Editors’ Choice Game
Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies
Review by Angie Kibiloski (October 2014)
Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies (Retail $19.99) is the astonishing 31st installment of the Nancy Drew series of mystery/adventure games from Her Interactive. This long legacy of successful titles has excited and entertained players for years, and if this latest addition is anything to go by, will continue to do so for many more. Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies takes you, as Nancy, into the interesting world of ancient Greek myth. Nancy travels to Greece to help out her friend, who is the curator of a small museum on Greek culture. Artifacts from the collection are going missing, and Nancy needs to uncover who is to blame. A visiting theater troupe is planning to perform a play to promote the museum, specifically the story of Hades and Persephone, and all of the actors are a little bit shifty. Can one of them be responsible for the missing artifacts, or could the curator herself be stealing her own collection pieces for a profit? Solve puzzles, break codes, talk to suspects, and help Nancy live up to her super sleuthing reputation by following this mystery wherever it leads, even into the bowels of Hades itself.
The environments in this game are really stunning, with most of the action taking place in the maze-like structure of the theater sets, all made up to look like areas of Hades from the Greek myth. Travel the river Styx on the creepy ferryman’s boat, solve puzzles to pass through the hellish gates between rooms, and find a way across the flowing lava stream to sit on the throne of Hades. You’ll even get to come face to faces with Cerberus, the 3-headed guard dog of Hades. There is also the museum area, where you’ll get to interact with artifacts like gorgeous ceramic vases, marble sculptures, and jewelry from the time period. This environment is beautiful too, and quite a light contrast to the dark and foreboding Hades sets. If you know anything about Greek myth, you’ll love spotting all of the visual references. If you’re new to the topic, there are books that Nancy will have to read to find clues, which you might find particularly interesting too.
In addition to exploring the various areas, you’ll need to have frequent conversation with the 4 main characters, the members of the acting troupe. They have diverse personalities, and their interactions with Nancy are always interesting. One of them even takes his stage persona a tad too seriously and provides some particularly entertaining dialogue. The conversation system is easy, allowing you to choose from an array of questions each time you chat with someone, with new questions arising whenever you discover a pertinent new clue. The final aspect of the game, and my favorite part, is the multitude of puzzles you must solve to progress and complete the game. These can range from simply locating a computer password, to collecting the appropriate key to open a door, to figuring out how to manipulate a set of stones into their correct arrangement to unlock a secret compartment. Some of these puzzles can be quite tricky, especially if you have set your difficulty level to Master Sleuth. If you chose to be an Amateur Sleuth you can get helpful clues and hints, not only about the puzzles but about other in-game tasks as well. You can also call your friends, Joe and Frank Hardy, to help you figure out sticky problems.
I have a fondness for the Nancy Drew games from way back, and always look anxiously forward to the newest installment. I eagerly dove into this title and, 10 straight hours later, came up for air with the satisfaction of a mystery well and truly solved. Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies is a game that cannot be missed by any fan of either the franchise, adventure games, or simply of a good mystery. You can easily download a digital copy from www.Amazon.com or www.HerInteractive.com, for either PC or MAC. If you prefer to get your hands on a physical copy, you can order one of those as well. Happy sleuthing my fellow digital detectives!
Windows Minimum System Requirements: OS: Windows Vista/7/8 Processor: 1.5 GHZ or greater Pentium 4 or equivalent RAM: 512 MB Hard Drive Space: 3GB Video Card: 128 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible
Mac Minimum System Requirements: OS: X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard/10.7 Lion/10.8 Mountain Lion/10.9 Mavericks Processor: Intel RAM: 512 MB Hard Drive Space: 3 GB Video Card: Intel GMA X3100, ATI X1600, NVIDIA 7300 This game will NOT run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems (PowerMac)