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Throwback Review Series: DOG {a fresh new play-through and in-depth review}

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  • Throwback Review Series: DOG {a fresh new play-through and in-depth review}

    Release Date: November 1, 2002
    Difficulty: Senior Detective

    FINAL SCORE: Acceptable (5/10)

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    Rating Scale:
    1. Dreadful | 2. Poor | 3. Mediocre | 4. Not Bad | 5. Acceptable
    6. Good | 7. Exceeds Expectations | 8. Strong | 9. Superior | 10. Outstanding

    ************************************************** ******************************************

    Hi there! I am a veteran Nancy Drew player, and have been playing these games since I was very young. Message in a Haunted Mansion was the first game I played at eight years old. I am now 27 and have completed every game in the series at least once. However, it's been several years since I've played my last ND game (Sea of Darkness in 2015), and many, MANY years since I have played many of the games. I've had a bout of Nostalgia and have decided to replay the entire series, starting from the beginning. I've decided to write a review for each game as I go. I will be playing on Senior Detective and using as few hints/online help as possible.

    Please keep in mind that everything written below is only my personal OPINION. If you don’t agree with something I have to say about a game, please don’t feel upset or offended. We all enjoy different aspects of these games and it’s wonderful that we can all have differing opinions about what makes a game great. I hope you enjoy!!

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    PLOT: Not Bad (4/10)
    Nancy makes her way to Moon Lake, Pennsylvania at the request of her father’s friend, Sally McDonald. Sally recently purchased a home at Moon Lake formerly owned by notorious gangster Mickey Malone, but the place is far from a new homeowner’s dream. Something strange has been going on and Sally requires Nancy’s detective work - though she won’t say for what. When Nancy arrives to help, a falling tree blocks her car in and Sally is nowhere to be found! We quickly discover through a phone call that Sally was just too afraid to stay for even one more night. Her cell phone dies before she can explain why, but Nancy soon experiences Sally’s distress herself when Mickey Malone’s “Ghost Dogs” viciously attack the house. Nancy, as usual, decides to stay at the Malone house until this mystery is solved!

    After quite a few games where we start off visiting a location for some mundane reason before any sort of mystery takes place, HER switches it up with Ghost Dogs and chooses to not only give us a mystery from the get go, but this plot also begins “In Media Res” so to speak. The very first thing that impressed me about this plot is that we aren’t just told that there are a bunch of ghost dogs attacking a house. Sally asks Nancy for help but is too scared to say why. Sally literally bails before Nancy even gets there before she’s so scared. Nancy gets blocked in. Sally urges Nancy to get out of there however she can. The dialogue feels urgent, the night feels scary. Then, the game SHOWS us what Sally is so afraid of. I think this is an EXCELLENT choice that pays off for the player.

    From here, the game takes us on a rendezvous with some pretty interesting history centered around Malone and his dogs and the prohibition era in general, and we learn that there are a few good reasons why someone may want to scare Sally out of her home. While there’s no real sense of urgency here, things progress in a way that feels natural. You start off in a boring cabin in Pennsylvania with a couple of dogs running around, and before you know it Nancy is discovering things that you never expected, and yet none of it ever feels out of place. The way the history and the location and some of the characters connect is organic and I felt invested in the story as I made my way through it. This is definitely an instance, however, where the historical plot the game gives us feels immensely more important than what Nancy actually went there to do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing - it just means that I cared a lot more about solving Malone’s mystery than I did about solving Sally’s.

    If I’m being honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to doing a replay of this game. I just don’t remember loving it when I was younger, and I didn’t expect that it would impress me much now. As it turns out, I actually was pleasantly surprised by this entry this time around! (Or maybe I’m just so happy to be done playing SSH). Although this isn’t the best plot in the series by far, I felt that it was a simple, yet charming, experience if you don’t go into it with your expectations too high.

    ************************************************** ******************************************

    SETTING: Acceptable (5/10)

    This time, our story is set in Moon Lake State Forest, Pennsylvania. I myself am from Pennsylvania, and am also a hiker/backpacker, and therefore feel as though I am hyper-qualified to review this setting! Overall, I actually think HER did a good job with this setting. It ranges from underwhelmingly decent to almost great, and I’m sure Nancy enjoyed getting some fresh air after being cooped up in so many stuffy Mansions and Castles all the time.

