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RAN Review

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  • RAN Review

    Ransom of the Seven Ships: released in July 2009

    Based on the Book: The Broken Anchor (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #70, published in 1983)

    How Closely Does the Game Follow the Book?: Somewhat closely. The characters are different but the plot is very similar.

    Location: The Bahamas

    The Mystery/Crime: Kidnapping

    Mode Of Transportation: Golf cart and sailboat

    Is there an alarm clock in this game?: No

    What is learned about in this game?: animals (bats, sea creatures, etc.), sailing and diving.

    Brief Plot Synopsis: Nancy arrives at her vacation in The Bahamas only to discover that Bess has been kidnapped. The kidnapper has left instructions for her to follow to find a buried treasure. The instructions tell Nancy that finding the treasure is her only way of rescuing Bess.

    Brief Character Synopsis:

    Johnny Rolle - a beach bum camping out on the island
    Actor I would cast to play him if it were a live-action movie or TV show: Jim Carrey

    The Gibsons - owners of the resort at which the girls are staying. There is no interaction with them, but they are mentioned as possible suspects in Bess's kidnapping.

    Phone Characters: None

    Other characters:

    George Fayne - Nancy's friend, who is playable in parts of the game

    Bess Marvin - Nancy's friend

    Cou Cou - a parrot

    The monkeys

    The bats

    The sea creatures (sharks, octopus, etc.)

    My favorite quotes:

    "I mean, getting kidnapped is bad enough, but missing out on sailing in The Bahamas? Boy, is she gonna be ticked" - George Fayne

    My Thoughts: People hate this game because of the lack of mystery, and I can certainly see their point. There is only one other person on the island other than Nancy and her friends, so unless a parrot, a monkey, or a pirate ghost kidnapped Bess, then it is obvious who did it. I suppose it's a bit of a mystery how and why Bess was kidnapped, but the Nancy Drew games are supposed to be "whodunnits," so not being able to figure out who did it is certainly disappointing.

    I have to admit, however, that I really enjoy playing this game. I know I'm in the minority on that but I actually have a lot of fun with it. I like the story of El Toro and how the puzzles are directly related to finding his buried treasure, as well as how there are enough hints in the game to figure out how to solve the puzzles. I also love how non-linear the game is, how you can do the puzzles and tasks in pretty much any order you choose. There are a lot of places to explore, a lot of things to find, and, of course, the setting is beautiful.

    As I'm sure many others have said before, this game does contain a major spoiler for one of the previous games, so make sure you play all of the previous games before playing this one.

    If this game were billed as just an adventure game and not a mystery game, I would give it a very high score. Since it is supposed to be a mystery, though, and there's not much mystery there, I can't give it too high of a score. I think if there had been more characters/suspects, it would have been an amazing game.

    My random comment: I absolutely love Bess's design in this game. It really captures how she is described in the books - pretty, curvy, blonde, and girly. Much better than her plain and scrawny design in the later games.

    Also, this game created in me a strong desire to play a game with a monkey in real life. I doubt I'll ever get to actually do it, but it's on my bucket list.

    My Rating: 6/10