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MID- Review and Open Letter

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  • MID- Review and Open Letter

    I have been playing Nancy Drew games for 20 years now, starting when I was 8 years old and at a time when my parents were getting divorced. To say I have a personal connection to these games, would be an understatement. Like almost every loyal fan who has voiced their concerns about MID here, Nancy Drew is a part of who I am and what I want to pass on to my son and hopefully future daughter.

    I stood by you HER when you didn't release a new game for 5 years........I stood by you when I heard of your financial troubles and re-bought every single Nancy Drew game created, again, because I wanted to help and support this company any way I could. I wanted to work for you guys so bad because I loved what you did and the unique product you had created. There were NO GAMES like Nancy Drew before.

    I even bought a PC, when I own a Mac, so I could replay the PC only games. That's how much I love this series.

    MID isn't just a disappoint, it's completely unacceptable.

    The story itself is great! And I was all for the teaser trailer, but the graphics and dialogue are just INSANE. It's like you guys didn't care at all and put in any work?

    How could you not notice that when the characters speak, their mouths either don't move or are out of sync? Or the fact that there are ZERO facial expressions or special personality traits like all the other characters before had?

    The game isn't compatible for all Mac platforms and you guys should have done more research or been more specific and clear on the requirements needed to play this huge game on a Mac. I use a Macbook Air, brand new, and had to delete almost everything on it just to have enough disc space. When I try to play this game, it LAGS for SOOOOOOOOOO LONG. It sometimes takes 10 minutes just to get to a new scene, something that never happened with the older games.

    The touchpad for Mac is not compatible with how you made the point and click curser. Even when I plug in a mouse, it still is really difficult to move the room around just to try and find a clue, when there usually isn't anything there.

    The dialog is so flipping boring and doesn't move the story along either. I used to love talking to Professor Hotchkiss from TRT, just because she had a great voice, funny personality and great lines :) You don't get any of that from MID.

    I remember you guys having people beta test the upcoming games and I always tried to become a tester but wasn't able to get a spot. Did you guys stop doing this? Was this not done for MID?

    I miss Lani voicing Nancy, but I was fine with someone else doing it until I started playing this game. I don't know if it's just the bad dialogue but Nancy is bad :/ She sounds so monotone and nothing at all like the sassy detective we have come to love for over 20 years. She is not being done justice.

    In August of 2015, you guys sent this out to fans about the future of Nancy Drew games-
    "Thanks to the more than 4,000 respondents who participated in our survey earlier this year, it’s clear to us that you would love to see some changes and updates to our Nancy Drew PC/MAC franchise. Your suggestions for more expansive environments, better visuals, more compelling story lines, longer gameplay, more characters and more dangerous situations with player consequences got us thinking, and we agree."

    And though I was upset that I had to wait for another year (which eventually turned into 4) I was excited that you were going to update the game and make it even better. I agreed with what the 4,000 people said. But I think you missed the target completely. We don't need Nancy Drew to be playable in VR, we don't need the trees to move or be able to hear people taking in the background when we are conversing with another character (it honestly make its harder to listen and pay attention). You could have given the expansive environments and still provide solid graphics for the characters. It didn't need to look like the SIMS 3. You guys took what was soooo unique about the game and just threw it away.

    And I think you did it because you were going bankrupt and had to let another company/game platform step in and do the work. Creating something that isn't Nancy Drew.

    Below is a quote from a former HER employee about what happened in March of 2015, just a couple of months before you guys announced the change in ND game structure-
    “But Penny [Milliken, CEO] had booked the conference room downstairs, and there was an HR person we’d never seen there before,” said an employee who was there. “One person went down at a time, and every time they came back up, they’d start packing up their boxes.” At the end of the day, 13 employees—over half the company—no longer had jobs.

    Here is the link to the entire article with testimony from 6 former employees and an interview with Lani on being let go after Penny Miliken took over as CEO.
    ***REMOVED***


    I just can't believe that you guys actaully think this game is good or even comparable to older Nancy Drew games, even ones from the early 90's. Because it's not. I love NANCY DREW and will continue to play the old games for myself and for my children, but we won't be playing MID or any future games if this is how they are going to look.

    I think you will find that almost all of the people who play your games, feel this way, and will stop supporting HER.


    -A Fellow Nancy Drew
    Last edited by hedgie; December 11, 2019, 08:09 PM.

  • #2
    Since HER deleted the link I posted to article mentioned above in my review, here is what you can search in Google to find it-
    “The case of the disappearing Nancy Drew Games”
    ***edited***was written last year.

    Please review the rules. Posting outside links is an extremely serious offense and will lead to banning if it continues:
    No Web Links, Images or Email Addresses:
    Do not post any web links, URLs, images, or email address links on the message boards. Self promotion of personal web sites and step-by- step instructions to get to a web site are not allowed.

    Last edited by catsandbooks; December 11, 2019, 02:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the link to the article. It was very eye-opening and quite sad. Hopefully, HER can salvage their company somehow and restore it to where it should be.
      It's up to you as Nancy Drew!

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      • #4
        Thank you for this post! Not only did I learn a little more about this company but it is definitely eye opening! I’ve been playing since I was around 9 and watching them shut everyone out, ignore emails (even me reaching out on social media hasn’t worked), string us along for years and then decide to scramble up a half finished game is so upsetting.

