Nancy Drew: Danger By Design

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Nancy Drew: Danger By Design
Danger By Design Coverart.png
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) DreamCatcher
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA July 24, 2006
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Danger by Design is the 14th installment in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure game series by Her Interactive. The game is available for play on Microsoft Windows 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 a book entitled Death by Design (1988).[1][2]


Nancy Drew travels to Paris to work undercover as an assistant to Minette, an up-and-coming couture fashion designer. Minette hasn't quite been herself lately. She is never seen without wearing a mask, and she often throws temper tantrums and irrationally fires her employees. She is running dangerously behind schedule and her financial backers are concerned about her ability to complete her work. Has the stress of fame forced her behind that mask, or is there something sinister lurking in the shadows of her studio?



  • Nancy Drew - Nancy is an eighteen-year old amateur detective from the fictional town of River Heights in the United States. She is the only playable character in the game, which means the player must solve the mystery from her perspective.
  • Minette - Minette donned a mask at the end of her fall show and hasn’t taken it off since. Lately, as her deadlines loom closer, she has been acting strangely, throwing temper tantrums and firing her employees. Minette is socially inept, high-strung, and temperamental, but above all, she is talented. Recently, Minette has been receiving threatening notes from an anonymous writer.
  • Heather McKay - Heather is Minette's friendly assistant, and she has lasted far longer than any of the assistants before her. She dreams of making it big in the fashion world but is staying on with Minette in hopes of gaining some contacts and experience. Heather has a major crush on Dieter, but he doesn’t share her feelings.
  • Dieter von Schwesterkrank - Dieter is an enterprising, arrogant, and ambitious young photographer. He once dated Minette, but she broke it off, leaving him heartbroken and humiliated. Dieter tends to keep to himself and dislikes almost everyone else in the fashion industry. He obsessively searches for his great-uncle’s long lost treasure.
  • Jing Jing Ling - Jing Jing, better known as JJ, is Minette’s fitting model. Minette requires her to be a size 12, so she is constantly eating chocolate chip cookies. Although she is down-to-earth, bubbly, and outgoing, JJ is bitter after being tricked her into signing her current contract with Minette, forcing her to stay in Paris much longer than she originally anticipated.
  • Jean Michel Traquenard - Jean Mi is a columnist for GlamGlam magazine and a critical voice when it comes to fashion. Most people are terrified that he will write something bad about them, so they bow and scrape in his presence. As far as Jean Mi is concerned, whatever he wants, he will get. He is well known for being conceited.

Phone Contacts[edit]

  • Frank Hardy and Joe Hardy - Nancy's friends who work for a secret organization called ATAC. They are undercover detectives. Like Bess and George, they can be called for hints and tips.
  • Hugo Butterly - Hugo is a couture fashion designer and Minette's biggest rival. He is among the people who have a grudge against Minette.
  • Zu - Zu is an expert on Paris's catacombs and an extremely devoted fan of JJ's. He gives Nancy information about the catacombs that is vital to solving the case.
  • Lynn Manrique - Lynn is a historian who persistently attempts to contact Minette about Noisette Tornade, the previous owner of the moulin where Minette's fashion studio is located. She is useful for information about Noisette and the French Resistance.


  • Jing Jing Ling - Amy Broomhall
  • Heather McKay / Monique - Megan Hill
  • Minette / Malika - Shawnmarie Yates
  • Jean-Michel Traquenard - Guy Nelson
  • Dieter von Schwesterkrank / Zu / Ernst Schmeck - Stephen Hando
  • Lynn Manrique - Dana Cali
  • Hugo Butterly / Monsieur Marchand / Gunther Schmeck - Tim Moore
  • Waiter / Police - Mathias Jangla [3]


Easter Eggs[edit]

  • Before developing the photos, flush the toilet in Dieter's darkroom ten times. Turn around to face the developing trays and the photos have been already been developed, skipping the entire process.
    • Call the following numbers that were listed on Jean Mi's PDA:
      • 10 80 01 08 00
      • 48 15 16 23 42
  • Log on to Jane's Game Portal before Minette starts playing.

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, gets fired, 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. The fatal errors in Danger by Design include:

  • Failing to answer the phone for Minette.
  • Blowing up Dieter's darkroom after mixing the chemicals incorrectly.
  • Disturbing Minette when she is fitting JJ.
  • Failing to disarm the bomb.
  • Getting caught by the police in the secret catacombs.
  • Drowning in the underwater catacombs.
  • Getting sucked into the fan in the underwater catacombs.
  • Being beaten to death by the culprit.

