Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor

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Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor
Curse of Blackmoor Manor Coverart.png
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) DreamCatcher
Platform(s) DVD player, Windows
Release
  • NA: October 5, 2004 (Win)
  • NA: June 2006 (DVD)
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Curse of Blackmoor Manor is the 11th game in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure game series by Her Interactive. The game is available for play on Microsoft Windows platforms as well as on DVD, Steam, and GOG.com released a digital version on their site. It has an ESRB rating of E for moments of mild violence and peril. Players take on the first-person view of fictional amateur sleuth Nancy Drew and must solve the mystery through interrogation of suspects, solving puzzles, and discovering clues. There are two levels of gameplay, Junior and Senior detective modes, each offering a different difficulty level of puzzles and hints, however neither of these changes affect the actual plot of the game. The game is loosely based on a book entitled The Bluebeard Room (1985).[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Nancy Drew travels to England to visit Linda Penvellyn, her neighbor's daughter and newlywed wife of a British diplomat. Linda is currently living in Blackmoor Manor, a Fourteenth Century mansion haunted by a tragic past. A mysterious malady keeps Linda hidden behind thick bed curtains. Is she hiding from something or someone, or is a more menacing threat stalking her?

Development[edit]

Characters[edit]

  • Nancy Drew - Nancy is an eighteen-year-old amateur detective from the fictional town of River Heights in the United States. She is the only playable character in the game, which means the player must solve the mystery from her perspective.
  • Linda Penvellyn - Linda married Hugh Penvellyn and recently moved from the United States to England. She currently resides in Blackmoor Manor and refuses to let anyone see her face — even Nancy. She believes that she is cursed and fears that Nancy will be cursed as well. What is she hiding besides her face?
  • Jane Penvellyn - Jane is Linda's 12-year-old, attention-deprived stepdaughter. She is unhappy with her move to Blackmoor Manor because she enjoyed being raised in the U.S. Very curious and smart, she is knowledgeable about the manor's secrets — does she know more about Linda than she's saying?
  • Mrs. Drake - Mrs. Drake is Jane's great-aunt. She spends her days tending plants in the manor's conservatory. She puts up a no-nonsense attitude and is truly confounded and frustrated by the recent spate of events. Outwardly she scoffs at the issue of curses and witches, but she is superstitious herself.
  • Nigel Mookerjee - Nigel is a historian currently researching and cataloguing the Blackmoor Manor library. Nigel is interested in writing a history of the Penvellyn family. Could he be the one who can help find the key to unlocking the past? But what's really behind his keen interest in the manor and its quirky inhabitants?
  • Ethel Bosinny - Ethel is Jane's tutor and comes from a long line of tutors to the Penvellyn Clan. She is very mysterious; her oh-so-charming demeanor has an edge that hints at something deeper. Is there something painful in her past, or is she hiding a secret?
  • Loulou - Loulou is an intelligent 80-year-old parrot who gives hints and loves "yummy cakes." She is a reference to the parrot in Gustave Flaubert's 1877 story Un coeur simple.

Cast[edit]

  • Nancy Drew / LoulouLani Minella
  • Mrs. Drake – Amy Broomhall
  • Jane Penvellyn – Conni Ellern
  • Linda Penvellyn – Jenn Ruzumna
  • Ethel Bosinny – Sarah Papineau
  • Nigel Mookerjee – Stephen Hando
  • Mrs. Petrov – Dora Lanier
  • Ned Nickerson – Scott Carty
  • Hugh Penvellyn / Tommy Tucker / Alan Penvellyn – Jonah von Spreecken
  • Paliki Vadas – Alyssa Keene
  • Max Holechek – 1930s Radio Announcer (Secret of the Old Clock trailer) [3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review score
PublicationScore
USA Today4.5/5 stars[4]

In the United States, Curse of Blackmoor Manor's computer version sold between 100,000 and 300,000 units by August 2006.[5] At that time, the combined sales of the Nancy Drew computer game series had reached 2.1 million sales in the United States alone. Remarking upon this success, Edge called Nancy Drew a "powerful franchise".[5] Curse of Blackmoor Manor also received "generally favorable reviews" from critics, according to review aggregation website Metacritic.[6] In 2011, Adventure Gamers named it the 99th-best adventure game ever released.[7]

In The New York Times, Charles Herold praised Blackmoor Manor's "intelligent game design", and considered its use of minigames to be its only downside. He concluded that "clever puzzles and an interesting plot make it the best Nancy Drew game since The Final Scene".[8] Jinny Gudmundsen of USA Today gave the game a 4 ½ stars out of five, saying "best for teens 13 and up because it's a little scarier, its puzzles are harder, and its themes of witchcraft, lycanthropy, and alchemy make it more appropriate for an older audience".[4] Lonnie Brown of The Ledger also gave the game a positive review, saying "The graphics are well done, and the music and characters fit the mood" and called the "second chance" button a "very nice feature".[9]

Laura MacDonald of Adventure Gamers gave the game a mixed review (4 out of 5 stars), complimenting the graphics, cinematics and animation but felt the "non-linear gameplay can leave a player lost if they don’t play a sustained game; though the story is well done, could have been more developed". However, she called it an overall "solid addition to the series and likely the best Nancy Drew game of them all...this is a definite buy".[10]

Tally Ho of Just Adventure gave the game a positive review, calling the graphics "the best of the series" and enlarged playing are a "good thing". However, Ho thought "forcing the player to repeat a fairly difficult task again and again, even after beating it is really unfair".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Curse of Blackmoor Manor Teaser Trailer
  2. ^ "Nancy Drew Curse of Blackmoor Manor | Girl Games Online". Her Interactive. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nancy Drew Curse of Blackmoor Manor IMDb". 
  4. ^ a b Gudmundsen, Jinny (November 9, 2004). "It's no mystery why Nancy Drew series is popular". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 13, 2006. 
  5. ^ a b Edge Staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century". Edge. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Nancy Drew: Curse of the Blackmoor Manor (pc: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 26, 2007. 
  7. ^ AG Staff (December 30, 2011). "Top 100 All-Time Adventure Games". Adventure Gamers. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ Herold, Charles (October 28, 2004). "Immersed in Puzzles, Without the 3-D Technology". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ Brown, Lonnie (November 28, 2004). "Interactive Nancy Drew Shares the Adventure". The Ledger. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ MacDonald, Laura (November 29, 2004). "Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Ho, Tally (October 15, 2004). "Reviews: Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor - Review 2 of 2". justadventure.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock