Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse

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Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
Nancy Drew - The Captive Curse Cover Art.jpeg
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) Her Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Release date(s) June 28, 2011
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

The Captive Curse is the 24th 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 E10+ for moments of mild violence and peril.[1] 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 Captive Witness (1981).[2][3]

Plot[edit]

For centuries, a legendary monster has terrorized residents of a Bavarian castle, called Castle Finster, in Germany. According to the legend, the monster will vanish for years at a time until, without warning, it reappears to claim its next victim. So far every victim it has claimed has been a young woman, reputed to be wearing a peculiar jeweled necklace at the time of her disappearance. In the present day, young American detective Nancy Drew has been called in by the castle's owner to discover the truth behind recent monster sightings, before the monster can strike again. As Nancy delves deeper into the case, she begins to fear that someone in the castle plans for her to be the monster's next victim.

Development[edit]

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. She is the only playable character in the game, which means the player must solve the mystery from her perspective.
  • Karl Weschler (Gerald B. Browning) - Karl is the "Bürgermeister," or mayor of the castle community. He keeps himself locked away in his office. He has dreams of becoming a famous board game designer, but is hindered by the belief that he is cursed due to a meeting with his doppelgänger at a young age. Karl ruffles many people's feathers, but he is most at odds with Anja Mittelmeier. He greatly dislikes that the castle is being used for tourism, and wishes to keep tourists away.
  • Lukas Mittelmeier (Marianna de Fazio) - Lukas is the youngest resident of Castle Finster. His father, Franz Mittelmeier, is the head of security at the castle, and his aunt is Anja. Perhaps because he feels lonely, Lukas likes to play pranks on the other castle residents, especially Karl.
  • Anja Mittelmeier (Sara Mountjoy-Pepka) - Anja is the castellan of Castle Finster, meaning she is in charge of guest services. She is very open about the monster sightings, her past relationship with Markus, the castle's owner, and her negative feelings towards Karl. Lukas is her nephew.
  • Renate Stoller (Julia Sachon) - Renate is a traveling storyteller, who is deeply familiar with the legend of the monster. She is not too keen on Nancy's presence and ominously warns her to keep away from the monster. Her favorite place to sit is the rocking chair by the dining room's fireplace.

Phone Contacts[edit]

  • Markus Boehm (Gene Thorkildsen) - Markus, the owner of Castle Finster, has hired Nancy to solve the case of the monster. Despite being wealthy, Markus is planning on bringing in potential investors to Castle Finster. At the time of the mystery, Markus is driving en route to the castle; he expects that Nancy will have solved the case by the time he arrives.
  • Ned Nickerson (Scott Carty) - Ned is Nancy's longtime boyfriend, who isn't too thrilled with Nancy's latest adventure. He resents her mystery-filled life, and wishes he could be off solving mysteries with her. Ned can also be contacted for slight hints in the game.
  • Frank Hardy (Jonah Von Spreecken) - Frank is a character known from the Hardy Boys book series. In the game, he is a good friend of Nancy and Ned, and helps them resolve their disputes. He is also available to give slight hints to Nancy, hints about both her case in Germany and his possible romantic feelings for her.
  • Jordan Blakesly (Beth Peterson) - Jordan works for Castle Cast, which does all of the castle's hiring. Nancy can call Jordan for more information on the castle's employees.

Additional voice work was performed by Daniel Christenson, Jennifer Pratt, Chiara Motley, Keri Healey, Scott Kirk, Nicole Fierstein, Adrienne MacIain, Kira Lauren, and Mark Waldstein.

Gameplay[edit]

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. Fatal errors in The Captive Curse include:

  • Pulling a lever in the beginning of the game lowering the Portcullis directly on Nancy.
  • Waking up Renate by making too much noise while snooping in her bag--This is a fatal error that's generally hard to avoid.
  • Getting fried by the glass furnace in the furnace room by not putting up the shield.
  • Getting caught snooping through Karl's stuff or desk.
  • Getting caught snooping behind Anja's desk.
  • Not freeing Lukas in time.
  • Taking too long to identify the culprit.
  • Incorrectly identifying the culprit.
  • Getting punched to death by the culprit.

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:

  • Beta Tester: For playing Raid more than 10 times.
  • Card Collector: For building the full deck of Raid cards.
  • Easter Egg: For finding an Easter egg (there are three that may be obtained).
  • Fearless Forester: For visiting the forest more than 15 times.
  • Historic Preservationist: For returning the scarf to Renate.
  • Keepsake Kitsch: For buying one of each souvenir from the gift shop.
  • Security Guard: For changing channels on the security cameras more than 60 times.
  • Subterranean Dweller: For finding everything possible in the tunnels.
  • Take Away Deliverer: For giving Renate at least 8 helpings of food.
  • Treasure Hunter: For finding at least 30 fallen euros around the castle.
  • Wishing Well: For lowering the bucket into the well more than 10 times.
  • Wolf Cryer: For pressing the security alarm button more than 13 times.

References to Previous Games[edit]

References to previous games in the series include:

Release[edit]

The game was officially released on June 28, 2011. It will be the first game in the series to feature improved installation, gameplay, and graphics through the use of a DVD for installation of physical copies of the game.[4] On May 17, 2011, pre-orders were announced to begin on June 1, with each pre-ordered copy of the game including bonus content.[5] Pre-orders concluded on June 15, 2011.[6]

Reception[edit]

Jinny Gudmundsen of USA Today rated it 3.5/4 stars and wrote, "The Captive Curse isn't the best Nancy Drew mystery from Her Interactive, but it is a well constructed one that will get kids thinking while they are entertained."[7] Darcie King of Gamezebo rated it 4/5 stars and wrote that the game had excellent graphics and voice acting, but some players may be frustrated by the fact that dialogue cannot be skipped.[8] Merlina McGovern of Adventure Gamers rated it 3/5 stars and wrote, "While fans of the Brothers Grimm may at first be intrigued by the premise of this fairy tale Nancy Drew, The Captive Curse is too limited to do the folklore books any real justice."[9]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes