Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes

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Alibi In Ashes
Nancy Drew - Alibi in Ashes Cover Art.jpeg
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) Her Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Release date(s) 18 October 2011
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Alibi in Ashes is the 25th installment in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure game series by Her Interactive. The game is available for play on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms. It has an ESRB rating of E for moments of mild violence and peril. Players take on the first-person view of fictional amateur sleuth Nancy Drew and must solve the mystery through interrogation of suspects, solving puzzles, and discovering clues. There are two levels of gameplay, Junior and Senior detective modes, each offering a different difficulty level of puzzles and hints, however neither of these changes affect the actual plot of the game. The game is loosely based on two books, False Impressions (1990) and The Clues Challenge (2000). [1] [2]

Plot[edit]

Nancy Drew returns to her hometown of River Heights to compete in the town's annual Clues Challenge along with her boyfriend Ned and her friends Bess and George. However, when River Heights' old town hall burns to the ground, Nancy finds herself in jail as the prime suspect in the arson case. Nancy must work with her friends to clear her name and catch the culprit.

Development[edit]

Playable Characters[edit]

  • Nancy Drew (Lani Minella) - Nancy is an eighteen-year old amateur detective from the fictional town of River Heights in the United States. Nancy has been arrested on suspicion of arson. She has access to all of the police station's equipment in order to help prove her innocence.
  • Ned Nickerson (Scott Carty) - Ned is Nancy's longtime and loyal boyfriend. He arranged for the team to participate in the River Heights Clues Challenge. When Nancy is arrested, he is ready to help her clear her name in any way he can, even if it means using his charm and handsome features to learn more information and distract suspects.
  • Bess Marvin (Jennifer Pratt) - Bess is one of Nancy's best friends. She is a sweet, positive, but sometimes high-strung girl who is worried about Nancy. She is willing to set aside her anxiety in order to help get Nancy out of jail and prove her innocence. Her skill in gossiping could lure the right information out of a suspect, so long as her brain doesn't freeze from eating too much ice cream.
  • George Fayne (Chiara Motley) - George, Nancy's other best friend, tends to be more sensible and down to earth than her cousin, Bess. Though her less optimistic outlook can make conversing with suspects difficult, when given the opportunity, George knows just what questions to ask. Her energy and love for high tech gadgetry will come in handy to Nancy and the case.

Characters[edit]

  • Toni Scallari (Laura Hanson) - Toni stays busy as an elected official on the River Heights City Council, but keeps in touch with her voters by running the local ice cream parlor, Scoop. Toni holds great sway in the community, and appears to be approachable and pleasant. Is this practiced politician's friendly façade covering up darker secrets?
  • Alexei Markovic (Gene Thorkildsen) - Alexei is River Heights' eccentric quasi-recluse who owns the antique shop. He used to be an amateur detective until a case went awry that ruined his reputation. With his knowledge of the town and its history, how far would Alexei go to try to clear his name?
  • Deirdre Shannon (Meaghan Halverson) - Deirdre is an old classmate of Nancy's. She is a spoiled rich girl whose family is constantly being bested by the Drews, and the Clues Challenge is proving to be no different. Competitive, haughty, and arrogant, she's tired of placing second. How far will she go to top Nancy in this competition?
  • Brenda Carlton (Megan Jones) - Brenda Carlton considers herself an ace crime reporter for the Heights Nine News Team. Her impulsive style tends to put sensationalism over accuracy, regardless of the cost to others. Could she have a deeper story hiding behind her microphone?
  • Chief McGinnis (Mark Dodson) - Chief McGinnis is the head of the local police department and has worked with Nancy on cases many times before. He doesn't quite believe Nancy is guilty, but he is pressured to take her into custody with the evidence surrounding her. McGinnis is willing to let Nancy work on proving her innocence while being held at the police station.

Phone Contacts[edit]

  • Carson Drew (Ken Boynton) - Carson is Nancy's father who is a famous lawyer in River Heights. During the game, he is out of the town for business purposes in Australia. He is helpful in tracking down information to exonerate Nancy.
  • Jessica and Holly - Jessica and Holly are Deirdre Shannon's friends who are working with her on the Clues Challenge. They can provide information about Deirdre's whereabouts during the fire.

