Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge: Overview

Unbelievable, but true: Nancy Drew's adventure games are still very popular, despite the fact that Her Interactive has discredited a series of half-baked crafts for ten times. Fan sites are created for the glory of the eternally young detective, fans and fans are actively following her adventures. But critics meanwhile shrug their shoulders: how can you like the adventure game, so hopelessly stuck in the past?

That was the case until recently. After the Trail of the Twister , as if telling us “the scriptwriters had completely finished writing, the developers were very tired, it’s time to close the shop”, the news of the release of the next “nensidrushka” was perceived with lazy surprise: have you really not settled down yet? And then a miracle happened. Friv games play online at this website friv4online.com. Play today at the best friv games.

Suddenly it turned out that the scriptwriters are still ready if not to invent their own, then at least culturally slam someone else’s plot. Shadow at the Water's Edge is, at first glance, a traditional Japanese horror movie with a restless drowned woman, jealously guarded by family secrets, a characteristic frost-bitten atmosphere and ... Nancy Drew in person. With all the consequences.

In fact, of course, this is not about horror, but about a detective. But the real background of the terrible events taking place in a small ryokan, that is, a hotel in the town of Misawa, we open only at the very end. Until then, you can fully enjoy the disturbing musical design, sudden meetings with the otherworldly and underlined misunderstanding of the hotel administration. Like, what ghosts? What are drowned? And anyway, why are you not getting into your own business, Nancy-san? Although all these methods of escalating the situation are not the first or even the fifth freshness, nevertheless they work.

Of course, the history that smacks of the sensational “Call” smacks of a fair amount. A hot novelty, as you know, is a well-forgotten old blockbuster. And even if this time the role of evil spirits is not a little drowned girl, but an adult woman drowned, in combination - the daughter of the current hostess of the hotel and the mother of two girls claiming an inheritance. All the same, the essence remains the same: the visualization of fear of the undead dead, abundantly flavored with national Japanese superstitions.

In addition to superstitions, we are carefully entertained with other tourist and souvenir paraphernalia, supposedly constituting the essence of national color. Nancy is generally an avid traveler. Almost every second of her business begins with an attempt to go somewhere on vacation, unwind and see the unprecedented city-countries. So this time we are faced with a kind of stereotyped Japan - such as Europeans are used to seeing it. Geta, paper doors, origami, tea ceremony, anime and robotics - all found a place.

At least in our Gaizin view, all this pop-matryoshka, that is, excuse me, the kata-fuji-banzai flavor does not look as blatantly primitive as, for example, the Venetian realities in The Phantom of Venice. Together with some sake there, it will roll. Especially for barbarians like us.

What is most surprising - perked up the gameplay. In a new episode, we are really conducting a real investigation, interviewing witnesses, receiving diametrically opposite information from them, and looking for evidence. In general, we are engaged in normal detective work - exciting, unpredictable and dangerous. At least occasionally. This is not a thousand and one quest “buy products and fix atomizers”, as was the case in Trail of the Twister .

We are still offered puzzles at every turn. There are very simple ones - like a tiny Japanese crossword puzzle five by five cells. There are more complicated ones - say, a riddle with the unraveling of intersecting threads on the back of a woman's portrait. But even tasks that are difficult at first glance turn out to be logical and understandable. Seriously annoying is only one task associated with the assembly of portable lunches from products with bunnies, cats and pigs drawn on labels. Firstly, the fundamental delirium of the “puzzle” itself, which seems to be oriented toward five-year plans, prevents it. Secondly, unlike the others, this task cannot be postponed, skipped, and returned to it later: once we get into the screen for composing an o-bento, we are forced to finish the job anyway. Otherwise, the game will not let us out of this screen.

Finally, instead of the wrecked wrecked car we rode in in previous episodes, Shadow at the Water's Edge offers local rail transport. Which, fortunately, is automated - we sit down at the source station, get off at the right one with several intermediate transfers. Say “no!” To a long search for the road and tedious crossings.

A terrific metamorphosis has occurred with dialogs. The developers have long accustomed us to colorless characters, fresh conversations and constant transfusions from empty to empty. Therefore, when completely alive heroes suddenly appear in Shadow at the Water's Edge with their characters and cockroaches, and “side” conversations from inevitable boring turn into funny skirmishes with jokes, ambiguous situations and colorful speech of the interlocutors, it’s time to not believe your ears. But the fact remains: though not everywhere and not always, but in many cases the dialogues from the latest series about Nancy Drew are delivered.

As for the graphics, nothing has changed much in this area. There are very few locations and all of them are far from the modern level of detail and texturing of everything that is customary to detail and texture. But the interiors of the hotel harmoniously emphasize the atmosphere and even create some kind of illusion of presence thanks to selective 3D and enclosed space. The facial expressions of the characters are still beautiful. In fact, there is little adventure where you can see such a rich gamut of emotions on painted faces.

One has to admit: Shadow at the Water's Edge is not at all as bad as one might expect. Is it after so many dull episodes that we are finally witnessing the revival of the Nancy Drew series ?

Pros: a fascinating scenario; convincing horror elements; "Living" characters; funny dialogs; a pleasant rhythm of events; beautiful facial expressions; characteristic atmosphere.
Cons: secondary plot basis; a couple of unsuccessful puzzles; not too "fresh" graphics.