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The quality of it is truly shocking: The Deadly Device Review

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  • The quality of it is truly shocking: The Deadly Device Review

    Hello all and welcome to my review of The Deadly Device! I’m writing this very soon after completing the game for the first time after a long wait to get it :)

    To give you an idea of my personal taste, my favourite game so far is Curse of Blackmoor Manor. I am enjoy definitely having puzzles in the game, but the more snooping the better :) My favourite settings are usually somewhere in Europe or Asia (East or South), especially older buildings being involved like castles and mansions and the like, forests, lodges, wintry locations (and boarding schools!)… those are some of my absolute favourites, although tropical beaches are up there in second place. I am not really much of a horror fan, but a spooky Nancy Drew game is good with me, and some scary is fine too (although I’m usually on edge for most of the game if it is :p). So I think I can provide decent warning to more easily freaked-out players.

    Please Note: There are no actual spoilers in this review (such as revealing the culprit’s gender/identity, the actual solutions to puzzles, etc.) but there are things mentioned in my review that readers may not want to have spoiled for them. If you are worried about encountering something that will spoil things for you, scroll to the bottom to find my overall scores.

    Now, without further ado...

    The Deadly Device
    a review by indigofire1230


    You, as Nancy Drew, must enter a Colorado laboratory to investigate the murder of a physicist, Niko Jovic. The case has gone cold under police investigation, so you have been hired by the lab’s co-owner, Victor Lossett, to solve the case. You must investigate the other personnel at the remote lab, but sneaking around the Tesla-inspired facility filled with top secret information may prove fatal. Will you discover who murdered Niko, or succumb to The Deadly Device?

    The plot was great for me. It’s the first time a murder plot has been used since the first game in the series, Secrets Can Kill (not counting the Remastered version), so it was a great change of pace for me. They did a good job trying to keep things moving along at a good pace. I didn’t really feel as if I was stuck with nothing to do at any point that I can remember. It gave me the time to think and figure out what to do as well as had enough new developments to keep things moving. It was a little bit slow at first, but it soon picked up quite nicely. The characters were pretty well integrated, I didn’t feel like anyone was too neglected or anything like that. I got really invested once the plot started moving along.

    I was relieved to find out there were no chores in this game. In some Nancy Drew games, I don’t mind chores so much, and may even welcome them in between difficult puzzles to clear my head a bit. However, often I tend to find mandatory chores annoying, so I was glad to not have to deal with those.

    Setting, Atmosphere and Graphics:

    The setting was absolutely gorgeous. I mean really, it was beautiful. Besides wonderful graphics quality, they clearly invested time in designing each space. The laboratory definitely looked as if it was really being used by scientists – covered in a semi-organized chaos of items all over for you to take a look at and explore. It has at least 3 rooms connected to the main laboratory room, which helps it feel like there is more space to the building. The rest of the building is divided between 2 floors surrounding a large sculpture in the middle which looks interesting. You can only explore inside the building, but HER gave a great amount of space to explore indoors. Occasionally I was disappointed by doors that I hoped I’d be allowed to enter by the end of the game that I was never allowed to explore, but that was only a minor disappointment for me.

    You play the game during the day or night, which you have to manually set your alarm to, so no clockwatching to see when characters would disappear. I believe the day/night system works well for this game’s storyline.

    I really liked the music of the game. It fit the setting perfectly, mixing suspenseful tempos with synth sounds that definitely made me think of technology and electricity. There wasn’t as much variety as with the scores of some games, but the music sounded so great that I didn’t really mind.


    There were five characters to interact with, which I thought was perfect.Victor Lossett is a phone friend, as well as the man who hired you to take on the case. He is convinced that Ryan is the killer. He’s a pretty decent character, although there didn’t seem to be an incredible amount of variation in his interactions. Ryan Kilpatrick is a female tech, and of course the prime suspect of the murder investigation. She was very quirky, and some hilarious moments were had with her. She was an awesome character. Mason Quinto is an unpopular research scientist at the lab. He’s very sarcastic and rude, in an incredibly funny way. Even when I was being insulted I couldn’t help an occasional chuckle or two. Ellie York is another research scientist. She’s from a small town and seems like she really wants to get out of Colorado as soon as possible. She wasn’t a bad character, I just don’t feel like she was as interesting as the other characters. Gray Cortright is the gruff security guard at the lab. He’s extremely tight-lipped; good luck trying to get much more than a few words out at a time. But he’s written in a way where the secretiveness just makes him seem mysterious rather than annoying for not giving as much information for your investigation. I found myself amused a few times at his reactions to my questions.

