Nancy Drew 31: Labyrinth of Lies

Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    HerInteractive

Released:  October 2014   

PC Requirements:   see review below




by Jenny100


Nancy Drew 31: Labyrinth of Lies

In Labyrinth of Lies, Nancy Drew has been asked to help find out why the Phidias Cultural Center, a Greek Museum, has been losing staff. She receives help from the Hardy Boys by cell phone. George and Bess are apparently still recovering from participating in the reality show featured in Nancy's previous game, Shattered Medallion. Nancy is also in contact with the museum's director, Melina Rosi. Ultimately the mystery turns out to be something more serious than a few employees leaving the museum. As is usual with Nancy's investigations, other mysteries rear their heads, and Nancy has a fine old time of it.

Though the game takes place in Greece, Nancy never leaves the area around the museum. This includes a theatre area near the museum, where a performance is being rehearsed to coincide with the opening of the latest museum exhibit. It also includes a rather unlikely basement area, where different rooms are decorated to represent different parts of Hades (the underworld of Greek mythology). Apparently these different rooms are capable of being shifted around and lifted to the surface of the stage during the performance – very fancy hydraulics for a rather small theatre.

Nancy's investigations involve talking to other characters and snooping around where she's told not to go. The characters she meets are all actors in the play. There are four of them, but only two seem to have had much prior acting experience. The performance is a re-enactment of the story of Persephone and Hades. Xenia plays Persephone, and is also responsible for writing and directing the play. She is from New York, and has no “Greek” accent. Grigor is also from the USA (no “Greek” accent), and plays Hermes, who acts as sort of a narrator (chorus?) in the play.

The other two characters are apparently Greek and speak with an accent (though I have no idea if their accents are authentic Greek accents). Niobe is actually an artist, was supposedly hired as a set designer, but was cast in the part of Demeter (mother of Persephone). Thanos has the part of Hades. He was the most “fun” character of all for me to listen to – staying in character as Hades for the whole game, with ominous intonations to everything he said. He may show up in future Nancy Drew games. The closing scenes of the game suggest that he might be back at some point.


Besides her usual snooping, Nancy has chores to do, which are related to preparing for the museum exhibition. Melina Rosi asks Nancy to research “provenance” of some of the museum exhibits, such as vases, coins, and statues, using a program on the computer in Melina's office. Of course to access the computer and the exhibits she needs to find the computer password and the keys to the various exhibits.

Melina also gives Nancy the task of managing ticket requests and mailing out tickets by using one of the programs on the computer. Ticket requests are logic puzzles, with clients asking for several seats, and Nancy has to arrange seating so everyone gets what they want. For example, one client wants 5 front row seats, one client wants 6 seats in the bargain section, one client wants all 4 of their seats in a group. Nancy uses the ticket software on the computer, which informs her if seating requirements are properly fulfilled.

Xenia assigns Nancy to fix lighting cues. Niobe enlists Nancy's help creating vases that are reproductions of originals. Everyone tells Nancy what to do except Thanos, who is satisfied with scaring Nancy with his ominous voice, but ultimately fails to suppress her snooping tendencies (an impossibility, but we must respect his efforts in trying).

At one point Nancy gets into Xenia's tablet and does all her jigsawish-type puzzles for her. Showoff. Doing all Xenia's puzzles does get you an “Achievement” though.


Controls are the same point-and-click style familiar to all fans of Nancy Drew games. There is the choice of “Amateur Sleuth” or “Master Sleuth.” I chose “Amateur” because I like having the detailed task list (the list with checkboxes so Nancy can cheerfully inform you “That's done!” or “Can't check that off yet!”). The “Amateur Sleuth” mode supposedly has easier puzzles, though I found some of these “easy” puzzles to be quite challenging. Apparently “Amateur Sleuth” also offers Hints (while “Master Sleuth” does not), but I didn't use that feature so don't know how helpful it would be.

There are controls to adjust sound volume (voice, sound effects, music) in the options menu. You can also choose Full Screen or Windowed, and Fast Convo or not. There is also an Achievements screen. I think I got 4, but I don't go looking for those things so those 4 were an accident. I played the regular version of the game – not the “bonus” version with the “phone charms” – so Achievements are not limited to the bonus version.

Nancy's cell phone includes a camera, and she can call either the Hardy Boys or Melina Rosi. Nancy also uses the cell phone to interface with Melina's computer. The phone also includes 9 “games” and there are settings to change its “wallpaper.” Just extra stuff to fiddle with, if you're so inclined.


Overall it was fun, though I was disappointed that Nancy was restricted to one area and never visited any actual Greek ruins or other uniquely Greek places. Most of the “Greekness” was confined to edutainment-type puzzles. The game could have taken place anywhere in the world. Still, Labyrinth of Lies is definitely an improvement over the previous Nancy Drew game (Shattered Medallion), had several interesting puzzles, and an amusing Hades-style basement area (I guess the basement is where the “Labyrinth” in the title comes from). The game also gets extra credit (from me) for Thanos' performance, so...

Grade: B+

Computer I played it on:

·     Windows 8.1 Professional

·     AMD Phenom II x4 905e processor 2.51 GHz

·     8 GB of RAM

·     3 GB or more hard drive space

·     AMD Radeon HD 7770 with 2 GB VRAM

·     ATI High Definition Audio Device (onboard sound)

Windows Minimum System Requirements:

·     Windows® Vista/7/8

·     1.5 GHZ or greater Pentium 4 CPU or equivalent class

·     512 MB of RAM

·     3GB 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

Mac Minimum System Requirements:

·     OS X: 10.6.8 Snow Leopard/10.7 Lion/10.8 Mountain Lion/10.9 Mavericks or higher

·     Intel processor

·     512 MB RAM

·     3 GB or more hard drive space

·     Intel GMA X3100, ATI X1600, NVIDIA 7300 graphics card or better

·     4x DVD drive

·     Keyboard and mouse

·     Internet connection the first time the game is launched

·     This game will NOT run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems (PowerMac)


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