Gameplay Awards[edit]

An award is given at the end of the game based on your sleuthing style. These are all of the possible awards:

  • Bourreau (Executioner): For your love of hangman.
  • Chasseur des Cafards (Cockroach Hunter): For bravery and alacrity in wrangling vermin.
  • Chercheuse d'occasions (Bargain Hunter): For spending it up in the City of Lights.
  • Débutante du Thé (Tea Beginner): For taking the time to master the art of good tea making.
  • Détective Superbe (Superb Detective): For being the best detective on either side of the Atlantic.
  • Élève (Student): For your love of the language of love.
  • Femme-Grenouille (Lady Frog): For your love of the water.
  • Grande Gourmande (Big Food Lover): For your overall 'joie de vivre'.
  • Jeune da Vinci (Young da Vinci): For your art appreciation and production.
  • Lectrice (Reader): For your love of the written word.
  • Partout à Paris (Everywhere in Paris): For going everywhere and seeing everything.
  • Savoir-Faire (Competence): For solving puzzles in the least amount of time.

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.
  • Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion
    • Abby's jewelry box is located next to the Dodo box.
  • Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
    • In the game Model Match, one of the faces is Brady Armstrong.
  • Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand
    • Prudence Rutherford is a phone contact.
    • Sonny Joon was Minette's assistant prior to Nancy.
    • There are Koko Kringle bars in the desk drawer at Minette's studio. While getting on the metro, there are sometimes posters advertising Koko Kringles.
    • Sonny Joon's notebook makes a reference to Taylor Sinclair's tie.
    • Minette received an email from Krolmeister Office Supplies. Also, Dieter uses Krolmeister Escachrome PB photographic paper and chemicals.
    • One of the vendors in the park has the Mayan jade cube key available for sale.
  • Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
    • One of Minette's emails is from Emily Griffen. She mentions that she is one of Minette's biggest fans.
    • In the game Model Match, one of the faces is Jeff Akers.
  • Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel
  • The vendors have a Fundae Spoon and the arm of Spook 10 available for sale.
  • Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
    • When reading the descriptions of the clothing Minette has designed for Prudence Rutherford, the cowboy boots are stated as being handcrafted at Shadow Ranch.
  • Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor
    • Jane's Game Portal was created by Jane Penvellyn. Her face appears as one of the models in Model Match and pictures of her guinea pig are used on the game's main screen.
    • When you are playing Model Match, the person who currently has the highest score is "LettyD". This is a reference to Leticia Drake (Mrs. Drake).
    • One of the parfaits you can make is a Loulou.
    • The woman who sends Noisette information about the M380 machine is Rose Penvellyn.
  • Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock
    • Nancy's prepaid phone card is made by Zippy's.


  • This is the first game in the series that:
    • begins at Nancy's desk.
    • offers two possible endings. If Nancy tells Minette that Heather wrote one of the threatening letters, Minette will fire Heather. If Nancy doesn’t tell, she is rewarded and gets to appear in a fashion show at the end of the game!
  • This is the last game in the series to use the original 1998 logo.
  • The fish in Dieter's aquarium resemble Dory and Marlin from Finding Nemo.
  • The phone numbers on Jean Michel's PDA are references to Lost:
    • Anne Lucie Croix is Ana Lucia Cortez translated from French. Her phone number is "4 8 15 16 23 42", a famous string of numbers from the show. If you call this number, a string of Morse code is heard. When decoded properly, the message "some of us are sleeping" is spelled out.
    • Pace Carroll is Charlie Pace translated from Latin. If you call his number, a guitar riff is heard in the background, possibly a reference to Charlie's band, Drive Shaft, on the show.
  • Monsieur Marchand asks Nancy to find him a bottle of "Mouton Fouetté 1968". Mouton Fouetté means "whipped sheep" in French.
  • The Ichi-Do book was once a library book that was checked out to "B. Lee" and "C. Norris".
  • The picture of Noisette Tornade on the obituary Dieter left behind is actually a picture of Mildred Wirt Benson, the original ghostwriter of Nancy Drew books.
  • The Vert Galant park actually exists on the Île de la Cité.
  • All the metro stops Nancy can get off at are actual metro stops in Paris.
  • The doorknob to the windmill is in the middle of the door. In France, many doorknobs are, in fact, in the center.
  • The police sirens heard in the background of the game are distinctly different from those heard in the US. They are real European sirens.
  • Noisette Tornade is French for "hazelnut tornado".
  • Traquenard is French for "trap".
  • Schwesterkrank means "sick sister" in German.
  • Monsieur Marchand translates as "Mr. Merchant".
  • Nancy can sample French dishes at the Café Kiki:


  1. ^ [1], Danger by Design Teaser Trailer
  2. ^ "Nancy Drew Danger by Design | Girl Games Online". 
  3. ^ "Nancy Drew Danger by Design IMDb". 
Preceded by
Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave