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A Game To Treasure: A Cake Review

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  • A Game To Treasure: A Cake Review

    My Introduction
    Hi there! I'm disneygirl12, and welcome to my latest review. Today I'll be taking a look at Secret of Shadow Ranch, which is often considered to be one of the greatest games in the series (and with good reason!).
    Based off of the book of the same name, Nancy and her friends Bess and George are invited to Shadow Ranch for a little vacation. Nancy arrives earlier than her friends, and just in time to discover the strange things going on. A "phantom horse" has shown up, and accidents occur following each sighting. Is someone trying to stir up trouble, and could it have something to do with a long-lost treasure? Time to find out!

    Fruitcakes [cons]
    There are quite a few tasks, which to me feel like they're there just to add fluff. Some pop up at random and serve no purpose in the long run; others repeat and (quickly) get old.

    Good Cakes [pros]
    The plot is handled masterfully. I love how there are two mysteries -- one about the strange things happening at the ranch, and the other about the treasure -- which tie together seamlessly.
    This game is home to a memorable cast of characters. It's really fun getting to know everyone and discovering what it is they're trying to hide.
    I don't say this a lot, but the dialogue and voice work are incredible! The voices fit the characters perfectly and their reactions always feel genuine. The dialogue/writing is great as well, leading to some very memorable and well-delivered lines.
    The soundtrack is great. Not only are all of the songs pleasant to listen to, but certain tracks play in certain locations, adding a bit of character to the places we explore.
    I like how there are different ways of accessing information for certain puzzles/tasks. You may need to read something you come across, look things up on Nancy's internet browser, or call phone friends for assistance.
    The game takes place over the course of a few days (and nights), and it takes advantage of that. There's always something new to do each day, and there's always something going on at night.
    It's really satisfying once you find what it is that you find towards the end, which perfectly leads into the culprit reveal and climax. The culprit was memorable, and the ending is very clever and requires quick-thinking.

    Pancakes [so-so's]
    The puzzles and mini-games are designed well, but some like Run for Cover and the magnet puzzle can be quite tedious.
    At times, it feels like you're just running back and forth, which gets pretty hectic.

    All in all, Secret of Shadow Ranch is definitely what I consider to be one of the strongest games the ND series has to offer. The two plots are both very interesting and, as I mentioned above, tie together so perfectly. The game takes advantage of its setting and the course of time it establishes in order to give us a flowing story, memorable characters, and a lot of fun places to explore. The graphics and music are great as well. The only fault with the game would have to be the puzzles and tasks -- they're not bad, but they certainly could have been handled a bit better. The pros definitely outweigh the cons though, so I'd give SHA a 4 out of 5 stars.
    Thank you so much for your time! Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the game; I'd love to hear what you guys think! :D

    = Super!

    Read my last review, on Secret of the Old Clock.
    Stay tuned for my next review!
    Read my review on the Mobile Mystery release.
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    Last Game: Danger on Deception Island
    Next Game: Curse of Blackmoor Manor
    Last edited by disneygirl12; July 22, 2015, 11:16 PM.
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    Hope everyone's having a great summer!