Additional voice work was performed by Jennifer Pratt, Alex Yopp, James Crowder, Robert Riedl, and Ian Schwartz.

Gameplay[edit]

Easter Eggs[edit]

  • Open and close Brenda's makeup kit five times.
  • After winning the number punch game, press the prime numbers, in order, on the board: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, and 41.
  • Type "bnnydrv" into TicketShark to see a car full of past Easter eggs.

Fatal Errors[edit]

In each of the games, there are different points where Nancy can make "fatal errors." These points are usually when she blows her cover as a detective or gets seriously injured. At such points, the game will stop and give the player the option to try again before the fatal error occurred. If the player doesn't wish to retry, then the game is over.

Gameplay Awards[edit]

Awards are given at the end of the game for completing special tasks that have no effect on the actual plot, such as locating items, answering trivia questions, and performing all the possible actions in an area:

  • Audio Analyst: For thoroughly reviewing the files.
  • Belly Full: For not working on an empty stomach.
  • Cartographer: For knowing your way around town.
  • Dairylicious: For trying the flavors.
  • Easter Egg: For finding a hidden surprise.
  • Emergency Call: For trying to get through.
  • Fire Specialist: For tracking down the possible starters.
  • Legal Lawyer: For following the paperwork.
  • Numberista: For a love of the game.
  • Quotable Noter: For successfully swapping.
  • Team Player: For getting everyone involved.
  • Trivia Tamer: For your wealth of knowledge.
  • Cub Reporter: For following all the latest breaking news.

References to Previous Games[edit]

References to previous games in the series include:

