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ASHES Review - Buy it if you love ND / But... It's different

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  • ASHES Review - Buy it if you love ND / But... It's different

    Hello fellow Her community. I don't usually write reviews - however, I just finished this game and it was interesting - different. I feel that a review could be helpful to those of you considering whether to make the purchase.

    Ok - so I see some people posting their ages as if ND games are somehow written for children only - they aren't. They are challenging enough for all ages and the themes of many of them are IMO rather on the adult-side. I'm a 40 year-old attorney and I love adventure games (they are good exercise for the brain - plus great entertainment). I have played every Nancy Drew game - I am a huge fan.

    I'll tell you my favorites so you can have something by which to gauge this review and my thinking about Ashes:

    Haunted Mansion, Royal Tower, Blackmoor Manor, White Wolf, Venice, Crystal Skull, Shadow Ranch and Shadow at the Water's Edge (I liked many others - the older ones). In fact there have been only two ND games that I absolutely didn't like at all (sorry) - Danger by Design and Ransom of the Seven Ships were not for me... but only those two. Like most players, I generally have found that the more recently released games (since Castle Malloy) have declined in greatness. The last few with the exception of Water's Edge haven't been up to par - playable and enjoyable - but the excitement we got used to is somewhat missing...

    Ashes is much different than any ND game you have ever played. It took me awhile to decide if I even liked it - I did. Not one of my faves - but it was unique. The truth is, if you love ND games you want to play it regardless of what we tell you about it - but you are not in for what you are probably expecting - so go in with an open mind.

    Ashes has great graphics, but what it doesn't have is a particularly intereting story. In other words - you aren't really going to care much about the characters b/c you will never feel that anyone is in any danger or a real threat. What is also lacking is exploration. There are several locations to go to - but you only get to see a very limited space. The game consists of you talking to characters and switching roles between Nancy, Bess, George and Ned to uncover the mystery. It can get tedious. You have hardly any inventory - there is not much to "take" with you nor even look for. Basically, you are interrogating suspects and through interrogation and evidence you will eventually uncover the culprit. There is no tension, no scary moments, no real "wow" moment at all - but, there was something fun about being in ND's hometown and attempting to solve the mystery in this new way.

    Objectively, it is not a bad game - though some really didn't like it. I think it is about expectations. Go into it knowing that the style is a bit different and just be happy to be playing an ND game that HER seems to have put a good effort into. Although it is lacking in thrill, it is still a cozy ND game.


    P.S. I did find this game to be among the easier ones - the puzzles are not that difficult at all - but you have to exhaust all dialogues or certain things will not trigger for you and that is where the challenge lies. *You also get to eat a lot of ice cream :)
    If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost.

    BARACK OBAMA, speech, Aug. 28, 2006