Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships – PC – Preview

I’ve been
playing Nancy Drew games for years, and have been glad for them, as they are
excellent games for young teens to play, especially girls.  Nancy Drew is a good
role model. She is smart, and a good friend.

As with any
series that has been around this long, the games run the gamut from the great to
the not so great, and several in between. The last game, The Haunting of Castle
Malloy, was a very good game with lots of challenging puzzles. The Ransom of the
Seven Ships appears to be an interesting game, as it is set on a beautiful
tropical island that is isolated and difficult to reach.

George and Bess are slated to spend some relaxing days hanging out in the
tropics. Nancy arrives a day later than her friends, and is shocked to hear that
Bess has been kidnapped. The resort hosts are mysteriously absent, and the note
from the kidnappers directs Nancy to find the missing treasure of El Toro, in
exchange for the return of Bess.

A surprise
in this Nancy Drew game is the fact that we can see George for the first time.
She looks exactly as I would have imagined her, tall, dark and athletic. At
first, she spends all her time on the phone trying to get a connection off the
island, but later during the game players will get to actually play as George,
alternating with Nancy.

There aren’t
many people on this island, but there are a lot of animals. Bats and monkeys are
abundant, and are featured in many of the puzzles in the game. Many of the Nancy
Drew games feature mini-games that are incorporated into the puzzles aspect of
the game. Sometimes these games can be played independently from the story, and
sometimes not.

monkeys love to play, and they have been taught some interesting games from a
scientist who had been observing them. Nancy will soon be playing a board game
of chance, an arcade carnival type game of knocking things over with a ball, and
a critical thinking game that requires the player to fill up more squares with
colors than the other player, according to rules of color placement.  Needless
to say, in my game, Nancy is ok with chance and critical thinking, but less so
on hand-eye coordination in the arcade game.

The puzzles
appear to be fairly logical and pertinent to the mystery. They offer up a little
history on piracy in the early days of Caribbean settlement and exploration, and
some facts about bats and monkeys in the Caribbean. There are also puzzles that
are manipulative, and some good critical thinking ones, as well.

So far, the
plot appears a bit silly, but the puzzles are good. The island locations are
beautifully drawn, and Nancy gets to sail around the water and walk on the
beach. Ransom of the Seven Ships is shaping up to be one of the better Nancy
Drew games and I look forward to reviewing the final release.