Game Review: Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
Release: December 2, 2008
Developer: Sega of America
Available Platforms: Nintendo Wii
ESRB Rating: E
The Wii received its first title from the Nancy Drew catalog a couple of months ago. This time around, the teenage detective sets out for the Icicle Creek lodge in the Canadian Rockies to investigate a string of strange accidents. Upon arrival, Nancy is hired as the new maid and chef, thus giving her a wide range of access to the guests’ rooms and other facilities of the lodge.
There is a interesting set of characters you must talk to and investigate to get to the bottom of the strange goings on. Time in the game will be used to investigate the rooms as you pick up the laundry, make beds, cook the meals, and warn the patrolling officers about thin ice and avalanches. You must stick to a schedule given by the owner of the lodge for these events, giving you the sense you are actually apart of the daily running of the lodge.
Some of the events are mini games you will play with the Wii Remote. One example is the cooking, where you must gather all of the ingredients and prepare the food in the style of Cooking Mama. There are other interesting puzzles in the game as you progress, these coming later on in the game.
The style of this game is like that of its PC counterpart, a point and click style adventure being guided by on screen prompts of arrows, a magnifying glass, etc. The graphics are decent, reminding me of an old PC game, The 7th Guest. Though the environments are pre-rendered, the detail of the lodge is spot on with every corner having its own feel. The areas of the lodge have their own style and do not feel copied and pasted from one area to the next. There are also lots of little areas to explore for clues to get to the bottom of Nancy’s investigation.
The story feels like a classic mystery novel and the voice acting of the game is good, though not award-winning.
There are a couple of items that bugged me about the game. While traveling around through the lodge gathering clues and doing the daily rounds, I found that the game requires loading in the middle of rooms or hallways. Though the loads are not long in duration, it is just the frequency that had me waiting. Another thing that I found a little off was the controls of the Wii Remote. These were usually only when trying to move around in a guest’s room or common areas of the lodge. Sometimes the game did not recognize quickly when you placed the cursor at the edge of the screen to turn the environment. I found you will have to move the cursor away from the edge and then move it back to have the prompt for your next move appear. However, the controls work well for the puzzles and mini games.
Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is worth a rent, if not a buy. If you are a fan of mystery books, movies, or games, then this is a game you want to pick up. Though there may be some extra loading screens and some clunky controls, the element of a good mystery story is there. The puzzles and mini games are enjoyable. At $29.99, the price is just right for this title.