    LOCATION: Good (6/10)
    This is the first game HER has given us where we have the run of the GREAT OUTDOORS! We did get to explore the garden in TRT, but that was a minor area. In Ghost Dogs, the woods in which Sally’s Cabin is set FEEL like the woods. Fun fact, Moon Lake State Forest is actually a real state forest in Northeast PA! Although the REAL Moon Lake is shaped more like a funky avocado than the Crescent-moon the game portrays it as, I still think it’s cool that they set this story in a real place. I’ve never visited it personally, but I can tell you that all of Pennsylvania looks the same, and they got it pretty much right. Maybe some of you are asking yourselves, “Are Pennsylvania State Forests really that visually boring?” The answer is, yes. Yes they are. Especially in the spring when this game is set, because most of the vegetation has grown in and literally the only view you will ever get while hiking consists of trees and ferns and occasionally stinging nettle. (Fall and winter are much prettier). The area around the cabin and the trails in the woods do really FEEL like Pennsylvania. None of it is overly detailed, but the artstyle everywhere else is so nice that I’m willing to give it a pass because of the age of the game. And no matter how detailed you make a bunch of trees and leaves and dirt, they still just won’t be very interesting so I don’t blame HER for focusing their artistic efforts elsewhere.

    Plopped right in the middle of these great outdoors that we’ve been given is Sally’s house, which formerly belonged to gangster Mickey Malone in the roaring twenties. From the outside, it looks basically like any other cabin you’d expect to find in the woods. But I honestly LOVED what HER has given us on the inside. The cabin just has such a brilliant FEEL to it. It feels homey, and rustic, and also run down at the same time. It has character. It has ornate wallpaper and old dusty green curtains and an old stone/cast iron stove and furnace set which I am honestly super jealous of. It’s full of earthy tones and it just makes me want to go rent a cabin somewhere and light a fire and drink a cup of coffee.

    We also get Em’s Emporium, a quirky little store that sells illegally acquired valuables and also fishing bait. It basically looks like it sells illegally acquired valuables and fishing bait. It’s nothing special, but it does remind me of the sort of little store I might stop in if I were in the middle of nowhere and really needed to use the restroom. And of course, what State Forest would be complete without a ranger station? There’s nothing overly thrilling here, but it’s realistic and I enjoyed reading the information it had scattered everywhere.

    The best location we get by far is the Speakeasy, which is just so beautiful and well done. It’s got some really lovely artistry, and it really feels the way you’d expect it to. It has roulette tables and a stage with some old instruments and a bar with some really nicely done green bar stools and some other really nice pieces. Everything feels a little dusty and old, but you can also really imagine what it must have looked like filled with people.

    EXPLORATION: Not Bad (4/10)
    As always, my FAVORITE part of any Nancy Drew game!! How did this entry live up to my overwhelmingly high standards? Honestly, it was nothing special, but it still managed to hold its own. As usual with “travelling” games (where Nancy moves around via map), we get one or two lackluster locations which are in this case Em’s Emporium and the Ranger Station. Em’s is visually interesting but an absolute bore to actually interact with. The ranger station is visually boring but at least has some interesting stuff to read. In BOTH cases I wanted to snoop behind the desk but was sadly never able to. I also desperately wanted to go through the “Employees Only” door at the Ranger Station, but that dream also never became a reality.

    That aside though, I actually felt as though the house and surrounding woods provided a decent sense of exploration. A few things play to its advantage here. For example, the house is small, but it holds a few secrets. The forest trails are generally uninteresting, but they’re big and maze-like and at night they feel pretty spooky. Truthfully, I think I felt better about the exploration while playing than the game actually deserves on paper, mostly because of how gratifying this game makes it to find new areas. Additionally, there IS some back and forth between the different map locations, but it never really felt tedious to me and the tasks I was performing made sense so I was never too upset about travelling around. I think in the long run this made the world feel a little bigger because I was moving around the map a lot without being annoyed that I had to move around the map a lot. That constant movement and the way the game rewards you for it makes it feel less constricting than it actually is.
    ************************************************** ******************************************
    CHARACTERS: Acceptable (5/10)
    By now we’re pretty much used to getting a mixed bag of characters who can range anywhere from dreadful to not bad. On that rare occasion we get a really stellar performance, but rest assured that doesn’t happen here. Still, they aren’t the worst we’ve seen, two of them have pretty decent motives and one of them I actually really liked! We also get some really great phone contacts (if it weren’t for them, this score would be much lower) and more dialogue across the board than usual. So while these characters aren’t the best ever (and we actually get one less suspect than usual), HER is moving in the right direction.

