Review: Nancy Drew Secrets Can Kill
ScottAlanMiller last edited by ScottAlanMiller
Secrets Can Kill was the very first Nancy Drew video game and was originally released in 1998. Twelve years later, Her Interactive decided to give the game an engine makeover and re-release the game in 2010 capable of running smoothly on modern Windows computers. The original game remains intact, only the engine displaying it is updated so the original acting, story, gameplay, puzzles and graphics are still there.
There is no doubt that Secrets Can Kill shows its age. The update is great and makes the game installs and plays smoothly (we tested via Steam) without any problems on Windows 10, which is great. The game is much shorter than, say, Shadow at the Water's Edge, which was released right after the 2010 remake of Secrets Can Kill.
The game is a classic, it started the entire Nancy Drew series and is well worth a play. My eight year old said that even she still enjoyed it very much, while obviously not as good as the later games.
The acting on this original title, as the writing for the characters, leaves them extremely flat. They don't really feel like living characters at all and it makes it hard to really be pulled into the game. The number of locations is very limited, although this is pretty common in the Nancy Drew games in general.
Overall the game is dark and feels a bit creepier than it should because of the flat, lifeless characters and the sense of being "trapped" unable to explore very broadly. The game has some dark elements and the puzzles are a bit hard and non-intuitive. You spend a lot of time looking at bulletin boards and in the end, none of it makes any sense. But it has such historic importance to the gaming franchise that it is valuable for that reason alone.
Overall the game is worth playing, but very weak. If you are looking to test the series, this is not the title to try. If you are dedicated to playing through the series in its entirety, then this title is, quite obviously, a must. And starting with the 2010 remake is not a problem at all as the game play elements are left completely intact.
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