What the heck are we teaching our young about video games?
If my latest gaming venture on the DS is any indication, we are trying to either bore them to death, teach them to keep their secrets tightly, pretend they are stupid and make them do repetitive tasks, or show them the world is a crime-ridden place full of stupid mini-games we must play in order to get crooks to start talking.
Never mind; I just think Nancy Drew: Deadly Secret of Olde World Park is a boring game, and we need to stop with these boring games for children on the DS already.
If I take my experience playing the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew games as any indication, there seems to be some DS “gamez 4 kidz” that are just a bore…and I am sure there are other games that I haven’t played yet. This latest one I played, Nancy Drew: Deadly Secret of Old World Park, with a PEGI value of age 7+, isn’t the most tedious, or the WORST GAME EVER, but it makes me ponder if all Drew games are like this, and why we insist on pushing these boring games on children (or anyone, for that matter…).
This time, Nancy Drew is investigating the disappearance of a billionaire tycoon who owns a newly built amusement park, and who conveniently goes missing just prior to the park’s opening. It all sounds like the plot could go somewhere, except the gamer is tied up in petty boring minutia. Nancy recruits herself as detective to find out where he’s gone. We play as Nancy in third person, and get to move her around the various places and interact with people and things.
Along the way, Nancy comes across suspects she tries to interview, and some of them are uncooperative. No problem! Nancy’s solution is to play a mini-game to improve the suspect’s mood and get him talking. And this is where the game gets tedious. You are given a selection of mini-games to play, all of them very easy. There isn’t much point to them really, except to give the player something to do other than move Nancy from one room to another. The games themselves really don’t elevate the player’s mood, if you catch my drift. But, they are certainly tied into the gameplay, and you cannot advance in the game without playing them.
Having played both a Nancy Drew game on the PC, and now one on the DS, there is no denying the differences in gameplay between the two. Of course, when I played Trail of the Twister on PC, there was voice acting which is devoid from Olde World Park, instead using music to carry the mood. Graphics between the PC and DS versions vary; the DS game’s graphics aren’t terrible, and not why I would discount this game. No, I must say the reason to avoid Deadly Secret of Olde World Park is simply, the gameplay is stale and unsatisfying early on. You just keep hoping after every chapter that something will be different, when it ends up being more of the same.
Two Nancy Drew games, both not that great. It sort of discourages me from playing the one more Nancy Drew game I have left to play in my collection. Here’s hoping it’s better than Deadly Secret of Olde World Park…
Nancy Drew: Deadly Secret of Old World Park
Publisher: Majesco / Gorilla