    Besides Victor, there are 2 other phone friends. Deirdre Shannon makes a comeback, willing to help you so that she can complete her paper. Frank and Joe Hardy are the other friends you can call. I am told that Ned Nickerson supposedly texts you throughout the game. I don’t know if it’s something that I did while playing the game, but unless somehow I missed them, I never got any messages from him.

    Scare Factor:

    This game really isn’t meant to be scary, just suspenseful. However, occasionally the sound of random footsteps and doors closing put me on edge, making me think someone was coming when they never were. But that’s my own fault, being that jumpy.


    This game had some good puzzles. There were difficult puzzles, but none that I found overwhelming or overly frustrating; they were just difficult to have challenging, satisfying solutions without discouraging me from continuing on. There were definitely less difficult ones in between. Being in a science lab, you can imagine there being a lot of science-related puzzles – in particular relating to physics, circuitry and the like, although there were several chemistry puzzles as well. However, there was still quite the variety of other puzzles in the game – memory puzzles, code breaking, math puzzles, word puzzles, even a music puzzle. This is only a sampling of the wide variety of puzzles in this game. They were all wonderful.

    There is a new hint system apparently (only for Amateur Sleuth mode I believe, correct me if I’m wrong) where beside some of the tasks a hint bubble will pop up that you can use to reveal hints if you want them.

    Sleuthing and Snooping:

    YES. A million times yes. This is what I’ve been waiting for, more snooping and sleuthing! You do spend a lot of time questioning suspects, gathering evidence and snooping through their belongings. I definitely did feel like I was primarily solving a mystery, which is a feeling I felt was absent in a few of the later games. There was a mix between getting the opportunity to snoop with no time limit, and having to hurry and find what you need before the suspect returns. Keep it up HER, this is my favourite part of the games!


    (No Spoilers, of course.)
    The ending was great. The culprit, I felt, was a great choice. I didn’t have them at the top of my list of suspects until much later on in the game. It was pretty surprising actually, but the culprit had motives that actually made sense. I could see that potentially some missed conversations might make the motives of the culprit seem to not make as much sense, however. The ending puzzle was very well done. It tied in with the theme of the game, was very suspenseful but also quite fair. I do wish there was maybe at least one more event occurring at the ending to make it feel more complete, but it was still good.


    This game took me about 9 hours to complete. For my taste this was definitely a decent length, although I could stand for longer in a Nancy Drew game. The length is pretty appropriate though when you consider the time the puzzles took to complete combined with the pace of the plot.

    Overall Score: 61/70, 87%
    Average Score: 8.7/10

    I highly recommend this game. It brought back a lot of old elements that I enjoyed best about these games, while keeping some of the good new elements. This game is best if you don’t want to be scared too much, want a medium-long game, find science or a laboratory environment interesting, like variety in puzzles, and want an about equal emphasis on puzzle solving and sleuthing. While the puzzles in this game are very challenging, if you’re the type to want more of the sort of puzzles that really, really make your brain hurt from hours of poring over a solution, other games may be more up your alley. I feel I can safely recommend this game as a first game to newcomers to the series.
    Old and new players, this game is definitely worth a shot. The Deadly Device surprised (or should I say “shocked”) me. I find some science interesting, but I wouldn’t find a laboratory setting normally all that enthralling to be in as far as games go. Even with that against this, I found myself loving the game and being a little disappointed when it was over. This is a title that should at least be played through once, or twice. Maybe more.
    I found out more than once that Secrets Can Kill.
    I read the Message in a Haunted Mansion.
    I searched for the Treasure in the Royal Tower.
    I watched The Final Scene.
    I heard the howls of the Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake.
    I rode the Haunted Carousel.
    I fell into Danger on Deception Island.
    I uncovered the Secret of Shadow Ranch.
    I broke the Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
    I discovered the Secret of the Old Clock.
    I boarded the Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.
    I befriended The White Wolf of Icicle Creek.
    I paid the Ransom of the Seven Ships.
    I received the Warnings at Waverly Academy.
    I followed the Trail of the Twister.
    I saw the Shadow at the Water’s Edge.
    I was freed from the Captive Curse.
    I left my Alibi in Ashes.
    I excavated the Tomb of the Lost Queen.
    I used The Deadly Device.
    I was haunted by the Ghost of Thornton Hall.
    I tracked The Silent Spy.
    I pieced together The Shattered Medallion.

    I am currently navigating through the Labyrinth of Lies.

    My Reviews:

  • #2
    Great review! I totally agree that DED brought back the old elements of the ND games that I thought were missing from ASH and TMB. This was definitely one of my new favorites and I agree that it's totally worth a shot. Great job!!