Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is the latest in a series of games from Her Interactive, a gaming publisher dedicated to continuing the tales of the young teenager who solves mysteries. Eighty years ago, Nancy Drew was born on the printed page. A combination of smarts and spunk, she has an appeal which is felt by nearly every woman. Those who start reading her tales as a student in grade school pass the books on to their children and grandchildren.
Her Interactive, led by CEO Megan Gaiser, has published 22 previous stories of the famous girl detective. Although the statistics on whether more men or women play videogames vary, the undeniable fact is that a large percentage of gamers are women. However, most games tend to focus on what are often considered male-centric areas. The Nancy Drew titles, however, are an exception (although both sexes can certainly enjoy any title).
As for this specific game, Trail of the Twister lets players turn themselves into Nancy Drew and travel into a tale of intrigue with a hearty helping of deviousness. In Oklahoma, teams are competing in a contest for a million dollar prize. Since the groups are chasing storms, there is already a strong element of danger. Add in a sabotage plot and the game is afoot.
The graphics are sharp, so anyone who plays the game will be drawn into the action. After getting an idea of the case basics, click on a plane ticket and one lands at the airport in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Wisely, a GPS is included on the rental car to help navigate. A cell phone toggle has the number of the storm chaser team leader who has hired Nancy, as well as the number of the Hardy Boys! Nice touch.
Upon arrival at headquarters, there is a welcome note, a mysterious briefcase, and a task sheet. Picking the order to accomplish tasks isn't an option, one must complete things as they are set up by the game designer. One glaring snafu — one of those tasks is filing papers into a metal cabinet. Rather than having numbered sheets, the player must figure out what tab goes on which folder first. Half of the folders have a flaw in that the tab will disappear rather then stay put so one can't figure out if the order is correct. Instructions are given, but they are hardly clear.