Nancy Drew: Mystery of the Seven Keys | Her Interactive (2024)

I've been playing the Nancy Drew games since I was around 9 years old, and "Mystery of the Seven Keys" (KEY) is definitely a lot more like those classic games than the previous game in the franchise "Midnight in Salem" (MID), which I feel most people will be comparing this game to.

However, if we just compare KEY to the classic games, it does still leave some things to be desired. Don't get me wrong, overall it's a very good game, it just feels like it needs to be a bit more polished to be a great game. Below I’ll go into details of each aspect of the game, but I won’t include any spoilers.

Optimization: 9/10 - First off, optimization… The only reason I'm including this category is because of just how badly MID was optimized, which might cause some people to be sceptical about purchasing this game. Although KEY is listed as having higher minimum hardware requirements, it runs a hundred times more smoothly on my laptop than MID does, while still looking great. There are a lot of graphics settings to help you optimize performance, the only problem I experienced was if the "render scale" setting is set to anything below “high”, then some textures don't display correctly.

Gameplay: 7/10 - One of the best design decisions with this game was adding the choice to play with either free roam movement, or in classic point and click style. However, I felt both settings need a bit more tweaking, as with point and click “classic mode” it's often hard to navigate such an open environment, yet in free roam “modern mode” the opposite is true where it's sometimes hard to know what's important to look at. I really love the new task list and journal, and I think if few controls there, as well as the inventory system, are refined for ease of use then it will be perfect.

Graphics: 9/10 - The environments are really well designed and, as far as I can see, are fairly accurate to actual areas of Prague, which makes you feel like a real tourist. The textures and lighting are also fairly good, and as previously mentioned it looks ok on low settings too. I also really like the new UI design and look. I feel there needs to be some additional work put into NPCs though, which break the immersion since there are so many obvious clones standing around… and they’re also just standing (or sitting), not walking around, which can make it feel a bit creepy and unrealistic.

Puzzles: 6/10 - Unfortunately, I found a lot of the puzzles to be way more difficult than previous games, which could just be design choice, but a few of them seemed a little too cryptic. Some of them still confused me, even after trying to solve them for an hour, then looking at the hints, and even finally looking at the solution. At times I started to dread the next puzzle since it slows down the progression of the story so much and often feels like a chore. It’s a shame, since there were other puzzles that I LOVED. In my opinion the puzzles should rather have progressed in difficulty to get you into the game, not make you feel blocked from the start, which might make new players lose interest.

Characters: 8/10 - I really enjoyed the character interactions and character design in this game a lot. It felt very similar to some of the classic games. All the characters are unique and have some motive and small details we can find out about them by snooping. The animation was also good, for the most part the acting was good, and the dialogue had more of those fun little lines that make interactions more memorable. It would be better if conversations had more choices though. In the old games you could often choose from 2 or more possible things to say, even if the suspect replied the same regardless of what you chose. Here we just get to choose what order we ask the questions in, which makes it feel like Nancy may as well ask the questions for us. I also wish there were a few more “just for fun” conversations, especially with phone contacts which were majorly sidelined. Texting phone characters is also an interesting gameplay mechanic, but again feels pointless since we have no option but to hit send on something Nancy has already typed out.

Story: 9/10 - I really like the storyline and setting. The plot has multiple aspects to it, with threads that all come together in the end, which feels even more like a Nancy Drew book than a lot of the plots in the classic games did. The story progression was also good, and you can tell they tried to make it less linear, however I could often sense that I was supposed to have heard or seen something before or after I actually experienced it. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say the ending is also satisfying with everything being wrapped up nicely, however one plot point that I felt should always be explained at the end, only gets fully resolved essentially as an easter egg, which is really hard to trigger in a first-time playthrough.

Music & Sound FX: 9/10 - The music is also a step up from MID with tracks that loop less obviously and it also feels a bit more like the music in the classic games. Each environment has its own theme that starts to play when you walk into the area, which is cool, but it can feel repetitive if you’re in an area for a long time. Or, contrary to that, it can feel jarring if you move through an area quickly, causing it to change tracks. I think it would be better if there were a few tracks that could play per area, and if we got breaks of no music in between. The sound effects in the game were also good, but I would have liked just a bit more environmental sound design overall.

In conclusion, while it’s not a perfect game it’s a huge step up from Midnight in Salem, and I’d even dare to say it’s a better game than a few of the classic games. However, I think it’s important to remember that while some things can definitely be improved in future games, we will never have exactly the same nostalgia filled experience as we do with the old games, and it’s better to think of these new games being part of a new series… One that I, for one, am excited to see develop, already eagerly awaiting the release of the next title!

Nancy Drew: Mystery of the Seven Keys | Her Interactive (2024)


Do they still make Nancy Drew games? ›

Nancy Drew: Mystery of the Seven Keys

Nancy Drew's next case, the 34th installment of HeR Interactive's award-winning mystery-adventure series, is now available!

Can you play Nancy Drew games online? ›

Play free Nancy Drew classic mini-games on your computer anytime! Select the game you'd like to start and click to play online for free! Sorry, not all games are available on mobile devices right now.

What is the next Nancy Drew game in 2024? ›

They have today announced a release date of May 7th for Nancy Drew: Mystery Of The Seven Keys, along with the official trailer. This time Our Nance is heading to Prague, for a sort of old-world-meets-new story about hacking, medieval myths, and a stolen necklace.

Why was Ransom of the Seven Ships discontinued? ›

Refinery29 reported that the game had been removed due to racist content, specifically the plot point of a white character disguising himself as a Jamaican man for much of the game.

Why did they change Nancy Drew? ›

The change was to reduce production costs. Several of the 1930s and 1940s cover illustrations were updated by Nappi for this change, depicting a Nancy of the Kennedy era, though the stories themselves were not updated.

Is Nancy Drew still popular? ›

Answer and Explanation: The Nancy Drew books are still popular today. There is a new series starring Nancy Drew, also credited to 'Carolyn Keene,' which is still being published. Over the years, Nancy's character was updated numerous times to make her continue to appeal to readers.

What is the hardest Nancy Drew game? ›

Hardest Puzzle: Shadows at the Waters Edge. Easiest Puzzle: Danger on Deception Island. Best Song: Sea of Darkness.

Where can I get Nancy Drew games for free? ›

Free Nancy Drew - Download and Play for Free at

Can I play Nancy Drew games on my phone? ›

Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall Now Available on the App Store; First of Many Nancy Drew Mystery Adventure Apps Coming to iPad, Kindle and Android.

Will there be a 34th Nancy Drew game? ›

The Nancy Drew game series (yes, it's real) is back with Game 34 | Kaser Focus.

How long does it take to finish a Nancy Drew game? ›

Powered by IGN Wiki Guides
Main Story118h
Main + Extras911h 59m
All PlayStyles2210h 6m

What time period is Nancy Drew set in? ›

The early classic Nancy of the 1930s-1940s is bold, independent, fearless, and capable. With the revisions starting in the 1950s, Nancy is not so outspoken and accepts more help from others making her seem less heroic.

Where does Ransom of the Seven Ships take place? ›

Ransom of the Seven Ships is number twenty in the Nancy Drew videogame series. It was released in North America in July 2009. The game takes place in the Bahamas on Dread Isle where Bess has been kidnapped and the only chance of saving her is by solving a 300 year old legend.

What is the history of Her Interactive company? ›

History. The company was launched as a division of American Laser Games called "Games for Her Interactive" in May 1995. Its first title was McKenzie & Co. After finding some initial success, the company became independent of American Laser Games and eventually bought out its former parent company.

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