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Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake... A must read, in-depth review! :D

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  • Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake... A must read, in-depth review! :D

    Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake

    Plot:

    Sally McDonald, a friend of Nancy’s father, has just purchased a house in Moon Lake, Pennsylvania. The house was previously owned by a Prohibition-era gangster, named Mickey Malone who had four very loyal dogs. Once you arrive, Sally has fled in terror after the house was attacked by…ghost dogs. Are these the dogs that once protected the house and were last seen the night Mickey was arrested? You as Nancy Drew must dig deep to discover what, or, who is trying to scare Sally away from Moon Lake!
    I’ve always found this plot intriguing as I love everything that has to do with the roaring twenties! The fashion, the music, black & white pictures etc… it had my interest from the very start. I always enjoy a game that has action as soon as you start playing, and this has it, hands down. I’m glad I finally got to play it, as it was one of the older games that came out in 2002.


    Characters:

    Red Knott:
    Eccentric bird watcher who only comes out at night so he doesn’t miss the birds he’s so anxious to find! He doesn’t like the fact that Moon Lake might become a place where people will overpopulate his precious birds. He doesn’t like any newcomers, in this instance, Nancy as he thinks she’s too loud & will scare away his winged friends.

    Emily Griffen:
    Emily owns ‘Em’s Emporium’ in town, where you can get camouflage, batteries, soda, bait, antiques’ and much more! She isn’t greatly liked as she has been known to use illegal methods to get antiques’ out of Moon Lake that were left by the lakes former residence.

    Jeff Akers:
    Jeff is the only ranger of Moon Lake State Park and loves to ticket people, and enforce strict park rules. A lifelong resident of Moon Lake, Jeff wanted the parks department to buy the old Malone place & expand the park property but can no longer do it as Sally out bid them. Interestingly, Jeff has ties to the Malone family but doesn't like to admit it.


    Not a ton of characters, but you do have a few phone friends that also help out. The phone friends are; Sally, Bess & George, The Hardy Boys, and an old girlfriend of Mickey’s. *You also speak to an old phone friend from one of the previous games!* I didn’t have a favorite character, to me, they were all just so-so. They all had great alibis for wanting Sally gone! And I was upset when I was in the middle of playing this game as I was looking up the names of Malone’s dogs & accidentally saw who the culprit was… so I didn’t get to be surprised which was unfortunate because I really didn’t know who it was! I would’ve liked more run-ins with the culprit, not a whole lot happened with them besides one instance & of course the end.


    Settings/Graphics:
    The setting is the beautiful old Malone house right on the shoreline of Moon Lake, PA. There are acres and acres of woods surrounding the property. (Be careful, as you can get easily lost in the twists & turns the woods have). Look for the map to help you navigate, it’ll save you time! There’s also a shed on the side of the house & a cemetery to visit. Once you get the boat fixed you can either go to Em’s Emporium or the Ranger Station to question Emily & Jeff. There is plenty to see at the ranger station, but I felt like the store Emily ran was boring. You almost couldn’t click on anything besides 3 things. As you progress through the game there are many other places you can visit, tunnels, secret passageways & the speakeasy (which was my favorite part). I thought for 2002 it looked rather good! I adore, ADORE the old interface! The blue border, the inventory list right there so you can see each item clearly & grab something you need. That came in handy when I needed the camera to take pictures of the birds for Red!


    Game play/Puzzles:
    I am SO excited to go over the puzzles, for once! I am puzzle-illiterate. They’re just not my friend! But I was pleasantly surprised as I was playing this game, that the puzzles weren’t that hard for me! I figured quite a few of them out on my own and it really made me feel good, that I accomplished them without a walk through or cheat! Sure I needed a few hints but that was it, just a hint. I love everything about this game, including the puzzles! As for game play, this game took me 4 days to complete. I played it when I had 2-3 hours to devote my full attention to. Which (to me) is a little short, but nothing compared to FIN where you can finish that in a few hours. A con I have about this game is the woods… I don’t know about anyone else but my sense of direction was awful! I got lost a few times… ok, a lot of times! When I first started I had to take a break because I couldn’t figure out where I was. The map of the woods is extremely helpful once you get your bearings. When you find the directions strictly to the cemetery-use it! It helps so much. But I loved learning about the twenties, and reading old newspaper articles. I also really like roman numerals, I don’t know why but they’ve always been interesting to figure out, but that’s just me. I played on Junior Detective so if I was ever stuck & away from the phone I just looked at Nancy’s PDA & that gave me a huge hint haha. Honestly, I wasn’t that disappointed that there wasn’t a ton of snooping, since you had so many other places to go & things to discover. That aspect definitely kept you busy, so I understand why there wasn’t a ton of snooping. Probably the only game where there was no snooping and I didn’t mind! I also would’ve liked to be visited by the ghost dogs more! We only see them once, and since Sally was getting nightly visits it seemed odd that they were only seen once by Nancy. I mean we didn’t even hear them after the first “attack”. I expected to at least hear them in the woods when I was at the cemetery at night.


    Music/Scare Factor:
    The music was a little different than what I expected. It was jazzy at night, keeping up with the twenties & swing music, but during the day I feel like the outside noises drowned out the music. All I could hear was the cicadas and the noise that seems to be made when it’s really hot out. It got to be so loud I had to turn down the background noise so I could concentrate! Although, when I could hear the music it was extremely repetitive & also reminded me a lot of TRT. I think it was very similar. Again, I’m only putting ‘scare factor’ in this review to keep continuity with all my other reviews but this game isn’t the least bit scary-at least to me. I am in my twenties so I think that makes a difference. However, even when the dogs “attack” the house, it really isn’t anything too scary. To be honest, the suspenseful music makes it seem scarier than it is, unfortunately, because I like a good scare! So if you’re a younger player it might be a dash frightening but nothing too bad.


    Ending:
    I thought the ending was ok, it was fast paced, but you knew exactly what to do once the culprit was “after you”. It was very easy to figure out, a little short but that was ok. It wasn’t the best ending, believe me there have been better, but at least it tied up all the loose ends & when Nancy read her letter to Ned you knew exactly what happened.


    Overall:
    I honestly can’t say enough good things about this game. Other than getting lost in the woods, only being visited by the ghost dogs once, and under development of the characters; I loved everything else about this game! DOG has made it to my top 5 favorite ND games list. Call me old fashioned, but I love the older games more than the newer games. I prefer the interface, the easier puzzles, the letter at the beginning kind of introducing you to the mystery & the older games seem to have this feel that just isn’t in the new ones. Maybe it’s nostalgia as I grew up playing the older games but I just prefer them! If you like a pretty easy game, no extremely difficult puzzles, history about the roaring 20’s & roman numerals then you’ll love this game!

    Well that’s that, I hope you liked my review and as always, thank you for reading!
    Stay tuned for my next review of
    ...The Haunted Carousel… Coming soon!
    Last edited by here2seetheshow; June 25, 2018, 09:13 AM.
    SCK, STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CRE, HAU, SAW, TOT

  • #2
    I forgot to add! A few things I noticed in the game that reminded me of past games... in the shed, I believe Hotchkiss's boots are under a few cobwebs. Red's voice, I swear, is Tex's voice from SHA. If anybody else noticed something I didn't mention, please feel free to comment-I'd love to see what I missed! Thanks
    SCK, STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CRE, HAU, SAW, TOT

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