  • Nancy's desk features a scrapbook which includes all of the previous games in the series.
  • Between Nancy, George, Bess, and Ned, the cell phone wallpaper selection includes the cover art of all the previous games in the series.
  • The book with photos of cakes at Nancy's house includes all of the previous games in the series.
  • The Swap A Lot game at Scoop includes quotes that are references to characters from past games. They are included below.
  • Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill
    • A Fighting Manatees emblem is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
  • Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger
    • A photograph of Rick Arlen is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’d never put him in a life threatening situation. I’ll leave that to the writers." (Quote by Rick Arlen)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "And now for the bonus round. Name the washed-up director and interfering actress who will be dead in a matter of minutes. Hurry up, contestants, time’s running out." (Quote by Dwayne Powers)
  • Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion
    • A photograph of Rose Green is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’m sensing an aura of danger around you. I can tell you’re an inquisitive type, a little skeptical, and that you don’t believe in ghosts." (Quote by Abby Sideris)
  • Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower
    • A Wickford Castle brochure is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Don’t worry, my spicy devil villain venom won’t last for long, but I’m afraid by the time you get your eyes back, you’ll have missed my grand exit." (Quote by Lisa Ostrum)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Your mind is like a ravenous monkey gobbling up every banana in its path." (Quote by Professor Hotchkiss)
  • Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
    • A photograph of Maya Nguyen is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I may have to cut this short, Hal. Someone just climbed out of my wardrobe." (Quote by Simone Mueller)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "That guy’s bad news. And he’s certainly not going to help your credibility with the police." (Quote by Brady Armstrong)
  • Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand
    • The media card player and security drawer in the evidence locker are manufactured by Krolmeister.
    • There are Koko Kringle candy bars in the locked cabinet in Nancy's bedroom and in the package Hannah sent to Nancy at the police station.
    • A Mayan statue is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "We need your eagle eyes. We need your bat ears. We need you to sniff out the stink of trouble." (Quote by Taylor Sinclair)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "If you’ve reached this recording, it means I’ve gone to my quiet place, so please don’t leave a message." (Quote by Prudence Rutherford)
  • Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
    • A photograph of Mickey Malone's house is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’ll give him another call, but like I said, the man marches to the beat of another drummer. A very slow drummer." (Quote by Emily Griffen)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Reason I like coming here is because nobody else does. It’s perfect. Not a decent grocery store, restaurant, or motel for miles." (Quote by Red Knott)
  • Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel
    • A miniature carousel horse is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "He's one of the nicest, friendliest, most helpful guys I've ever met. Totally creeps me out." (Quote by Elliott Chen)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "A cute guy with an endless supply of gummy bears and butter flavoring, right at his fingertips. We’re talking major crush." (Quote by George Fayne)
  • Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
    • There is a photo of Bess and George at Shadow Ranch on the bookshelf in Nancy's house.
    • Some arrowheads are in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Person would have to know how to handle snakes, of course, but then, if you work in the desert, that’s one of the things that’s good to know." (Quote by Dave Gregory)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’m a wreck and you’re a rock. Of course, you’re also dead wrong and totally deluded, but I’m still impressed." (Quote by Shorty Thurmond)
  • Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor
    • Jane's chattering teeth toy is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Your attempt to win me over with flattery is as transparent as it is feeble. But it worked." (Quote by Paliki Vadas)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "The book was on monsters, vampires, and werewolves, and witches. I mean, what kind of little girl reads books like that? She fits right into this house, that’s for sure." (Quote by Linda Penvellyn)
  • Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock
    • Brenda Carlton says, "The fire was the biggest thing to happen here since old man Crowley's will was found."
    • A pony toy from Josiah Crowley's golf course is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Nobody makes fun of the way you dress. Except for when you wear that paisley scarf with your plaid skirt. You’re just asking for it then." (Quote by Bess Marvin)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Perhaps we can work something out. You see, amazing as this is going to sound, I am able to project my thoughts into another person’s brain." (Quote by Richard Topham)
  • Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
    • A Copper Gorge sign is in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Of course, anything you find in the mine is, well, mine, so if I find out that you’ve taken something without telling me..." (Quote by Lori Girard)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "You’re just saying that because you’re afraid I’ll bail and you’ll wind up having to paint this dump all by yourself." (Quote by George Fayne)
  • Nancy Drew: Danger By Design
    • A bottle of Mouton Fouetté 1968 is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Don’t be ridiculous. I would never keep an exotic pet like that in here. Although I may’ve lost an exotic pet like that in here once." (Quote by Dieter von Schwesterkrank)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’ve got some people convinced that I won the lottery and am actually a millionaire." (Quote by Jing Jing Ling)
  • Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave
    • A hula doll is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Hey, look, flailing around like a drowning puppy your first time or two is nothing to be ashamed of. Happens to everybody." (Quote by Pua Mapu)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I spent the whole morning observing a colony of feral bees. Man, I hope someone answers the ad my mentor placed in that newsletter." (Quote by Dr. Quigley Kim)
  • Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
    • The pyramid box that contained Trapper Dan's journal is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "The new maid. Thank goodness. I was wondering how much longer the owner expected us to endure these conditions and still pay full price." (Quote by Guadalupe Comillo)
  • Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull
    • The bottle of itching powder is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Darling, a sack full of water moccasins couldn’t get me to say that word out loud." (Quote by Renée Amande)
  • Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice
    • A Carnevale mask is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "There’s only one of me. I like it that way. It’s going to stay that way." (Quote by Samantha Quick)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I see that you have recovered from having that locket ripped from your neck. That is what happens when one leaves a door unlocked after one has been told not to." (Quote by Margherita Faubourg)
  • Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy
    • The jetpack invented by Brendan Malloy is for sale at the antique shop.
    • The sheep doll is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Not till I was fifty and four did I see a banshee. To see one at your age, on your very first night in Ireland? A special lass you are indeed." (Quote by Donal Delany)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Well, I do hope he’s enjoying himself, because as soon as we’re married that will be that. No more practical jokes." (Quote by Kyler Mallory)
  • Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships
    • A miniature ship is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "They’ll stoop to anything. They’ll stop at nothing. My only hope is to lie low, keep moving, and trust no one." (Quote by John Poole)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "One day I find them in my boat, tearing up whatever they can. As I am chasing them away, one bites me. These monkeys are dangerous." (Quote by Johnny Rolle)
  • Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy
    • A mug with the Waverly Academy logo is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Guys’re basically sheep. The minute somebody says, 'Hey. The grass is greener over here.' Boom. They’re gone." (Quote by Leela Yadav)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Look. I don’t steal boyfriends. I don’t have to. Guys’re just naturally attracted to me. I know how conceited that sounds, but it’s the truth." (Quote by Izzy Romero)
  • Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister
    • The tornado toy from the mystery box is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • An advertisement for the Krolmeister Salad Cannon plays on the radio in the police station.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I’d say they’ve always been reality prone. If you’re the type to chase down tornadoes, the reality of the situation is that you’re pretty much giving trouble your home address." (Quote by Pa)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Cats? Forget about it. I’m deathly allergic to cats. Mice are annoying but at least they don’t leave me sneezing and short of breath." (Quote by Scott Varnell)
  • Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge
    • Some of Yumi's phone charms are in the drawer in Nancy's desk.
    • The avatars for Holly and Jessica (Deirdre's friends) were created using Yumi's fashion software.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Well you can hear me, so don’t go in that door. Call this mystery a wash and come stay at our hotel which has a nice ghost free view." (Quote by Bess Marvin)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "My apartment may not be as good as the ryokan, but it does beat sleeping on the street. You’re staying there, like it or not." (Quote by Yumi Shimizu)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "Well, some people think this place is haunted. Kind of like some people think the moon landing was faked and some people like adult contemporary. Don’t be one of those people." (Quote by Rentaro Aihara)
  • Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
    • A monster bobblehead doll is in the cupboard in Nancy's bedroom.
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "You’re not supposed to keep saying that monsters are real. You’re supposed to say that they’re not. That’s how it goes. I’m never getting to sleep tonight." (Quote by Lukas Mittelmeier)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "You go together like peanut butter and jelly. When you’re apart it’s like peanut butter and sadness. Or jelly and uncomfortable silences." (Quote by Joe Hardy)
    • Swap A Lot Quote: "I want everything tied up with a neat bow, signed, sealed, delivered, stamped, the whole hundred yards. You’re like my personal stylist here, you gotta make me look good." (Quote by Markus Boehm)