    RED KNOTT: Poor (2/10)
    The first character we’re introduced to is Mr. Red Knott, an irritable bird watcher who is always grumpy all the time, but who really loves birds. We find out that he has a wife who he apparently leaves somewhere for an extended period of time while he visits Moon Lake in the spring. We also find out that he had a dog and seemed to love her, so I guess he can’t be all bad. His motive is incredibly unconvincing - he basically just doesn’t like people - yet also somehow so incredibly relatable. I mean hey, I have days too where I’d probably rather sit in a tree and watch birds than deal with the human population. Honestly, I don’t mind that he’s so gruff, I don’t really dislike him. I just wish he had a little more depth. He mostly just fades into the background here - though, knowing Red, maybe that’s intentional.

    EMILY GRIFFIN: Mediocre (3/10)
    Emily is the owner of Em’s Emporium, a small shop across the lake that sells Flashlight Batteries, Combo Cola, Camo Gear, Illegal Artifacts and also fishing bait. And she really does come off like a person who would sell both illegal artifacts and fishing bait. She’s nice and helpful to Nancy, but we also know she’s capable of being shady as she makes it pretty clear that she’s illegally dragging the lake to collect valuable items scattered across the lake bottom. Even though she swears it “all washed up on shore.” Yeah, okay Emily. This provides her with a bit of depth and also a great and realistic motive, while also allowing her to be likeable. The thing is, I just didn’t really care about her. She was… fine.

    JEFF AKERS: Acceptable (5/10)
    Oh Jeff, thank you for being the one character that I cared about. Jeff Akers is the lone forest ranger for Moon Lake State Forest, and while I don’t remember caring about him in past playthroughs, I LOVED him this time around. We learn early on that he’s a bit of a stickler for the rules and does NOT make exceptions when it comes to handing out citations. This leads to most people we talk to having something bad to say about him (even though MAYBE they just shouldn’t have left their sandwich on the picnic table, did they ever think of that?) I don’t actually hate the way the other characters react to him, despite how nice we know he is, because I feel like it’s pretty realistic. I mean, if I’m speeding and I get a ticket, I’m going to be annoyed at the police officer. Even though I was the one speeding. Everyone wants to be that one person who gets a pass, and I feel like that’s a very human response.

    The thing is, it’s pretty clear once we meet Jeff that he’s just super nice and passionate about his job. I have in my notes that he is the “Hermione of Park Rangers.” And by super nice I mean like probably the nicest character we’ve met so far. He’s friendly to Nancy. He does things for her without being a jerk and asking for something in return. He gets her water sample tested, he mails her letters, he even looks for contact information for her. All because HE IS JUST NICE. Meanwhile, Emily has us digging around the forest for bugs. And then, the ONE TIME we ever do anything to help him (because Nancy offers to after being a bit of a jerk), HE THANKS US WITH A JUNIOR PARK RANGER PIN!!! He even apologizes to Nancy for being rude when she asks him questions that are really none of her business, and then ANSWERS her intrusive questions. He is just nice. I like him. ALSO, he went to Penn State, and I know a lot of people who went to Penn State, so that’s pretty cool.

    PHONE CONTACTS: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    The phone contacts in this entry are really good and have a lot of dialogue, and I think it’s clear that HER is really starting to improve in this department. Our phone contacts are one of my favorite parts of the game, and I tend to call them CONSTANTLY, so I’m really excited to see them progress in a good way.

    Sally McDonald: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    The first phone contact we get to interact with is Sally, and my first thoughts about her were that her voice actress is really good, and also that we get a LOT of dialogue from her. All in all, I really liked her, even though she literally runs away and leaves Nancy, a teenager, stranded at her haunted cabin in the woods. At first I thought “what kind of adult would do that?” Then I found out she is 27, and as it turns out so am I, and I would DEFINITELY do that. So I am inclined to forgive her. I would really have loved to get her as an actual character though.

