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The Deadly Device took a big risk [ in-depth review ]

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  • The Deadly Device took a big risk [ in-depth review ]

    The Deadly Device took a big risk in more ways than one with the subject of physics, its characters, and its increased maturity (more on those later). Was it worth it? Read on to find out. (Disclaimer: I played on master sleuth level.)



    Plot [ 3 / 5 unfortunately oh so average ]

    This was the first murder mystery since SCK. If that doesn't make anyone excited for the plot, I don't know what can! The goal was pretty straight forward and the introduction made me excited to solve who murdered Nico. Then it went downhill from there. The problem with Nico is that he remained a mystery for so long, I never felt attached to solving his murder in a way that I wanted to be by the time the end rolled around. In addition, learning about Nikola Tesla made it hard to distinguish the two at times. Two people don't have to be *so* similar to show they're similar. I felt like that was constantly being rubbed in my face. I also felt I got to know more about Tesla than I did Nico, which left me a little ... sad for lack of a better word. I never forgot why I was there, but I wasn't invested in it except near the beginning and near the end. I also didn't feel like there was any big twist to the plot. It was what it was. A murder mystery.


    Characters [ 5 / 5 wonderful ]


    Whenever I play a Nancy Drew game, I look for two things in its characters: believability as a suspect and character development. Overall, I can say both were achieved. Some were developed more than others, but what's actually more important to me was how ambiguous they were and what issues they were bringing up through their words and actions. And there was definitely more than one issue addressed. I don't want to spoil anything more, so I'll leave it at that, but I can say that they definitely contributed to the game's overall impression of maturity. I read other reviews for the game, and yes, the "snark" factor for many of them is there, but that shouldn't be an issue. It made them realistic. No, not every single character is a chatty Cathy, and no, not every character needs to like Nancy Drew. If there's a game where I've been the most pleasantly surprised by its characters, it's this one.


    Phone Characters [ 4 / 5 you'll want to call them ]


    If you're a fan of the Hardy brothers, you'll love them. Otherwise, the only other person you get to assist you is the ever sarcastic, Nancy-hating Deirdre (you might recognize her from a previous game~). She's surprisingly witty and I had more fun talking to her than I did to the Hardy brothers, who contribute far less to the case in comparison. If they were more useful or funny, I'd give a 5/5.


    Setting [ 3 / 5 strangely anachronistic vibe to it ]


    I'm not sure if it's because Hollywood and tv shows have put this idea of a pristine laboratory in my mind or something else, but I expected a less dilapidated setting. Everything looked so old! I guess retro could give it a more positive connotation. The graphics were nonetheless very nice and left nothing to be deserved. If you are like me and are expecting something that doesn't look like it is going to fall apart, you'll be in for a big surprise and it does work ... if you want to confuse yourself in what time period you are in. Nancy's cellphone felt strangely anachronistic. It left me wondering why anyone was working there, let alone very, very smart people like Niko. Perplexing.


    Music [ 5 / 5 it will add more suspense than there really is ]


    The music at one point was reminiscent of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (if you understand that, then kudos to you, seriously). I felt like I was on some sort of crime drama show and their kind of suspenseful, dramatic technological music was playing. The soundtrack was nice and I never felt bored, completely distracted, or frustrated by it. A definite plus that fit more into the game than the setting in my opinion!


    Gameplay [ 4 / 5 be prepared to think ]


    First off, let me start off with the little "glitches" or problems I encountered. Sometimes when dialogue would end, there would be this weird sound, and Nancy sometimes knew more than she technically should. Very annoying, but thankfully, it only happened a few times in the game, so I tried to ignore it as best as I could. Another issue is when something happens, it happened on the wrong time of day for me. I was like... you aren't supposed to be working at this hour...?!

    Time of day (day v. night) was a lovely realistic addition save for the issue of getting stuck a multitude of times to the point where switching felt like Nancy was there for more days than she should have been.

    The gameplay was very relevant. Maybe even *too* relevant. For example, Nancy could use the toalet, but apparently, she had to resort to eating candy from a mini-game for her daily food intake. If the game included a bathroom, it could have included more interaction in the kitchen, which brings me to another issue. Everything you were able to click on was relevant. If not then, then later in the game. I liked clicking on non-relevant things in the older games. It made things a little less obvious, because you had relevant and non-relevant things to weed out. This game stayed so on track, you almost felt fed up with it.

    As for the puzzles, they did not skimp on those. Most of them made sense and were doable even on master sleuth level, but there were a few that were frustrating. I liked the mix and I didn't feel like I was repeatedly doing one type of puzzle. They weren't handed to you on a silver platter either. I had to pay attention to what I saw and read to know what I was doing when I got all the information to do it.

    Physics plays a very prominent role for obvious reasons and if you are not a fan of it, you will not like playing this game. There's a fair chunk of text to read through, using authentic physics vocabulary. It can get boring really fast. ...or fascinating really fast. I guess it depends on what your preferences are. HER took a big risk with this, in my opinion, because most people can't say they like physics. It was a tricky subject choice, but they managed to make it understandable.

    Snooping fans will enjoy going through the suspects' work areas and things. There's a decent chunk of it, too.

    As for the mini-games, other games had better developed ones. You get three in this game (unless I miscounted) and two are fairly basic concepts and the other one is more developed and more exciting to play. I wouldn't say they were my favorites from the series.


    Ending [ 5 / 5 suspenseful and solid ]


    The culprit's motivations were not ridiculous or far-fetched. I felt like the ending tied everything up. There were no loose ends as far as I recall, so that's a major relief! The ending itself was suspenseful and difficult unless you're good at that sort of thing. I was left feeling pleased that the case was wrapped up instead of focusing on any imperfections of the ending or loose ends. If only every game could have endings this solid!


    Overall Impression [ 4 / 5 sometimes frustrating but surprisingly thought-provoking ]


    I don't think this game tops my list for HER games, but it's still a good game. I imagine this game will be better on replay, because it won't be as frustrating as the first time around. The Deadly Device could have been less set on making things relevant and physics oriented, but it was more than thought provoking and rewarding at its conclusion. The Deadly Device took a big risk in more ways than one and I think it paid off.

    So the big question is would I recommend it? Absolutely. Maybe not for the first game in the series for someone who doesn't like physics or a challenge, but otherwise, yes. I feel like it's a polarizing game given the gameplay, but definitely give it a shot and play it. There are far, far worse games in the series, trust me.

    I hope you enjoyed my review. I tried not to spoil too many things. If you have any feedback, feel free to post away~ Thank you!
    …………….….……...........¸×´¨¯¨×¸
    …………….…….....(¯`׸....'·--·´….)…….….....¸¤´¨¯¨`¤¸
    ….…..` T E A….......`׸..`¤.,¸_¸,.¤´..¸×´¨¯¨`׸¤´…...`·--·'
    ………………….….......`×.,¸__¸,.¤´…….… ( `׸
    ………............¸×´¯)………..…)….…...……`¤¸_)
    .¸•´¨¯¨`•¸…...…(.¸¤´……...…¸×´
    ([...`·--·'…....¸¤´ `×.,¸__¸,.×´....it's going to be gone soon. what do we do? enjoy it.
    .`×.,¸__¸,.¤´
    ©GS ♥ & Autumn ♥

  • #2
    Fantastic review! I have yet gotten enough motivation to go out and buy this game, but I might just do it this weekend!
    à

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you! c: A bit belated reply from me, but I hope enjoy it as much as I did! It's definitely worth buying!
      …………….….……...........¸×´¨¯¨×¸
      …………….…….....(¯`׸....'·--·´….)…….….....¸¤´¨¯¨`¤¸
      ….…..` T E A….......`׸..`¤.,¸_¸,.¤´..¸×´¨¯¨`׸¤´…...`·--·'
      ………………….….......`×.,¸__¸,.¤´…….… ( `׸
      ………............¸×´¯)………..…)….…...……`¤¸_)
      .¸•´¨¯¨`•¸…...…(.¸¤´……...…¸×´
      ([...`·--·'…....¸¤´ `×.,¸__¸,.×´....it's going to be gone soon. what do we do? enjoy it.
      .`×.,¸__¸,.¤´
      ©GS ♥ & Autumn ♥

      Comment


      • #4
        Fantastic and well thought out review! This game was certainly one of the more challenging ones, but it taught me a lot about physics too :P

        Comment


        • #5
          Whenever I play a Nancy Drew game, I look for two things in its characters: believability as a suspect and character development. Overall, I can say both were achieved. Some were developed more than others, but what's actually more important to me was how ambiguous they were and what issues they were bringing up through their words and actions. And there was definitely more than one issue addressed. I don't want to spoil anything more, so I'll leave it at that, but I can say that they definitely contributed to the game's overall impression of maturity. I read other reviews for the game, and yes, the "snark" factor for many of them is there, but that shouldn't be an issue. It made them realistic. No, not every single character is a chatty Cathy, and no, not every character needs to like Nancy Drew. If there's a game where I've been the most pleasantly surprised by its characters, it's this one.

          ***removed***
          Last edited by hedgie; April 2, 2015, 03:32 PM. Reason: Mod's Note: Outside web links are never allowed on the boards.

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