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Video Game of the Week – Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister

Very few popular characters from the classic books of our childhood have made the transition from the printed word to the world of video games as successfully as Nancy Drew. The courageous young detective has now starred in over 20 video game adventures and shows no sign of letting up from her exciting life of clue-gathering and mystery-solving.

The latest installment in the series is Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister, published by Her Interactive for the PC and Mac. Based on the Nancy Drew novel The Mystery in Tornado Alley, Trail of the Twister transports Nancy to Oklahoma where she investigates a mysterious string of accidents that befall a team of storm-chasers as they compete for a $100 million prize.

Trail of the Twister follows a tried and trusted formula for successful adventure-puzzle games by combining an entertaining and educational storyline with challenging problem-solving. Players take on the role of Nancy throughout the game and are immersed in the action from the opening scene.

Traditional fans of Nancy will not be disappointed. Many of the pre-rendered backgrounds are beautifully drawn and the well-defined characters and imaginative voice-overs help create a familiar but unique atmosphere.

The developers have gone out of their way to appeal to a wide audience and it's not impossible to imagine boys getting as much out of the game as girls. Younger fans and beginners are well looked after, with players able to choose between junior detective and senior detective settings at the start of each game. (Junior detectives receive more hints and get slightly easier puzzles to solve.)

The puzzles and games are well constructed and, for the most part, fit seamlessly into the action. Players are not penalized for wrong guesses, with the game automatically giving second and third chances so no mistake is fatal.

All-in-all, Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister has a feel-good quality about it, allowing players to identify with a much-loved heroine, learn about one of the most dangerous natural phenomena we face, and fight the good fight in the name of truth and justice. How many games can claim to do that!   

Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB. Check out their video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org  

Publisher: Her Interactive
Platforms: PC; Mac
Genre: Adventure/Puzzle
RRP: $19.99
Release Date: June 29, 2010
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone

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