Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device



Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    Her Interactive

Released:  October 2012

PC Requirements:  

  • Windows® XP/Vista/7

  • 1.5 GHZ or greater Pentium 4 or equivalent class CPU,

  • 512 MB of RAM,

  • 3 GB or more hard drive space,

  • 128 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible video card,

  • 16 bit DirectX compatible sound card,

  • 4x DVD drive,

  • mouse and speakers.






by Rushes


The Deadly Device is the 27th Nancy Drew adventure from developers Her Interactive.

In this most recent outing Nancy is hired by Victor Losset, co-owner of the “Technology of Tomorrow Today” research facility, to investigate the death of physicist Niko Jovic. Electrocuted while working on the Tesla coil and believed by all to have been murdered, the case has gone cold and it is up to Nancy to solve the mystery.


First and foremost, where am I? I think I must have ended up in the seventh circle with no available exit and no sunscreen. What I have in my hands is The Deadly Device, which I feel I must award the gold medal for Most Fiendishly Difficult & Unapologetically Tricksy. In fact, I'm going to need a larger medal just to fit all of the letters on.

Yes, I do believe that this might well be the most challenging Nancy Drew adventure released to date. A ten-year-old child would agree with me. (Someone run out and find me a ten-year-old child, I can't make head nor tail out of it!)

The story is not immediately complex from the outset: a physicist dies on-site under suspicious circumstances, with the finger pointed squarely at a colleague who denies any involvement. All of the characters that we meet are defensive and abrasive; they dislike one another, and are quite often obnoxiously rude to poor Nancy who, after all, is only trying to do her job. Albeit in a furtively undercover manner, as is her wont. There seems more dialogue too, than usual, and via scattered books a great deal to read and digest.

Locations are restricted to the research facility, which to the player will comprise of two floors accessible by elevator with several offices and laboratories, a lounge area and, well, that's pretty much it. There are no exterior scenes. The game feels claustrophobic in that regard, and perhaps that was the developer's intention. The plot unravels slowly with a lot of necessary to-and-froing in the process, and repeated alternating from day to night and vice versa in order to move things along. I quite frequently found myself at a dead end and unsure of where to go or what to do. Peeking at a walkthrough confirmed that, alone, I would never have come up with the solutions to certain puzzles or stages, for their processes seemed illogical. For me, personally, the gameplay was not as flowing and therefore less immersive than I might have liked. 

The graphics are of a good standard, as always, with expressive facial animations and excellent voice work by the actors. Nancy's phone is bombarded throughout the game with texts from Ned, who is in full-on “dopey” mode. I could have done without them.

The gamer has the initial choice of an Amateur or Master level of play. Amateur provides a full task list with hints and slightly easier puzzles. The Master's puzzles are more challenging, offering no hints with only a basic task list. 

Game play is in first person point and click as all previous games in the series. There are full subtitles and unlimited save slots. Your character can die, but there is the welcome Second Chance feature to back you up to try again.


This being a Nancy Drew adventure, you can bet your last penny that there will be timed puzzles of some description. There are several. A coloured tile puzzle is a particular challenge, the timed aspect of which can be stalled briefly by leaving the area to repeat a diversion before returning to continue where you left off.  There is a timed maze, and a lever/light puzzle to tackle. 

There is a “beat the high score” mini game, which thankfully has no set time limit. There are colour and sound puzzles, but no sliders. We are given circuit boards to mess with and various binary whosits to mangle. We operate machinery, combine chemicals and do our best to not blow up the facility or scorch our eyebrows. I didn't want mine anyway.


The Deadly Device installed with no issues, and played perfectly without any noticeable bugs or glitches.

Overall, this is an ideal adventure for those who enjoy their puzzles on the demanding side of the spectrum, with a patience for timed puzzles and an acceptance of playing within a small, contained environment.

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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November 2012

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