Nancy Drew- Message in a Haunted Mansion

Challenging enough for an experience puzzle solver, but designed to be enjoyed by all ages.
A little dated graphics wise, but you’ll forgive it as the story goes on. Notebook recommended.

We’re off to San Francisco to help Rose Green, a friend of Nancy’s longtime housekeeper, Hannah, with some renovations. Even before Nancy arrives, things start to go wrong. Accidents keep happening, bills are piling up and Rose is about 2 seconds from giving up her dream on reopening this old Victorian mansion as a cute Bed & Breakfast.

Not one to stray away from snooping through other people’s things, Nancy starts to piece together that there is trouble and begins her investigation as to what what is causing the accidents. This is done solving puzzles, exploring, a little bit of midnight sneakiness and chatting with the other characters throughout the mansion.

Is there really a ghost? Is the handyman Charlie a suspicious character? Who is behind this madness?

This game was my first introduction to the world of Nancy Drew, maybe I read a couple of books beforehand, but let’s be fair I was 9 and obsessed with the Boxcar Children (but that’s a tangent for later).
If you have read any of the book (or in more recent times, watched any of the many series adaptations) there are a number of familiar characters sprinkled throughout the game. As with most mysteries, you’ll get to talk to Bess Marvin and George Fayne, Nancy’s best friends, who are more than happy to be a sounding board for the facts you’ve just discovered or offer you hints to help you go forward when you inevitably get stuck (although the task list in Junior detective does make getting through to the next obstacle a little bit easier).

I have a bit of a soft spot for this game, since I first opened the case in 2001.
Although I do remember having to trade off with my sister over our shared computer to get a chance to play.
The puzzles are nicely varied from mazes to cracking secret codes, with a sizable house to explore.

You’ll have to search high and low to find all the clues, but whether you play on Junior or Senior detective, everything you need to know can be found within its walls, as long as you don’t overlook any details. My personal rule, if it’s interactive, it’s for a reason.

While being slightly older in the series (3rd game to be released) it is definitely not as smooth or as pretty as some of the more recent releases, but the puzzles that you get to solve make up for it.
Her Interactive does not hand you the answers, which I appreciate for a game designed for ages 12 and up, and even in adulthood these games are still enjoyable for all ages. definitely worth the buy, but if you are into more graphically elegant games, maybe save this one to your wish list for a Steam Sale.