    Bess and George: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    Bess and George are really good, as usual. I feel like going forward now that they’ve found their groove, there won’t be too much to say about these guys unless they give a particularly epic performance, because I feel like they’re just consistently above average. I love that we get a small “theme” from them with each game to make them feel fresh and realistic - this time it’s Bess’s Caller ID, which I think was fun because it means Caller ID was NEW at the time of this game, and it makes me laugh that they’re so excited about it.

    Frank and Joe: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    To be honest, I always want to give Frank and Joe a 10 out of 10, because they are just my FAVORITE phone contacts ever and I love them. But like Bess and George, they’re probably going to linger around a solid 7 unless they are uniquely outstanding because I feel like although they’re great, great is average for them. They need to be held to a higher standard. So, as expected, I love them here and they have some great dialogue with Nancy and with each other, as usual. Also, they’re talking to Nancy on two phone receivers, which is just as charmingly funny as the caller ID thing.

    Vivian Whitmore: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    I connected with Vivian immediately, mostly because she almost airhorned Nancy throught he phone thinking she was a telemarketer, and I think I might adopt that tactic from now on. She’s also voice acted well and pretty entertaining, and I LOVEEE the way she connects to the plot. We spend a lot of time digging into the history of Malone, so it’s really intriguing to hear this lady talk about it as somebody who had actually been there. Also, we get a surprise appearance from Eustacia (from FIN), and I just love when HER does stuff like that! Vivian and Eustacia’s bickering made me smile.
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    PUZZLES: Good (6/10)
    Okay, so, this game is actually surprisingly puzzle-heavy. In fact, I think the plethora of puzzles (ACTUAL puzzles, not like in SSH) is what made this such an enjoyable replay for me. We get more puzzles here than we have up until this point, and some of them are actually really tricky, but in a good way. If my memory serves me right, we get about eight total, and they’re implemented really well in a variety of ways.

    Some are simple and straightforward, given to us by characters (like the Combo Cola puzzle, or the Roman Numeral cards). These are primarily done in exchange for small items or information that Nancy needs to move forward, and their difficulty really does match their purpose. They aren’t frustrating or all that time consuming, so the player doesn’t end up feeling like the reward isn’t worth the effort.

    In contrast, we also get quite a few puzzles that serve to move the story forward in MAJOR ways, or unlock major areas. These are generally much trickier, but I really loved the way they were incorporated. They felt organic and like they really BELONGED in this story, and while some were difficult in the way a hard sodoku puzzle is difficult, others require a real attention to detail and ask the player to be aware of their surroundings in order to put two and two together. I LOVE puzzles like this, because solving them is SOOOO rewarding when you finally get it right. There was only one puzzle in the whole game that I was concerned I actually wouldn’t solve, and that was in the endgame (more on that below). The rest of them took me a while, but I was able to put it together eventually. Keep in mind that I’ve played this game before (though MANY years ago), and while I didn’t remember the solutions from my first playthrough, I do have a vague sense of when I’m going in the right direction. Were it not for that, a couple of these may have taken me a lot long (the spicket puzzle for example).

    The most important thing here is that I never felt like any of these didn’t belong where they were. They fit really nicely into the plot of this game and I enjoyed my experience with them.

    ************************************************** ******************************************

    ENDGAME: Mediocre (3/10)
    For the purposes of this review, the Endgame includes the puzzles leading up to the culprit reveal (basically everything after we unlock the final door that takes a key). I honestly am uncertain of how to feel about the endgame. First of all, there was just something about the last “room” where the endgame takes place that I was not thrilled with. We spend the whole game lavishing in this beautiful cabin and this really authentic feeling speakasy and then at the end of the game, it’s just… dark and damp and not at all fitting with the way the rest of the game feels.

    There are really two puzzles standing in our way during the endgame, before the culprit reveal. The first is a combination of simple and irritating, because while the solution was pure logic, I had honestly forgotten that I had the means to solve it in my inventory by the time I made it to this point in the game. This is the sort of puzzle that you spend a while thinking about, eventually look up the answer, and then think “well that is stupid.” The SECOND puzzle standing in our way is difficult on a whole other level. Let me explain - the puzzle ITSELF is solvable, if you know the correct combination. Figuring out the combination to this last puzzle is, in my opinion, almost not even fair. If I hadn’t played this game before, I would almost definitely have not figured it out on my own. Once you know the solution, it does make sense, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that you have to think SO outside the box to solve this thing. And honestly, I’m left not even really knowing if I think this is good or bad.

