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The Deadly Device is Decent

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  • The Deadly Device is Decent

    After finally obtaining all of the Nancy Drew games, this was the first game that I played in its proper order. Meaning, when I played this game, I had played and completed all of the Nancy Drew games before it but none of the games after it. When starting the game, my co-sleuth, M, had a negative disposition about this game, claiming that it looked boring. I kind of agreed with him, but we mustered through the game anyway. Looking back, I think that it is more enjoyable than my original impressions, however it is still lacking in some areas.

    First off, I initially despised the entire setting and setup of the game. It grew on me as I played, but I still feel that it could have been improved upon. There isn’t much to explore in the laboratory itself and so it became quickly became boring. I wish that there was more that Nancy could have looked around at, especially in the lounge and in the laboratory. I also didn’t think that the passing of time fit with Nancy’s cover. She’s there to represent a potential buyer for the laboratory, however she sleeps there overnight. This would have been fine if she only stays two or three days but it felt that every time something new could be done within the game, it required switching the time of day to complete it. With all the switching between night and day, Nancy’s probably there for a month. It would seem suspicious to the other suspects to have a potential buyer’s representative staying at the workplace for an entire month. Normally I’m a fan of when you play with time in a Nancy Drew game, but it didn’t seem to fit for this one. It would have been better if the game had been structured to take place within one to two days.

    I didn’t like that the murder victim, Niko Jovic is cast as the stereotypical antisocial genius. It made me uninterested in him and solving his murder. The other characters were also rather irritating. Grey is mean and even though his character develops a little at the end, you never understand his full backstory. Mason is a smug genius with no likeable characteristics about him. Ryan is super annoying. The game creators definitely tried too hard to make her funny, and instead her dialogue was cringe-worthy. Ellie is the only enjoyable character, but like the rest nothing is really interesting is learned about her.

    Despite a dull setting and a weak cast of characters, the actual gameplay is very enjoyable. There are a lot of puzzles in this game, but they all different from each other and are layered well with the other non-puzzle tasks that Nancy completes so there’s never a point that feels too puzzle-heavy. In comparison to the Tomb of the Lost Queen and the Trail of the Twister, two other puzzle-heavy Nancy Drew games, the Deadly Device is a lot better at including puzzles that don’t overwhelm gameplay. I also liked the use of binary code in this game. There are three puzzles that cleverly incorporate it into their solving.

    There are also some other parts to this game that make it fun. Like in previous games, Nancy can take bathroom and candy breaks. However, she has to work a little harder in this game to eat the candy. Unlocking the candy case requires playing a game of Simon Says. There’s a matching mini-game and another mini-game called Aggregation. Aggregation is probably one of the best mini-games that I’ve encountered in a Nancy Drew game. It is the perfect combination of strategy and chance. Lastly, throughout the game Nancy can rebuild a robot cat. The robot cat, when completed, meows and purrs when Nancy pets it and is pretty cute.

    The awful backstory and the fabulous gameplay balance the Deadly Device out to be an average Nancy Drew game. I would recommend it for its gameplay but be prepared for a rather uninteresting storyline while you play.
    I discovered that Secrets can Kill. I Stayed Tuned for Danger. I read the Message in a Haunted Mansion. I uncovered the Treasure in a Royal Tower. I watched the Final Scene. I washed away the Secret of the Scarlet Hand. I pet the Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake. I rode the Haunted Carousel. I dodged the Danger on Deception Island. I lassoed the Secret of Shadow Ranch. I overcame the Curse of Blackmoor Manor. I unwound the Secret of the Old Clock. I traveled on the Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon. I unveiled the Danger by Design. I captured the Creature of Kapu Cave. I discussed politics with the White Wolf of Icicle Creek. I unearthed the Legend of the Crystal Skull. I unmasked the Phantom of Venice. I exposed the Haunting of Castle Malloy. I paid the Ransom of the Seven Ships. I heeded the Warnings of Waverly Academy. I chased the Trail of the Twister. I stood in the Shadow at the Water’s Edge. I shattered the Captive Curse. I upheld the Alibi in Ashes. I opened the Tomb of the Lost Queen. I condemned the Deadly Device. I sang to the Ghost of Thornton Hall. I did justice for the Silent Spy. I repaired the Shattered Medallion. I navigated the Labyrinth of Lies. I illuminated the Sea of Darkness. I was awake at Midnight in Salem.