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SAW Review

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  • SAW Review

    Shadow at the Water's Edge: released in October 2010

    Based on the Book: Tour of Danger (A Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Super Mystery, published in 1992)

    How Closely Does the Game Follow the Book?: Not very closely. They both take place in Japan and they both have a young woman who dresses eccentrically, but those are about the only similarities.

    (One resource said that the game was also based on The Thirteenth Pearl (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #56, published in 1979). The game doesn't follow that book either, though. The only similarities are that the game and the book both take place in Japan and they both talk about a Japanese tea ceremony).

    Location: Kyoto, Japan

    The Mystery/Crime: Is the inn at which Nancy staying really haunted?

    Mode Of Transportation: Subway

    Is there an alarm clock in this game?: Yes, you use your phone to make the time/days change

    What is learned about in this game?: Japanese customs and culture (calligraphy, kanji, origami, tea ceremonies, rock gardens, etc.); EVP and paranormal investigations

    Brief Plot Synopsis: Nancy tries to figure out what is really going on at a reportedly haunted ryokan (traditional inn) while on vacation in Japan

    Brief Character Synopsis:

    1. Miwako Shimizu - A shy young woman who manages the front desk of the ryokan. She is Yumi's sister, Takae's granddaughter, and Rentaro's girlfriend.
    Actress I would cast to play her if it were a live action movie/TV show: Kimiko Glenn

    2. Rentaro Aihara - A friend of the Shimizu family who works at the ryokan as the handyman. He is Miwako's boyfriend.
    Actor I would cast to play him if it were a live action movie/TV show: Kento Yamazaki

    3. Takae Nagai - An elderly woman who owns and helps run the ryokan and is very big on tradition. She is Miwako and Yumi's grandmother.
    Actress I would cast to play her if it were a live action movie/TV show: Kaori Momoi

    4. Yumi Shimizu - An outgoing and free-spirited young woman who makes her own eccentric clothing. She chooses to live in the city and work at a Bento stand instead of working at the ryokan, much to her family's dismay. She is Miwako's sister and Takae's granddaughter.
    Actress I would cast to play her if it were a live action movie/TV show: Karen Fukuhara


    Phone Characters:

    Bess Marvin - Nancy's friend

    George Fayne - Nancy's friend

    Logan M. - Savannah's assistant

    Savannah Woodham - a former paranormal investigator who included her experience at the ryokan in her book on haunted places


    Other characters:

    Suki - Miwako's "pet" robotic cat

    Other guests at the ryokan (who keep leaving because they are scared)


    My favorite quotes:

    "Get a job, phone charm!" - Yumi

    "Yeah, that weird thing about him is his personality." - Yumi

    "A ghost doesn't need to be real to haunt you." - Rentaro

    "Well, some people think this place is haunted. Kind of like some people think the moon landing was faked, and some people like Adult Contemporary. Don't be one of those people." - Rentaro

    "Maybe she's being haunted by the ghost of bad spelling." - Rentaro

    "If you ever have children, Nancy-san, and they are not fighting, it generally means they are hiding something that they have just broken." - Takae

    "You'll be forever remembered as the inquisitive ghost who says, "It's looooocked." - one of the 2nd chances

    My Thoughts: I like this game quite a bit. It's not one of my absolute favorites like it is for most people, but I do enjoy it. I like that there's a lot to see and explore in the ryokan, and that there are a few other places in town you can go. The garden in the ryokan is beautiful!

    I love most of the non-puzzle tasks in this game such as playing pachinko and playing dress-up with the avatars.

    The characters are another plus in this game. They are all well-developed characters with clear motivations for their attitudes and actions. Talking to Yumi and Rentaro is a lot of fun and talking to Takae, Miwako, and Savannah is quite informative. The tension between the characters gives them even more depth and makes it even more interesting to interact with them.

    My absolute favorite thing about this game, however, is the dialogue. I personally think this game is one of the games with the best dialogue. The characters have witty, interesting, and sometimes even profound things to say throughout the game. I really love that.

    The thing I didn't like about the game was the inordinate number of long, tedious puzzles. I like to try to figure stuff out on my own and not have to use a walkthrough if possible, but I always have to look at one in order to do the timed mirror puzzle because there isn't enough time to figure it out on my own (and sometimes even with the walkthrough I don't do it fast enough and have to start over)! The picture-backing puzzle, the giant sudoku, and the giant renogram are also all pretty long and tedious to me.

    My random comment: It bothers me that Nancy pronounces names incorrectly in this game, especially since she has emphatically corrected characters who mispronounced names in past games.

    My Rating: 8/10
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