    And finally, I felt like the actual reveal of both the final secret and the culprit was super underwhelming. Nancy doesn’t even act surprised or excited or anything when she makes it through that final door, the culprit’s weapon of choice is ridiculous, and the way we catch the culprit is annoyingly simple and I just didn’t enjoy any part of this last bit of the game. Actually, I think they missed an opportunity, because I think it would have been BRILLIANT if the dogs were involved somehow in the apprehension of the culprit.

    ************************************************** ******************************************

    This category may not affect the game’s overall score in any particular way, as low scores in the categories presented here shouldn’t necessarily be interpreted as a bad thing. These are highly subjective to personal taste and are included primarily for informative purposes.

    DIFFICULTY: Good (6/10)
    I would consider this a relatively difficult game. It isn’t the hardest the series gives us, but it does involve some difficult puzzles with some not so obvious answers. I was tempted to look up hints more than once during this playthrough. It also has a few tasks that aren’t tricky necessarily, but the game allows you to spend as much time as you want on them and it’s a bit of a trick question because you actually just don’t have access to the answer yet. If you’re struggling with something that feels like it should be simple, I would advise you to go around and talk to everybody or try switching up the time of day.

    SCARE FACTOR: Not Bad (4/10)
    While Ghost Dogs is marketed as a scary title, it really isn’t after the first few minutes of the game. We only get to see the “ghost dogs” that one time, and honestly if we choose to play the game primarily during the daytime, we’re unlikely to encounter any sort of spookiness at all. When playing at night, the dark and the sound effects do add a level of spookiness (particularly in the woods), but nothing scary ever really HAPPENS. However, I do recall being quite apprehensive about the dogs anytime I was traversing the great outdoors in my first playthrough, and I think the game does do a good job of playing that anticipation to their advantage.

    EDUCATION/LOCATION HISTORY: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
    I think this entry does a GREAT job in this category. The game itself centers around the life of Mickey Malone, a gangster during the prohibition. We learn a ton about not only Malone, but his associates, his dogs and his property throughout our playthrough. We also have a plethora of information available to us in the Ranger’s station, some that adds to Malone’s story if we choose to read it (I particularly loved that the Malone place is built over the underground railroad, and this is the first playthrough that I picked up on that bit of information) and some that just makes the place feel more like a real state forest. We can learn about tree growth and water safety and diseases and poisonous plants and hiking (all of which is not only true but important if you are actually out camping in a state forest.) We also get a few other bits of history NOT related to Malone at all, but still related to the area. All in all, I think they did a great job with both WHAT information they gave us, but also how much. I mostly enjoyed reading what this game had to offer.

    IMMERSION: Not Bad (4/10)
    This concerns how realistic the game feels. Does it feel like Nancy is really there for the reason she is supposed to be? Is her reason for being there realistic? Are the things that happen throughout the game realistic?

    Honestly, the most immersion breaking part of this entire game is that Nancy is even there at all. I mean, are you really telling me that Nancy’s father would allow his teenage daughter to stay by herself in a cabin in the middle of nowhere IN THE WOODS with zero supervision, known nightly attacks, and a strange man camped out in a tree only yards away every single night? I mean, I get that her car is blocked in but would he not have just driven there and picked her up? Why would literally ANYBODY think this is a good idea, including Nancy who is supposed to have a smart head on her shoulders? Also, did ANYBODY think of just trying to catch one of the dogs? They supposedly come by every night, it couldn’t be that hard. I get that they’re being aggressive, but humans have ways to secure aggressive animals.

    ANYWAY, all this aside, the game actually feels pretty immersive. Or at least, there isn’t really anything immersion BREAKING going on. In fact, there are a few gems even that play to the era in which this game was made (like when Red asks Nancy if she knows how to work a digital camera.) But it wasn’t the best, and the above issues really bother me, so it’s immersion score will suffer as a result.