        This is coming from someone who waited and waited and preordered the physical copy of the game immediately, and then after a week of wondering where the heck my game was, was told it was cancelled this AM with no further information. it really makes you feel like you, as a paying/supporting customer, aren’t important to them. So I’m not even giving this game a try anymore.

        I have hope that they can turn things around and run the company better in the future but I no longer am interested in sticking around to see!

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        • #5
          Thank you for this! I'm reading the article now. I was talking to my wife about how disappointed I was, and she said it sounded like the company had been facing bankruptcy and was trying to bail out or something. So I was not surprised to read about the financial issues.
          Last edited by Zarlee; December 11, 2019, 02:15 PM.

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          • #6
            Thank you so much for posting this. You are definitely not alone in any of your opinions. I 100% agree with everything you mentioned.

            Funny thing too, I also thought the characters resembled Sims characters as well.. They had weird movements that were not matching up to what they were saying and were just the same every time you talked to the characters.

            The weird VR movement was so confusing and honestly, very irritating. The simple movements and magnifying glass were so much better in all of the previous games.

            The puzzles were honestly a joke.. There were HARDLY any direction and I found myself using the guide more than I've ever used it on previous games. There honestly weren't many puzzles either.

            I definitely missed the old Nancy voice.. Her sassy attitude and memorable lingo .. and I also wish I heard "It's locked" again.

            This review was very well written and I'm glad others felt the same as I did..
            ..¸.·*¨¯¨*·..I'm not gonna write
            .(.....*·--·'.....you a love song
            ..`×.,¸¸,.×´¯)..cause ya asked for it
            ..........¸.×´.........cause ya need one
            .........(¸_¸.×´¯)..........(¯*..I'm gonna need a better
            ...............¸×´..........)..reason to write you a love song
            Love.......(............¸×´.today
            .....Song...`×.,¸¸,.×´©ML1+Sara Bareilles

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            • #7
              Zoeberry, to quote you:

              "We don't need Nancy Drew to be playable in VR, we don't need the trees to move or be able to hear people taking in the background when we are conversing with another character (it honestly makes it harder to listen and pay attention). You could have given the expansive environments and still provide solid graphics for the characters. It didn't need to look like the SIMS 3. You guys took what was soooo unique about the game and just threw it away."

              Bingo. 200% correct! I would also like to add that what really made the games SO unique were the in-house employees, many of whom were of very long standing, who had passion and enthusiasm for the ND games and who also cared very much about their fanbase. That is not something that is replaceable or disposable, and not something that can be reproduced by using people from overseas who are willing to work more cheaply.

              I would have easily paid forty to fifty dollars or more for each game if I had known that the company was in financial trouble. I also would have contributed money to a Kickstarter to keep the series going. I replay the ND games so much that fifty dollars apiece would still be a bargain.

              This is why I wasn't expecting much from MID and my sights were set very low. I have been grieving the loss of this series since 2015 and the grieving continues. If we still had the old team, MID would have been the NINTH ND game since SEA was released. Read that and weep.

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              • #8
                From all of the reviews I have read the game isn't compatible with non gaming computers. That alienates a lot of devoted fans who do not have gaming computers.
                I am a mystery you will never solve!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tedbear2 View Post

                  I would have easily paid forty to fifty dollars or more for each game if I had known that the company was in financial trouble. I also would have contributed money to a Kickstarter to keep the series going. I replay the ND games so much that fifty dollars apiece would still be a bargain.
                  This. If it meant keeping the old engine, the old schedule of 2 game releases a year, and Lani as Nancy's voice, I would have happily paid fifty bucks per game. Granted, HeR's leadership would have had to let us know why the price would have gone up that much, but if I'd known I would have been willing to pay that much - that's how much I loved this series of games. It's more than worth it, because I've replayed all 32 of them at least five times each and will probably replay them many more times over the years. (I suspect it's also true of the majority of ND players that they would have been willing to pay more to keep the old HeR Interactive alive - it was a loyal fanbase for a very long time, before the mess started and even long after.)

                  I will NOT pay that kind of money for anything like MID in the future, though. I'm not entirely sure I would shell out even 20 bucks for the next one unless it includes a lot of improvements. I will probably re-play MID only once or twice over the next decades, if that. I feel for it none of the excitement or affection that all of the earlier games generate.


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                  • #10
                    I am so conflicted when it comes to MID.

                    One the one hand- ND games have been very niche. I played the games since they first began; back in the day point-and-click adventure games were a much bigger genre. When I started playing these games you could by a console game for 20-30 dollars. Today, a standard game is $60. ND games stayed cheap but also did not change much and HeR did not appear to be making money. I am not sure they could have kept up the old game schedule without eventually going bankrupt. Not to mention they are funded by investors and have been for as long as I remember - they have to answer to investors/the board - not the fans.


                    On the other hand, having followed a large amount of AAA games and indie games, I am not sure why things progressed the way they did. Even if the game stopped development at some point due to complications, funds, change in ideas etc. I think fans would have been receptive to an open delay. LOL Half Life fans have been waiting for Half Life 3 for over ten years!

                    The game was fine. It was a budget steam title. Cheap fun for a few hours. It would be cool if the games were these huge cinematic experiences but I am not sure how the games would get there.

                    I think point and click games are a legacy genre sadly.
                    The Silent Spy


                    a review

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                    • #11
                      That article is an amazing read. One of the saddest articles I have ever read.

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