Her Interactive is the developer behind the long-running Nancy Drew series of detective games for the PC. Along with many other awards, the company has won the "Parents’ Choice Gold Award” numerous times for good reason. This series is a real successful achievement in the detective adventure genre of games.
In Stay Tuned for Danger, Nancy Drew, the detective the series are named after, is invited to New York to stay at her aunt’s house with the famous soap opera star Mattie Jensen. Miss Jensen’s co-star Rick is getting death threats and other warnings. As Nancy, it is your job to unravel the web of deceit behind the scenes of a daytime TV drama!
Is Mattie Jensen really the hot screen star she thinks she is? Could it be that behind that beautiful exterior lies a heart of pure venom just waiting for the right moment to strike out with her jealous revenge? Is Rick just a gorgeous dumb heart-throb or do his still waters run deeper and more polluted than you first think? Do you get a strange feeling every time you talk to Millie in the prop room, who is on such a power trip that she sets you a quiz before you can enter her domain? Then there are the studio bosses who make rare appearances but who also have their motives for this murderous scenario. Whatever your initial suspicions are, hold onto them as you proceed further and deeper into the soap opera world and its studios.
During the game you will visit the studios of WWB, sign up with an agent, answer puzzling questions, and disarm a bomb while you are at it! To keep an eye on the time, you have a pocket watch on screen. Since some actions have to be performed either during daytime or nighttime, you are also provided a surprising way to turn night to day and vice versa. There is always the option of calling your pals on the phone for any hints required throughout the adventure, which is common for this whole series of games.
The Nancy Drew series also has an ingenious second chance option in the main menu, which, should you blow yourself up whilst disarming a bomb, per chance, kicks in automatically, giving you another chance to get it right. They provide over 30 save game slots for those players wishing to utilize that many, but this is down to personal preference and strategy. There are some great puzzles throughout this adventure, playing with sound machines, maneuvering levers and the all important and seemingly obligatory timed section at the climax of the game.
Stay Tuned for Danger is played from a first-person perspective and features a mouse-driven interface. The game gives players the ability to choose aptitude or "spy levels". You can play as junior, senior, or master detective. If the junior detective level is chosen, game play and puzzles will be aimed at a junior developmental level and degree of experience. The game gets more challenging as you ascend the ranks through to master. This option also means you have more opportunity and reason to replay the game, improving your strategies, rank, and experience as you progress.
Being honest, I wasn’t really taken with the first game in this series. However, persevering through and getting to number 13, I have really begun to appreciate the Nancy Drew series and the types of puzzles and storylines they offer. I am now a big fan of the series and will no doubt be replaying several of the games, testing my stamina and skills at different levels.
There is a fabulous array of characters that you will meet over and over again in various Nancy Drew games. Stay Tuned for Danger offers many diverse locations to check out and a good range of puzzles to boot. The only downside I can find worth mentioning, however small, was that there are so many irrelevant doors! Perhaps I am just too curious, or downright nosey, but I wanted to investigate them all.
So all things considered, if you are after a point-and-click adventurer who appreciates some deciphering, investigating, and puzzle solving, Nancy Drew is your gal.