    MUSIC: Not Bad (4/10)
    I don’t often pay close attention to music in my playthroughs, which is why this category is in miscellaneous - because I am most certainly not qualified to determine whether the musical score of these games makes the game itself better or worse. BUT, I will do my best to include my thoughts (if I have any). In the instance of this game, I felt as though the music was just okay. There are some pieces that I enjoyed (like the fluttery one when Nancy wakes up in the morning), but I wasn’t thrilled by any of them in particular. What I do like about the music in this particular entry is the way it REALLY works with the locations and time of day. For example, I love the contrast between the music we get when we switch from night to morning in this game.

    GRAPHICS: Not Bad (4/10)
    I went ahead and increased the Graphics score ever so slightly from the previous game, because this game had DOGS, and they didn’t look half bad! Otherwise, we’re basically getting more of the same. Jeff Akers is nice looking. Em is kind of scary. Red I think is actually well done, and I particularly liked his clothing as they fit the role he was playing well.

    STILL NO EXTRAS. No food. No notebook this time around. No nothing. I must admit, I’m looking forward to the next game more than I should be simply because I know Nancy gets to actually EAT FOOD. And I also think in the next entry we get awards, which will be lots of fun! None of that here, though, so if you want any of that move along.

    We do get one thing in this game that I believe is the first of it’s kind: AN EASTER EGG!! I actually have never acquired this thing, as I don’t think you get any info on how from the game itself (it seems to be related to some sort of pre-game contest or something that took place from my understanding). But it does exist and I LOVE finding easter eggs in the rest of the games, so this is a good thing.

    ************************************************** ******************************************
    FINAL SCORE: Acceptable (5/10)

    You know how sometimes, you go to see a movie that you really don’t expect to be good (like a dreaded sequel or a live action Disney remake), but when it’s over you sit there and think “Okay, this wasn’t as good as the first one… but it actually wasn’t half bad” and you leave feeling somewhat impressed that it hadn’t been terrible? That’s pretty much how I came away from this game, and honestly I’m okay with that. It wasn’t the best entry by far and most certainly is not a favorite, but it was an enjoyable experience and I would definitely recommend it.

    ************************************************** ******************************************

    SCK | STFD | MHM | TRT | FIN | SSH | DOG | CAR | DDI | SHA
    ************************************************** ******************************************
    Last edited by Jett; December 4, 2019, 12:36 PM.

  • #2
    Another great review! I may have to come back and add more commentary later on—I’m currently out-of-town—but I wanted to leave some thoughts while your review was fresh in my mind.

    Firstly, I completely agree with your comments about the opening scene. It really is the best written moment in the game by far, and it leaves the player feeling so unsettled. Everything is out of your control and getting worse. Sally’s phone cuts out right as you’re about to learn what scared her away. Then, there are ghostly wails coming from outside, which turn out to be a false alarm. Before you can relax, terrifying howls pierce the night air, and you’re left to cower in the house. Truth be told, if I was in a house being attacked by dogs, I would have left, too, and it wouldn’t have taken more than one night to convince me to leave.

    I had no idea that Moon Lake was a real state park! I can’t believe I didn’t find that when doing research for my review on that game. Maybe I did and I just didn’t mention it in my review. Either way, that is so cool to know! I’m glad we share a love for the speakeasy. It’s a true gem of a setting.

    FINALLY. Finally someone agrees with me about Jeff Akers. The poor man doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I’m not saying he is my favorite character in the games or the most memorable, but he is so nice and puts up with so much hostility from Nancy. He doesn’t request a bunch of chores in exchange for doing menial tasks, and he has a cute dog. (By the way, his dog was the first animal that HeR’s animation team did in house according to Max Holecheck in the Reddit AMA.) I agree that the other’s response to him makes sense—I would probably be the same way—but he is nice (and cute) and has a pleasant voice.

    The phone characters in this game are a cut above! Sally McDonald (voiced by my queen, Keri Healey, who also voices my queens Harper Thornton and Professor Hotchkiss) and Vivian Whitmore are such good characters!

    OOF. You are totally right about the endgame. I found it to be such a letdown across the board, and your comment about the weapon is hilariously true.

    Yay! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the music! I definitely agree that the music in this game is just okay aesthetically, but, as you said, the music really sets the atmosphere and makes a huge difference in the tone between night and day. The one you’re thinking of that sounds all fluttery is probably “Nostalgia” (which is one of the three compositions I actually like). Ironically, that one was the most memorable to me during my first playthrough as well.

    ...This is going to sound so mean, but there’s a professor at my alma mater who looks almost identical to Emily and I can’t get over it. I feel terrible, but they really are physically alike and both have strong accents.

    WHAT?! There’s an Easter Egg in this game?! I have to check that out immediately!

    Again, fantastic review! Sorry for my chaotic comment!


    • #3
      Frank and Joe: Exceeds Expectations (7/10)
      To be honest, I always want to give Frank and Joe a 10 out of 10, because they are just my FAVORITE phone contacts ever and I love them. But like Bess and George, they’re probably going to linger around a solid 7 unless they are uniquely outstanding because I feel like although they’re great, great is average for them. They need to be held to a higher standard. So, as expected, I love them here and they have some great dialogue with Nancy and with each other, as usual. Also, they’re talking to Nancy on two phone receivers, which is just as charmingly funny as the caller ID thing.
      I really really like your ranking system. I'd say I usually give Frank and Joe a 'Strong', except for TOT, where Frank gets a 'Superior' and Joe gets an 'Acceptable' (ooch- sorry Joe, but your 'hints' were useless!) They are my favorite phone friends too.

      Do you think you will do a review for STFD? Or have you already?
      Last edited by Juliana+Walter; November 21, 2019, 02:32 PM.
      Stay Tuned for Danger- Lights, Camera,CURSES! - MIDNIGHT IN SALEM

      find out what I think of these games, and 30 others,


      • #4
        The phone characters in this game are a cut above! Sally McDonald (voiced by my queen, Keri Healey, who also voices my queens Harper Thornton and Professor Hotchkiss) and Vivian Whitmore are such good characters!
        Well no wonder I liked her!!! I honestly had no idea that Hotchkiss's voice actress voiced so many characters. I guess no wonder I liked Harper, too lol. That woman definitely has talent. Also, I did bother to look and "Nostalgia" is definitely the music arrangement that I enjoyed!! There is also one called "Day" which got annoying after a while, but I thought that one did the best job of displaying the morning/night contrast.

        WHAT?! There’s an Easter Egg in this game?! I have to check that out immediately!
        I know, I was surprised myself. I didn't think we got easter eggs this early, I'm glad I bothered to look it up. Apparently if you
        dial 555-MANO or 555-SOLV you'll get it in your inventory, and it adds a few new paths in the forest if you're holding the egg.
        I haven't tested it myself because I've already moved on to CAR, but I found that super interesting!!

        I really really like your ranking system. I'd say I usually give Frank and Joe a 'Strong', except for TOT, where Frank gets a 'Superior' and Joe gets an 'Acceptable' (ooch- sorry Joe, but your 'hints' were useless!) They are my favorite phone friends too. Do you think you will do a review for STFD? Or have you already?
        Yay, I'm glad somebody loves them as much as I do!!! Actually, I'm sure a lot of people love them, they're awesome lol. I would probably agree with you that they deserve a "Strong" rating, but honestly it has been SOOO long since I've done a playthrough and I thought it would be better to give myself some wiggle-room so that I can bump them up the scale appropriately if they give some spectacular performances down the line (I think I loved them in SHA, if I remember right.) I honestly don't even remember anything about TOT, and I always ended up with a weird bug where I'd get stuck with no way to continue so I honestly may not have ever finished the game. If I did get through it, I don't actually recall the culprit. (Hopefully I can get through it this time around!!)

        And I have done one for STFD, it's linked at the very bottom of this review!! I've reviewed everything up to DOG so far, and I'm working on a playthrough of CAR as we speak!


        • #5
          Keri Healey hasn’t voiced as many as I wish she had, but the ones she has voiced are sooooo good. I love her. Oh good! I figured that was the one. It’s so pleasant compared to the rest. I’m actually screaming right now because “Day” is the one I hate the most. Literally when I was reading your review yesterday, that song popped into my head and I was so sad. It drives me insane, but you’re right that it really contrasts from the nighttime music.

          That’s pretty neat! Not my favorite Easter Egg but still cool. Thanks again for sharing! I can’t believe I never knew about that one.