yes, it requires a bit of note- taking, but I love a challenging game. I don't complain about the graphics, there's a certain style you get used to, and for the sixth game in the series, it's very good. Besides, games at the time were made compatible with Win98.
December 21, 2011
A Mayan Mystery
The developers, Her Interactive, Inc., has produced yet another great Nancy Drew mystery game. This is one of their earliest games that came out 10 years ago. If you've gotten used to playing the later games, such as Warnings at Waverly Academy and Shadow at the Water's Edge, then you may be in for a shock in regards to the format and the graphics.
Like all Nancy Drew games, both old and new, you have to take notes, there's a lot of back and forth from one location to another, there are usually only a few locations to visit, and there are only a few characters to question. Also, as always, you can call the person who employed you, people and business to interview, and your best friends Bess and George. This game introduces the Hardy Boys as telephone contacts for the first time as well. And you can still play as either a Junior or Senior detective.
The storyline is an intriguing one and is steeped in Mayan culture. As usual, I always wonder how much of the information Nancy learns is actual fact and how much is exaggerated. The interesting thing about this game is that a character actually admits to theft, but you have to find out why he stole the item. He actually helps you by giving you clues until you find the true culprit.
I usually play as a Senior Detective, while my 14yo daughter (who's been playing Nancy Drew games since she was 8) would play as Junior Detective. The difference between the two is that the mini games are a little easier and sometimes shorter for Juniors. But the game play is generally the same for both. There is a lot of note taking, partly because you are dealing information regarding an ancient culture and language. Most of your note taking will be in regards to Mayan Language. But it's worth it. One thing to keep in mind is that this is also a first person point-and-click adventure game. You cannot skip mini games and the only way to get in-game hints is if you play as Junior level and call your friends. It is NOT a hidden object game.
One thing that also stays the same in all Nancy Drew game is the soundtrack. It never varies, but it's not annoying, nor does it take anything away from the game. The voice acting has always been decent, but the downside to SSH is that many times the characters mouths still move with no voice. This has been corrected in later games.
Overall, this is a really great game. If you haven't played Nancy Drew before, then this would be a great game to start. I would recommend playing the older games before the newer ones so that you get used to both formats. But if you've played the newer ones and never played an older one like SSH, Final Scene, or Ghost Dogs (which is the game right after SSH), then a little patience may be needed to get used to the older format. Either way, I would highly recommend playing SSH.
August 16, 2012
One of my favorite Nancy Drew games!
So much fun! I loved the museum setting and the great story line. Some tasks are rather hard, but that made it more immersible. I also really liked taking notes...made me feel like I'm really a detective! Unlike some other games, clues given in the game are not too vague, and it was pleasurable to solve the puzzles using the clues.
November 27, 2012
quite complicated, stuck with it and figured it all out without hints or cheats or a strategy guide! Many enjoyable hours instead of being finished in no time! Great game and storyline.
June 3, 2012
It is one of my earliest ND game that I played and still my favorite. I love how I can learn about ancient history and the museum is exciting. The game takes place in Washington DC and I like it if ND game takes place in America (despite the fact that I am not American ^^;;, it makes it looks more original. The ending is scary and left me panic looking for solution. This is the game that I will keep on playing for very long time.
May 10, 2012
The best of the 'old skool' ND
This review is based on a complete playthrough: Senior Detective
This is the most fun and challenging of the early Nancy Drew games. I've actually played it twice now, with enough time in between for me to forget a lot of it - so it was a nice replay. On to the review:
Story: Really shines here. The 'mystery' doesn't even start for a while. You start off as an intern in a museum, and actually get to be an intern for a while before the 'case' begins. This gives you a chance to get to know the layout and people a bit.
Setting: More locations than any of the previous games. One 'main' location - the museum, and then three others (I may be missing one). Some things you'll need to do from your hotel room, some from 'work' (and it doesn't always make 'sense' why one over the other, but that's a small thing). You have a map based on the DC subway to move around - a nice touch. And the clock from the Treasure in a Haunted Castle returns.
Characters - easily the best of the lot. They've all got little quirks, and personalities that show through: Semper ubi sub ubi! I'm not going to say the bad guy is a big surprise, though everyone does have some sort of motive.
Game Length - If you take the time to figure things out yourself, you've got more than a few hours ahead of you. And if you remember to do the simple things - talk to everyone, check your computer at the hotel for notes, check your voicemail, call your friends to let them know what's happening: you really should be able to figure everything out.
Decent puzzles and minigames.
All in all a very solid title - even after all these years. It still uses the 'old' interface, but on my monitor (25") I had plenty of real estate to see what was going on.
Heartily recommend this game. And if it's ever a deal of the day or on sale it would really be a steal.
April 9, 2013
Become an expert in Mayan culture.
Another great Nancy Drew story.
Luckily I am interested in Mayan culture and Mexican history and this is a bonus because the storyline is intense in this history; not many puzzles avoid Mayan culture directly.
This is my second, and I am going to search for the third.
I love these games, but thank god for walkthrough-I am a bit of a beginner still.
July 6, 2013
its okay but too hard so dont buy if angry
December 6, 2012
It was O.K. Just doesn't flow but story is interesting.
Fun Factor - I would have given a higher rating except I don't consider it fun taking 8 pages of notes, dealing with a jerky navigation system, performing relay races for triggers, and contending with bloated play time.
Visual/Sound Quality - OK for an early ND game, but character animations, expressions, and personalities were lacking and sometimes didn't sync with the voice overs.
Level of Challenge. I realized that most of the challenge involved taking notes and triggering events. Not my idea of a challenge. Progression required triggers that often required waiting for the next day, then a trigger happens, you run around, then you must wait for the next day.. rinse and repeat. It was like a built in road block just to annoy you and dragged the game out with bloated play time.
Storyline. I enjoyed the historical aspect of the story. ND games often have real history tied into them and makes them more substantial. Stories are typically educational and interesting which draws you in and keeps you playing.
Overall, I think it was the storyline I enjoyed the most. The rest of it was just o.k.. This is the only reason I give it a recommendation.
August 24, 2013
Bring a notepad... with many pages!
Well, this game came out in 2002 and unfortunately it shows. But let me start with the positive stuff:
+ nice story
+ voice acting spot on
+ as with all Nancy Drew games, mimicking caught perfectly
+ riddles challenging, not overly difficult
+ hints by Nancy's friends
But, unfortunately, there's negatives...
- Graphics are brutal. The game does not look like 2002, it looks like 1992 or earlier.
- The game has a whopping FIVE locations, four of which contain just ONE room!
- During the whole game you meet FOUR people (five if you count the male nurse).
- GAMEPLAY! Dear programmers, having to copy down everything was abandoned by role playing games circa 1985. Other genres mostly didn't even have it to begin with. Having to travel all the time between the museum and the hotel to check the computer? NO-GO! Why can't I have the laptop with me all the time? Quiz activities: Do you really expect that I (or a girl in your target group) read(s) a question, then run(s) all around the museum to find the answer, take a note, run(s) back, read(s) the second question, rinse and repeat??? Never! This is just bad game design and a case for tabbing out to a walkthrough - or for a photographic memory, which i don't have.
Bottom line: A good game, but major gameplay flaws drag it down. Issues are solved better by the PDA in later games.
December 17, 2011