Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor DVD Game
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-09-04 DVD Adventure E10 (Everyone 10+) Brighter Minds / Her Interactive

About two years ago, I played and reviewed Curse of Blackmoor Manor for PC, which was my first contact with Nancy Drew. I am embarassed to say that I wasn't able to finish it (although the mystery is obvious as soon as you arrive at the mansion), and I also thought that playing it the second time around would seem easier. But it actually isn't.

Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor has taken a step from computers to DVD players. This means that you can play it on your regular DVD player in your living room, on your Xbox 360, PS2 or PS3. If it plays DVDs, you can play Blackmoor Manor on it, including a PC equipped with a DVD drive.

The story remains the same: Linda Penvellyn is acting strange and hides behind a thick curtain. It's up to Nancy (you!) to find clues, put them together and find the mystery that haunts Blackmoor Manor.

The puzzles are also the same, but the mechanics have been changed to make it easier to control with a DVD remote. You use the arrows to move around and "enter" to interact with objects or pick dialog options. It's about the same using a console controller, and even simpler with a mouse.

For example, the puzzle you play with Jane now has pre-set locations for the pieces, as do the flower pots puzzle in the conservatory. So you don't actually pick up the pieces, they are selected for you, and you must pick the spot they should go in.

The game still has both Junior and Senior detective settings for either novice and veteran players, respectively. Also there is the Second Chance feature that lets you try again when you make a mistake that causes your adventure to end. A new feature lets the game be played with two players, and gives each five "tokens" that can be exchanged for a hint at any time. Certain activities can also grant you an extra hint to use later on.

But you are probably wondering how exactly do you save a DVD game. Well, in the PC you could just save and load your game without much hassle. Here, you have to play through sections and only when you obtain a 5-digit password you can be sure you can continue your game from that point. But since there is no save feature, you must write that password down for later use.

I've had issues with the resolution in the PC version, which forced the game to run in 800x600, but the DVD game runs perfectly fine and looks great even on a 52 inch widescreen TV. If it weren't for all the stopping while walking around, it would look extremely realistic as a first-person adventure.

And as if the goodness of playing it comfortably and in style with a few clicks of a remote wasn't enough, the game comes bundled with a copy of Nancy Drew and the Haunted Carousel for PC.

Nancy Drew has a lot of fans out there all over the world. Some know her from the books, some from the TV show, others from the games and more recently the movie. Now everyone with a DVD player can enjoy being Nancy Drew in their own living room and solve the mystery behind Blackmoor Manor from the comfort of their couch.

Special thanks to the Highwater Group and Her Interactive for providing a copy of this title.