Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse

Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    Her Interactive

Released:  June 2011

PC Requirements:  

  • Windows® XP/Vista/7
  • 1.5 GHZ or greater Pentium 4 or equivalent class CPU,
  • 512 MB of RAM,
  • 2 GB or more hard drive space,
  • 64 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible video card,
  • 16 bit DirectX compatible sound card,
  • 4x DVD drive,
  • mouse and speakers.




by Rushes


Here we join Nancy Drew in her 24th adventure, The Captive Curse, from developers Her Interactive. In this latest instalment we visit the large and sprawling Castle Finster in Germany, where a mythical wood-dwelling monster has sporadically terrorised the area for a great many years, snatching his female victims away where they are never heard of again. Now there is rumour of the beast appearing once more. Nancy is invited by the castle's German investor Markus Boehm to solve the mystery before more lives are lost.

What's Up?

Her Interactive are on the ball again. Recent Nancy Drew adventures have been more than a touch hit and miss, but I'm pleased to report that The Captive Curse carries on the tried and trusted tradition of sleuthing and puzzling in the same thoroughly enjoyable manner that the recent Warnings at Waverly Academy presented. In this new adventure we meet a host of well-written characters who have interesting and amusing dialogue to share with us. Karl the Bürgermeister is particularly appealing, as is Lukas, the young lad who hovers around the castle lobby with his board games and mischievous wit. The game graphics are crisp and detailed; the characters' facial movements are expressive, the voice acting excellent as always.

There are no chores, glory be. In place of forced drudgery we are instead presented with an intriguing mystery which unfolds gradually from perhaps more lengthy dialogues than I recall Nancy Drew adventures carrying of late. This is no bad thing, for the back story and side detail serves to draw us deeper into the story. Castle Finster is large and sprawling with a myriad of corridors and secret passages -- quite similar to Treasure in the Royal Tower, in fact. Other areas to explore include the spacious castle courtyard, and the eerie, dark and twisting woods which sprawl beyond the main gates.

The Captive Curse plays in first person point and click, with occasional and controllable slow panning. It is possible to die within the game, but the Second Chance feature will quickly return you to the second before your unfortunate “oops”. There are unlimited save slots, and a useful Hint Hotline feature on Nancy's cell phone.

“Monsters aren't real.”

Puzzles... give me excess of them; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so – wait, no, we wouldn't want that to happen. Play on, puzzles! There are some rather splendid ones here in The Captive Curse. Two board games aside, there are a number of secret messages to collect and decode, one simple slider puzzle, and several boxes to figure out how to open. One such box features a variation of the old “Mastermind” guessing game. There are one or two logic-type conundrums, and one colour puzzle.

The not-so-good.

My own personal nemesis is waving its flag here. There are not one, but two mazes in this game. Both are initially quite tricky to negotiate until the player begins to remember the landmarks/objects, or alternatively consults the in-game, hand-drawn maps. The castle, too, is large, meandering, and literally begs that you become lost inside it. I spent a fair amount of playing time wandering and retracing my steps. Those with sounder navigational skills than mine may likely not experience such grief. For those of us that do have troubles, well, it was a little frustrating.

Don't let the bugs bite.

Captive Curse installed and ran without any hitches or glitches.

Overall, an involving game that's well worth playing, introducing some memorable characters and a diverse range of enjoyable puzzles.

Grade:  B+

I played on:

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1

AMD A6-3650 APU @ 2.60GHz

4.00 GB of  RAM

Radeon HD 6530D Graphics


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