Trivia[edit]

  • This is the first game in the series:
    • to have four playable characters.
    • to feature Ned Nickerson as a playable character.
  • Deirdre Shannon is a recurring character in the Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Series; as in the game, she has a crush on Ned and is Nancy's rival, although they also help each other on occasion.
  • Brenda Carlton is a recurring character in the Nancy Drew Files Series, but is somewhat different from her game counterpart; in the novels, she is an investigative reporter in her own mind whose dad owns a newspaper. She is Nancy's rival, who usually hinders her investigations, but occasionally helps her as well.

Reception[edit]

Jinny Gudmundsen of USA Today rated it 2.5/4 stars and wrote, "Alibi in Ashes is a good mystery game, particularly for younger players new to the Nancy Drew franchise; but seasoned players of the series might be disappointed...While it is fun to explore Nancy's hometown of River Heights and her childhood house, the game limits your investigation areas to only a few actual locations. And the switching-between-friends mechanic grows old quickly. It is a good mystery but not a great one."[3] Erin Bell of Gamezebo rated it 3/5 stars and wrote, "Alibi in Ashes should be praised for trying out some new gameplay ideas to shake up the formula, but in the end it’s not as strong as some of the other games in the Nancy Drew series."[4] Merlina McGovern of Adventure Gamers rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote, "You won’t see Nancy’s home town through state-of-the art graphics, but Alibi in Ashes provides an entertaining window into the teen sleuth’s personal life."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Alibi in Ashes Teaser Trailer
  2. ^ "Nancy Drew Alibi in Ashes | Girl Games Online". Herinteractive.com. 
  3. ^ Gudmundsen, Jinny (January 20, 2012). "Nancy Drew gets a little help from her friends". USA Today. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bell, Erin (November 21, 2011). "Return to Nancy’s hometown in Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes". Gamezebo. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ McGovern, Merlina (November 25, 2011). "Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
Preceded by
Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen