Time to grab that magnifying glass and get down to another one of Nancy Drew’s adventures. To set the scene for this story, the dig team from Kingston University has uncovered an epic find in the Egyptian sands: a nearly pristine tomb from ancient times. But when the site loses its leader, the dig falls into chaos and rumours of a curse spread. As things go from bad to worse, from creepy occurrences and horrible accidents to suspects with their own hidden agendas, Nancy must discover the true secrets buried deep inside the Tomb of the Lost Queen.
This is a new game for all those Nancy Drew’s fanatic out there. It’s a classic point-and-click adventure game. With its story-based puzzles artfully displayed throughout the relevant environments. This is a game that requires your thinking cap and a lot of coffees as you settle down for some serious sleuthing, interrogation and a whole load of thinking time. The game features the best of old and new adventure gameplay. You have the old point-and-click environments, but you also get modern features like an interactive list that shows you your current objectives (also used as your hint system) and a fully customizable mobile phone that serves as your hint hotline and a connection to subject-matter experts; to help you along your way. After all, as good at detective work as Nancy Drew is, she can’t know about everything, can she?
I especially found the hint hotline very helpful. In fact I would challenge anyone to completing this game without calling it at any point. The puzzles are vast from the simple idea of playing an odd Egyptian game at the beginning of the game to much harder puzzles that come along as you play, like having to translate hieroglyphs and uncover hidden chambers. You even get to play games along the way that teach you about early Egyptian life. So this game is not only an adventure game, it’s also pretty educational. I found many areas of Egyptology in this game interesting. I am a huge fan of documentaries on the television about Egypt and found this game pretty good at its fact telling.
Another factor is how you need to carefully choose your words when speaking to the various characters you face during the game. What you say and do has an impact on how much info you can get from everyone. If you are nice you will get lots of help, be nasty and you won’t get far, and once you have chosen what way you are towards someone you can’t change and be all nice again. The different characters remember how you are to them right to the end of the game.
Those who’ve played other games in the Nancy Drew series will immediately notice the sleek new UI. Usability is much improved, and the expandable task list and journal keep the inventory panel minimal, so more screen real estate is allotted to in-game scenes. I liked that I had to check off tasks in the task list, as it somehow instilled a sense of achievement when the game agreed I had indeed completed them. Completed tasks are sent to the bottom of the list, so active tasks are always on top.
Unfortunately, as shiny as Tomb of the Lost Queen is for the Nancy Drew series, its upgraded art and new UI could be considered almost baseline for top-selling casual games; although the characters look quite good and are animated pretty well, there are some fairly basic point-and-click adventure controls I would have liked to have seen like the ability to right-click to drop an inventory item and click to progress dialogue. This is a slightly annoying missing feature however, and once you start to get used to the controls you will soon find yourself immersed in the world of mummies.
If you like smart puzzle games that will keep you occupied for a number of hours then this is the game for you. At first it looks like a game made for young girls. I was mistaken though, as much as the Nancy Drew series is probably aimed at a younger audience, I did enjoy it. That was something I did not expect. It just shows, don’t judge a book by its cover.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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