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Malloy is Meh.

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  • Malloy is Meh.

    I played the Haunting of Castle Malloy several years back and decided to play it again after playing some of the newer Nancy Drew games for the first time. My memory told me that I liked this game, but after playing it again my opinion has drastically changed. There are some characteristics that I love about this game that may explain why I had fond memories of it, but there are some awful parts about it that outweigh those gems.

    Regarding the setting, I dislike the castle and how dark and abandoned it looks. It makes exploring it rather unpleasant. However, the castle is just a fraction of the setting that can be explored. What I love about this game, is being able to move Nancy about and discover all of the castle grounds. There are a lot of interesting landmarks packed into the game and all of it is clickable. It did bug me that it all took place at night, though, I got tired of straining my eyes trying to look at things. The creators could have took a more creative spin on how time passed that would have fit better into the storyline, but instead they stuck to no time passing at all. Bummer.

    The storyline is also a major plus for this game. Kyler and Kit are interesting characters who develop as the game progresses, and a deeper backstory unfolds about the wedding that Nancy is attending. It all ties in beautifully with how the mystery ends. What did bug me was how unrealistic Kyler’s wedding is. Why are Kit, Kyler, Nancy, Matt and Alan the only people that arrive early? What about Kyler’s parents? What about Matt’s parents? It would make sense for them to be there as well, but nothing is mentioned about them. It also strikes me as odd that Nancy is the first person who Kyler thinks of to be her maid of honor. If Kyler considers Nancy to be a close enough friend to take on that important of a role, then why is Kyler only just now mentioned in the 19th Nancy Drew Mystery? I know that these are nit-picky details but a little more effort could have been taken to keep this mystery more realistic.

    The real killer of this game are the puzzles. Some are enjoyable, but most of them are more tedious than they need to be and they get worse as the game wears on. There are two at the very end that slow the game way down, and the creators could have invented a more engaging and interesting way to accomplish what those two puzzles accomplished.

    This game had potential to be a really solid Nancy Drew game, however I feel that the creators missed some opportunities to make it more interesting. The game takes place all in one night a few days before the wedding. In order to amp up the suspense, the mystery could have been turned into a race against time to find Matt. More realistic details could have been added to explain parts of Kyler’s wedding. Lastly, some of the puzzles could have been changed to be more engaging.

    There are better Nancy Drew games to play than the Haunting of Castle Malloy, however if you’re in for a good story and a few ridiculous puzzles, then give it a shot. Otherwise I recommend something better-rounded such as the Trail of the Twister or the Legend of the Crystal Skull.
    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.