The super-sleuth, Nancy Drew, returns in her sixteenth outing (can you believe that?) And in her latest adventure gamers will take on an icy crime that has Drew scouting through the Canadian Rockie’s Icicle Creek lodge. With improved graphics, more mini-games and too many puzzles to count, is it enough to warrant the interest of Nancy Drew fans?
I think I can sum up this game in one sentence, by simply saying...Ha! You didn't think it would really be that that easy? Oh no...I have to earn my paycheck and so that means you’ll have to keep on reading through this review. Anyway, this game’s big mystery involves a series of mishaps that take place at a lodge in the Canadian rockies. The belief is that whenever the White Wolf appears, “disaster strikes”. Hence, Nancy Drew is contacted about the “accidents” by the owner of the lodge, and must undergo the disguise as a servicewoman to figure out what’s going on at the Icicle Creek lodge. Soon enough, Nancy is putting together a list of suspects, fishing for clues (literally) and hurling snowballs at the face of bratty young kids.
The story, while slightly less straight-forward as previous Nancy games, provides gamers with a much more entertaining pace. The story can sometimes become a bit disjointed due to the constant mini-games. However, I think that the abundance of mini-games and the steady flow of challenging, but doable puzzles, also helps keep the game from lingering on the ledge of being an adventure bore-fest. With Icicle Creek there’s a fine line between gamers playing the game for a long time and having fun with it, and gamers playing the game for a long time because they’re stuck on a puzzle. However, given this fine mixture of puzzle-solving and mini-games, the frustrations are kept to a minimum.
My only real gripe with the game’s pace is that some of the mini-games had to be repeated a little too often for their own good For instance, since Nancy goes undercover as a servicewoman, she occasionally has to prepare meals for the visitors. This means that players must take orders and prepare the food in a simple, but entertaining exercise. However, unlike the snowball fights or the fishing, preparing food happens quite a bit, which can dull the experience after a while. It’s nothing terribly serious, but fans who tire of the same mini-game could get...well..tired of the same mini-game.
On the plus side, The White Wolf of Icicle Creek contains some great visuals and the character designs definitely aren’t half-bad. Their movements and animations are still somewhat stiff – as has been the case with many of Nancy’s games. But qualities of this kind have never been the actual selling point for the games. So unless you’re a Nancy Drew fan who happens to be a graphics buff, you can bet your bottom dollar that the visuals are nothing to complain about.
The audio, on the other hand, is a bit sparse at times. Many of the voice actors do a darn good job of portraying the quirky and conspicuously suspicious characters, and the few sound effects during many of the puzzles are nothing worth complaining about. Still, it’s the music the game lacks the most of. I’m not entirely sure what kind of music should have been playing, but there are times when the game seems a little too quiet.
Overall, though, Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is a quality continuation of Nancy’s mystery adventures. More puzzles, a quicker (though sometimes disjointed) pace and plenty of mini-games to mix-up the gameplay, makes this a good attempt at being one of the best Nancy Drew games to-date. Any fan of the Her Interactive series, definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on this Nancy Drew adventure.