Nancy Drew in
Trail of the Twister

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A Mystery Mania Review
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Welcome to the twenty-second edition of Mystery Mania! Here at Mystery Mania we strive to give you an unbiased review of each and every Nancy Drew game in the series. As chief editor, I have played all of the games five times and consider myself to be very involved in the world of Nancy Drew. While this certainly does not mean that I know all there is to know, I hope that my in-depth reviews will be helpful to all who read them!

Mystery Mania Mission: Explain what each game has to offer and how it caters to the individual preferences of every detective! There is no bad mystery...there are just different mysteries!


Plot and Storyline

Strange things have been happening to the Canute College storm-chasing team lately and Nancy has been called in on the case. Chasing twisters is dangerous work, especially so when there is a saboteur on the loose. Cars are breaking, things are blowing up, and equipment is going faulty at every turn. Can Nancy solve the case before these accidents and sabotages really end up hurting someone?

The plot of this case is easily described in two words: "accidents" and "chores." Nancy is bombarded with tricky acts of sabotage; figuring out who is behind them is just as tricky. Nancy has encountered several cases like this before, but the accidents this time are not attributable to strange phenomena. She knows that someone on the storm-chasing team is responsible, but can she sort through the lies, gossip, and clues to figure it out? The plot, overall, is tried and true with some unique features added in, nice and easy to follow.

Detective rating for 'Plot and Storyline': The Tried but True Detective - Good for detectives who like simple, understandable plots.

Character Interaction

There are five characters and two phone friends in this game. The phone friends include Frank and Joe Hardy and none other than Krolmeister, the zany inventor who hired Nancy for this case. Most of the characters are part of the Canute College storm-chasing team and one of the characters is an Oklahoma local who owns a rustic little general store. The characters are very fond of gossip and of giving chores. In this mystery, they definitely serve as information and puzzle distributors. Interaction isn't really overwhelming and the characters tend to get quickly to the point.

Detective rating for 'Character Interaction': The Testimony Detective - Good for detectives who enjoy a fair amount of character interaction without lengthy conversations.

Exploration

From the rolling prairies of Oklahoma to the rustic charm of Ma and Pa's General Store, exploration has a purely country vibe. Detectives will find themselves knee deep in corn fields, prairie dog fields, and farmhouse basements. Most of the game, however, has very little to do with exploration and much more to do with puzzles and character interaction. Despite the lack of focus on exploration, detectives will likely enjoy the sights and, especially, the excitement that expertly designed twisters bring. Overall, exploration is practical.

Detective rating for 'Exploration': The First Glance Detective - Good for detectives who enjoy nice environments without excessive exploration.

Puzzles

Detectives who love puzzles will love this game! Mini-games, puzzles, and chores abound and detectives will certainly be kept busy with them. The puzzles are also extremely variable; Nancy will be occupied with siren maps, mouse traps, antennas, and quizzes. The puzzle styles are just as variable as that random list of locations. They also vary in duration and difficulty. In short, puzzle lovers rejoice!

Detective rating for 'Puzzles': The Busily Puzzled Detective - Good for detectives who like numerous puzzles and other miscellaneous tasks

Scare Factor

This game is mostly limited to moments of adrenaline, and even those aren't terribly scary. Granted, twisters can be pretty shocking, so there are a few heart racing moments when Nancy has to take them on. Most of the time though, detectives will enjoy partly cloudy days, drives through the prairie, and invigorating thunderstorms.

Detective rating for 'Scare Factor': The Docile Detective - Good for detectives who enjoy calmer, non-frightening mysteries.

Setting

This mystery takes place in scenic Oklahoma, the perfect place for a down to earth and homey experience. The setting is has a very country feel and is full of local, rustic charm. Windmills, corn fields, cloud formations, and locals with accents bring the setting to life. The twisters, especially, are what bring Oklahoma to life. The powerful, swirling masses are really the highlight of the setting and, otherwise, it really isn't a huge component of the case. However, it definitely helps to set the tone!

Detective rating for 'Setting': The Navigator Detective - Good for detectives who enjoy subtle hints of the setting without it being a major focus of the game.

Length

This game is very average in length, but depending on the puzzle-solving speed of individual detectives, it can definitely vary. This particular mystery is mostly composed of puzzles, so detectives with a logical mind will finish much quicker than those who prefer to take their time with mental conundrums. For most though, the game is very medial.

Detective rating for 'Length': The Goldilocks Detective - Good for detectives who like games that are neither too long nor too short.

Graphics

The graphics in this game from the suspects to the raging twisters are quite incredible! The tornadoes in the game are extremely lifelike: the wind, the rain, the flying debris? It all looks real! The characters are also done very well and, in most respects, they move and speak like real Oklahomans.

Detective rating for 'Graphics': The Picturesque Detective - Good for detectives who like very high-quality graphics.

Music

The music in this game fits the atmosphere of the game perfectly! It is at times mysterious, other times upbeat, and other times intense. Whether you are chasing a tornado, running from one, or simply driving around Oklahoma, the music will not disappoint. With its country feel and bluegrass roots, it fits fantastically!

Detective rating for 'Music': The Virtuoso Detective - Good for detectives who love good Nancy Drew music.

Mystery Mania - Twenty-first Edition - Summary


Good for detectives who like simple, understandable plots.
Good for detectives who enjoy a fair amount of character interaction without lengthy conversations.
Good for detectives who enjoy nice environments without excessive exploration.
Good for detectives who like numerous puzzles and other miscellaneous tasks.
Good for detectives who enjoy calmer, non-frightening mysteries.
Good for detectives who enjoy subtle hints of the setting without it being a major focus of the game.
Good for detectives who like games that are neither too long nor too short.
Good for detectives who like very high-quality graphics.
Good for detectives who love good Nancy Drew music.

Thank you for reading! Join us soon for our next edition featuring Shadow at the Water's Edge at a message board near you!