Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trail of the Twister Review

All right, Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister was released recently, and everyone wants me to write a review for it. Do I think this game is awesome, like all the other games in the series? Or do I think this game is a humongous failure?

Shocking plot twist: I like this game.

As a casual gamer, I do not have super-high standards. There are basically only three things I want to see in a Nancy Drew game:

  1. Nancy Drew
  2. A number of Laytonesque puzzles
  3. Jokes, or something else equally amusing

Simply put, this game delivers on all three accounts, so I like it.

The game takes place in Oklahoma, with a crew of tornado chasters. They’ve been having a series of mysterious accidents, and Nancy has been called in to investigate, which is Standard Nancy Drew Plotline #4. Can she find out who is behind all the sabotage?

Shocking plot twist: Yes, she can.

There are five suspects in this game: Scott, Debbie, Chase, Frosty and Pa. They’re okay as far as characters go, but I don’t really like or dislike any of them. None of them really sticks out in my mind. Maybe I’m just weird, but my two favorite characters in this game aren’t actually characters in the game. I liked P.G. Krolmeister, who you can call but never see, and Brooke Savannah, who you overhear while snooping in a museum. Krolmeister is funny, and Brooke is mysterious, and I like ‘em both.

I want to say more about the characters, but I’m afraid of giving away spoilers like “the culprit ends up being Nancy Drew’s Aunt Eloise”. So I’ll be vague and say that every character is hiding some kind of secret. Nancy learns out about all these secrets, thanks to her awesome detective skills, then she jumps into Sassy Detective Accusation Mode™ for a series of dramatic confrontations that are fun to watch. It’s pretty awesome.


Some critics have complained that the plot is bare-bones, and the characters exist just to give you puzzles to solve, instead of being necessary to the plot. My response? Awesome. I love puzzles. The more puzzles the better. And besides, the characters tend to be minigame/puzzle dispensers in every Nancy Drew game, so it’s not like their penchant for puzzles in this game is something new.

The plot has many abrupt turns, in that one day you’re going along, doing your thing and solving puzzles left and right, and then, BAM! You’re chasing a tornado with no warning whatsoever, and you’ve got to move quickly or else it’ll destroy Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s farm. It’s a very dramatic way to shake things up. Personally, I think of this as grand metaphor for life in general. Life is like a hurricane…here in Duckburg. Race cars, lasers, airplanes: it’s a duck blur! You might solve a mystery, and that’s exactly what Nancy Drew does.

My favorite part of the game is not investigating the mystery or solving puzzles; it’s turning on the broken TV and catching up with Detective Beach. This is officially my new favorite TV show.

Announcer: Previously on Detective Beach
Chief: You’re a loose cannon, McNorton! I want your badge and your surfboard on my desk immediately!
McNorton: Only one man would be crazy enough to use a shark to rob a bank…You’ve got to let me back on the case!


I have a hard time summarizing Nancy Drew games. It’s kind of a point-and-click adventure, and it’s kind of a whodunit, and it’s kind of a puzzle game. This installment of the series focuses more on puzzles, whereas the last installment, Warnings at Waverly Academy, focused on character development and the most shocking plot twist of all time. Both games are fine by me.

I think that’s a good enough summary of this game. It’s fine by me. I’m not going to call it the best Nancy Drew game ever, and I’m not going to call it the worst Nancy Drew game ever. I like it just fine.

Score: 7/10


Kira said...

Yeah, I happened to like WAC a lot. I wasn't so sure about this game, so I didn't preorder it. But now I'll consider buying it, since I certainly won't buy the next game because it looks too scary for me.

Anonymous said...

TOT seemed as if there were a lot of chores

Meegan said...

I think the best Nancy Drew game ever was Danger by Design!

Anonymous said...

I liked your review very much, thanks for writing it. No, it wasn't one of my all-time favorite games either, but it did go beyond what I was expecting from a game about chasing tornadoes (I was afraid it was going to be too technical or something), and I think you summed it up very nicely (and they've got some promising material for adding to future games, like a mini-plot about Detective Beach, perhaps. How does one rob a bank with a shark anyway?). Keep playing ND games, Michael!

Lisa said...

i love Nancy Drew games there r the best but i can not play them my mom
wont let me.

Anonymous said...

I am only going by your walkthroughs of the game to base my opinions. I am from Oklahoma and was hoping there would be a more realistic characterization of the people and locales. But I guess, they can only do so much with a game. I think it's okay as far as ND games go. I, personally, enjoyed Warnings at Waverly Academy better. However, the ND sense of humor is one thing that never lets me down in the series. Although I miss Ned. :(

Anonymous said...

I think that all of the nancy drew games are good even if it has a lot of puzzles or talking to people.I still think that all of the games are the best games on earth.I realy think the best part in each game is the exploring part.

P.S. your walkthroughs are the best on earth.

Lisa said...

nice walkthroughs,u do the best at it all the time and soooo funny xD

Anonymous said...

I love your walkthroughs! Even if I don't play the games, I love watching you beat them!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone i have an important question that hopefully someone knows the answer to. I live in the UK so I was wondering when is trail of the twister released over here? If anyone knows the answer plz leave a comment telling me thanks


Anonymous said...

tot had like, no snooping, though!


Anonymous said...

Do they call you Micheal because you Micheal to many questions??


Froggie said...

OK 2 blogs ago an anonymous said that he was confused because of what i said but if that was just confusion sorry.but if that was mean then just because i have lots of energy and am a wee bit insane is none of your buisness

Acorn McSuqirrly said...

love, love, LOVE your work Michael! You are so awesome and funny! You NEED to be recognized by higher authority. It would be so awesome if you did!

love you&your vids,


Anonymous said...

"Racecars, lasers, aeroplanes... it's a.. DUCK BLUR!" I laughed SO hard when I read that bit referring to Ducktales! Ah, memories. Oh, and, lovely review. Simple and to the point. Keep it up Michael.


Cherry said...

I really hated this game. I was especially disappointed because WAC was so good. But this game had absolutely no plot and was entirely predictable! I especially hated the puzzles, because most of them had no effect on the actual "mystery" part of the game. They were simply chores to keep you busy until you could investigate more. Bummer. I would have appreciated much more character and plot development! I wouldn't recommend buying it at all since there are so many other Nancy Drew games that are way better.

Anonymous said...

How many different plotlines for the games are there, anyway?

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