Nancy Drew has been solving cases for decades as the teenage detective first appeared in 1930. Nancy has withstood the test of time, and has appeared in multiple forms over the years. Now, there’s Nancy Drew Codes & Clues for iOS with a modern twist that revolves around the mystery of a missing project at the tech fair. In the original books, Nancy progresses from ages16 to 18 across the various cases, but even though Nancy Drew Codes & Clues is set in the present, Nancy is only in elementary school. The new app is designed for younger audiences, and provides hidden object games along with an introduction to computer programming.
Nancy Drew Codes & Clues delivers a six chapter narrative complete with voice acting cut scenes in between the game sequences. Each chapter covers a new part of the school as well as a potential suspect as Nancy tries to find clues, and piece them together. The hidden object gameplay is relatively standard as you’re given a list of items to find, and some of those items are clues to help progress the story. Each chapter has six sections with the final section allowing the player to set logic structures for Nancy’s robot dog to perform. The robot dog component helps introduce sequences and loops in a friendly manner, as the main goal is to direct the dog through a course with three stars, and one ultimate goal.
Nancy Drew is known for good stories, and the story in Nancy Drew Codes & Clues is a relatively compelling narrative that can have a wide range of appeal. The story will keep kids interested throughout the six chapter experience in the classic style of “Whodunnit?”. There are over 20 different hidden object scenes, but it would be nice to see more variation in the gameplay elements of the app. Kids can develop some critical thinking skills without even realizing, but it seems there might be more value from more than just hidden object sequences. The robot dog portion is the best part of the app, but even it can feel a bit redundant across each chapter. The entire experience probably takes a couple of hours to get through depending on skill level. It would be nice to see more, but what is included delivers an accessible and engaging iOS experience with a wide range of appeal.
Nancy Drew Codes & Clues ($3.99, Universal) delivers an entertaining experience with a dash of education making it well worth picking up.