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Lasso98's Review of TRT

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  • Lasso98's Review of TRT

    I am a longtime ND fan returning to the games while unemployed. I thought I'd take a stab at reviewing them as I go, since the posts in this forum have always proved helpful in deciding which one to dive into next. I am aiming for thoughtful and concise, and do hope you enjoy! Without further ado... Treasure in the Royal Tower!

    I was excited going in because I thought I hadn't played this one before. Sure enough, as it began, things seemed familiar. I must've played it years ago, but still couldn't recall who the culprit was or what was going to happen next.

    If you don't feel like reading on, I'll jump to the conclusion and advise you to play this one! It is fun and interesting. I enjoyed it a lot.

    The following is a broken down review leading up to my final score:

    PLOT 4/5
    You, as Nancy Drew, stumble into a mystery dating back to the French Revolution while on a snowy vacation in Wisconsin. I worried the Marie Antoinette piece might be hokey and unbelievable, but it actually fell together nicely. I never felt as if I were taking wild leaps of faith as the plot unfolded. It was eclectic, charming, and interesting, with family drama and historical intrigue both. I can't speak to how accurate that last bit is. It took me between four and five hours to play, which felt quick for ND. The pacing was nice. There were very few cutscenes, which always feels like a loss to me.

    SETTING 5/5
    The game is spent snowed in at Wickford Castle, which is an impressive place featuring art, stained glass, secret passages (and dead ends)--the works. The graphics were pretty spectacular for being so old. I even preferred them to some of the newer games. Same goes for the music, which I loved. While you are confined to the castle, this does include some outside spaces that are exciting to "unlock." Honestly, I was impressed by how far they made this single location stretch. By the end, it felt like I'd covered tons of ground. It felt bigger than some of the games where you're moving about from place to place but seeming just to visit a series of bland exteriors. Fantastic.

    Unlike some others on this forum, the culprit was not obvious to me. In fact, I thought all of the characters were so interesting and fleshed out that anyone would've been viable. My speculation was always shifting. I really enjoyed talking to my four fellow castle-dwellers (+ Ned, Bess and George), all there for unique reasons. The conversations were generally helpful and moved quite quickly. There was also a modest amount of snooping. I was frustrated by the lack of bric a brac to explore in some of those snoop spots, and wish we could've visited Jacques' booth. Some characters definitely benefited from more back story and interaction than others, which was a slight let down. Also, I would've liked to talk to the castle owner, Mr. Drew's friend Christi Lane, on the phone. Bonus point for the fabulous Hotchkiss.

    PUZZLES 3/5
    The puzzles in this game were easy (granted, I played on Junior). Like, some were laughably simple (just clicking around and hoping for the best, really). I actually liked them on the whole because they were more of the classic puzzle-puzzle variety, which made for a relaxing break from the constant navigation to-and-fro required in this game. There were also some referential puzzles that made you think carefully about your environment, which was cool. Anyway, I never sweated them, and could get pretty quick satisfaction in finishing one and moving onto the next. Real puzzle freaks who like to sit and tinker with them may be disappointed!

    This game was created almost 20 years ago, and it shows. Navigating is sort of a hassle due to the finicky controls. It wasn't impossible, and you get as accustomed to it as possible. While I loved the setting, the castle was MASSIVE and it made getting from one place to another quite a slog. Unlike other ND games, certain puzzles have to be repeated in order to get past high-traffic checkpoints. I found this quite tedious given how much movement was required. There were also some slight annoyances like the necessity of constantly setting the alarm clock and sleeping through multiple days in a row because of a certain someone's "office hours" schedule. While a nice character quirk, it definitely lent some inconvenience to gameplay. Oh, and having to turn around and deal with the library alarm over and over again got old fast. I could've used many more shortcuts to create some ease navigating this very complex setting.

    OVERALL 3.6/5
    This game was well-balanced and thoughtful. The graphics were gorgeous, the music was lovely, and the characters memorable and odd. I would say this is a pretty plot-driven game, as opposed to being all about the puzzles or character interaction. Lots of navigating. This is a real treat for lovers of the classic ND flavor.