I started playing through the Nancy Drew games by Her Interactive during the height of the pandemic in 2020. My husband gets a kick out of watching me play because either there’s a jump scare or I’m stuck on a puzzle for a long time. While playing through Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock, my husband peered over my shoulder and started offering suggestions for a word puzzle. He & I sat there for a bit until finally, we were able to solve it together. He asked me why I liked these types of games and that’s exactly it. The Nancy Drew games are some of the most challenging PC games I have played, yet once I finish a game, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock wasn’t my favorite Nancy Drew outing, however, I feel this is the perfect game for beginners to the Nancy Drew PC games.
Nancy Drew is summoned to Lilac Inn by a mutual friend named Emily Crandall. Emily alerts Nancy to strange happenings at Lilac Inn and fear of running the inn by herself. Emily’s mother passed away and Emily was banking on the fact of receiving money from Emily’s mom’s friend, Josiah Crowley. However, in Josiah’s will, he leaves his money to Richard Topham instead. Nancy decides to investigate not only the occurrences at Lilac Inn but also the whereabouts of Josiah’s real will if there is one.
The mystery in Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock was okay. There were only two suspects who could be responsible, so it left little to the imagination of who could be causing all of this. Although the suspect reveal wasn’t all that, I did like the finale. In each Nancy Drew game, there’s what I call a finale where Nancy has to chase after the suspect in some way. In this game, Nancy has to hop in her car and chase the suspect to ensure they don’t escape. I can’t help but enjoy a little car chase every now and then.
One of the most enjoyable parts of playing through Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock is the mini-games. There’s a Shakespeare-themed mini-game requiring Nancy to slide various wooden blocks into their proper place. I found this mini-game to be fun. Another mini-game was found in an old clock where Nancy has to slide a bird through the clock along with pushing blocks out of the way. It was basically a version of Rush Hour except with a bird and various obstacles. Finally, the last mini-game was a miniature golf course where Nancy had to hit par on each course. This mini-game took me a bit because the last few courses were incredibly difficult. I think I played through this mini-game at least seven times before finally hitting par.
Another important aspect of the Nancy Drew games is the setting. In this outing, most of the in-game story takes place at Lilac Inn, however, Nancy is often needing to drive around town to progress through the game. Another Nancy Drew game similar to this was Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes which took place in Nancy’s hometown of River Heights. I liked this aspect of the game because it shakes up the story and it shows how each location in this town serves a purpose to Nancy at some point in the game.
Out of all the Nancy Drew games I played, I would recommend Nancy Drew Secret of the Old Clock as a great game to start with. It’s one of the less convoluted games in the franchise. Some of the Nancy Drew games have mazes which I can’t stand because I found myself getting lost. Nancy Drew Secret of the Old Clock features none of that and it’s very much a straightforward game.