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In Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor, the intrepid teenage sleuth Nancy Drew takes off on yet another adventure—this time in an old, reputedly haunted manor on the dark moors of England. She has been called into service by her neighbor, whose daughter married an English gentleman, moved into Blackmoor Manor, and has since fallen gravely, mysteriously ill. Players help Nancy hunt for and decipher clues by exploring the manor and interviewing its odd inhabitants.
Beyond the somewhat overwhelmingly detailed information about astronomy discovered in Nancy’s research, the game is not explicitly educational. However, it demands and cultivates important higher-level thinking skills such as evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing new information, prioritizing tasks, and strategizing next steps. Players need to keep a sense of the big picture as well as set smaller goals for themselves.
Curse of Blackmoor Manor is highly engaging; apart from the goal of solving the mystery, there are lots of things to look at and manipulate, and fun strategy games and puzzles interspersed throughout. The mystery provides plenty of support for those who need extra help—a good thing, since its complexity is likely to frustrate younger players. In addition to a record of clues and access to a task list, the game comes with a strategy guide and a “second chance” option that allows players to replay missteps.
As with mysteries in any media, once it has been solved, there is no compelling reason to revisit it. However, this mystery is complex enough to warrant several sessions of play. All of our testers asked if they could take the game home to continue playing it after the testing session.
The game takes little time and practically no effort to install. Help buttons on the initial menu and below the interactive screen provide new users with clear explanations of how to navigate the program.
Kids with long attention spans and the patience to collect and process information over several sessions will enjoy Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor. Users on the younger end of the recommended spectrum (10 & up) may be frustrated with the volume of information they need to process, but will probably enjoy other interactive features of the game.
PC: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, 400 MHz or greater Pentium II or equivalent class CPU, 300 MB hard drive space, 64MB RAM, 16MB DirectX compatible video card, 12X or faster CD-ROM, 16 bit DirectX compatible sound card .return to top of page
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