by Professor Layton
reviewed on WII
The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
In the Canadian Rockies, the Icicle Creek Lodge has seen bizarre explosions and accidents that have been driving the employees and guests away. The owner of the lodge, Chantal Moique, has decided to hire Nancy Drew to take a look into the strange occurrences. Playing as Nancy Drew, players search the lodge, looking for clues that may lead them to the culprit.
To keep the investigation a secret, Chantal has decided to hire Nancy as a lodge employee. Thus, Nancy can snoop through the guests’ rooms, investigate crime scenes, and talk to suspects. Be warned though: puzzles and other obstacles will get in your way, including a white wolf that has been sighted at the scene during several of the bizarre occurrences. What exactly is the significance of this wolf and why exactly does it keep showing up at the crime scene? It’s up to Nancy Drew to crack this case and restore peace to the lodge.
It’s not too surprising to see the point-and-click genre slowly move unto Wii since the Wii Remote’s IR capabilities allow the genre to be played smoothly. At the same time, it’s very disappointing to see ports of PC games like this one being released instead of fresh, innovative games. This doesn’t mean that Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is a bad game. With all due honesty, the game offers a fun experience that any member of the family can enjoy.
As a maid working at the lodge, your job is to prepare the meals on time, clean the rooms and do the laundry, among many other things. Of course, this isn’t the main idea of the game. As Nancy, players will traverse the house and wilderness hunting for clues that can help crack the case. Nevertheless, the chores can actually be quite fun. Preparing the meals, for example, is a nice diversion from the main mission of the game. Whenever meal time rolls around, Nancy must head to kitchen and prepare a meal. Using the Wii Remote’s unique features, players can cut, stir, pour, and flip various meals. When you serve your meal to the guests, you’ll be rewarded with a rating that will determine the quality of your meal.
And then there’s the 'snooping around' aspect of the game. As a maid, you get to search through the visitors' rooms and find clues about their background. Some people that Nancy encounters will ask you to complete small quests, such as making sure that the snow on the pond is shoveled so that visitors can go skating, while others will just fill your head with random facts and information.
Besides roaming the lodge searching for clues, Nancy can also go outside and engage in a variety of activities, such as ice fishing and snowmobiling. Be warned, though, that Nancy won’t go outside when it is too cold, and when she stays out for too long, she will start to take a long, permanent nap. We don’t want that to happen to Nancy, now do we?
From a graphical perspective, Nancy Drew is good, but is not quite up to par compared to the PC version. The detail in some areas is great, whereas in others, such as when you’re talking to characters up close, isn’t. Another thing I would’ve liked to see improved is the overall colorfulness of the game. To me, the game was just way too dull. A little splash of color here and there would’ve certainly helped the game out.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the game is the voice acting. The voice acting is really good all around and, surprisingly, the lines aren’t delivered in a monotone voice. Whenever an expression is meant to include an unspoken message, you can actually hear it. In addition to this, the music helps establish the atmosphere and mood.
Above all, the main and worst problem about Nancy Drew is the loading times. Sometimes when you’re just walking down a hallway, a loading bar at the bottom of the screen appears. Even worse, they sometimes appear when you’re in the middle of a conversation. Though the load times aren’t incredibly long, they definitely subtract from the immersiveness of the overall experience.
At the end of the day, Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is a solid point-and-click adventure game. Though it suffers from minor problems, I found that there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Due to the simplicity of the game, almost anyone can pick up the game and step into Nancy Drew's shoes. The only question is whether you can crack the mystery of the lodge?
No Pros and Cons at this time