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

Her Interactive

Average rating:

55 reviews

Katherine

Jul 9, 2024

byKatherine

Good but not great

Our family has played every game in the series and were really looking forward to this entry. We played as Junior Detective. We experienced an early glitch in the game that meant we had to completely restart, which was frustrating.

ny of the graphics on the game were just beautiful, especially the smaller spaces like the cafe. We started playing using the classic controls, and navigating was very clunky. We missed things for an aggravatingly long time because they were only visible from a specific point of view that was challenging to get to or because the shift in cursor from navigating to being able to interact with an item was too subtle.

There were fewer voice prompts, and we missed those. Nancy's statements were really stilted and not lifelike. We also missed the mechanic of being able to tell what time it was; at least one activity seemed like it had to be done at night, but the passage of time was odd.

The puzzles were beautiful, but almost all of them felt really complex. There didn't seem to be as good a mix of difficulty levels among them. There were several times when we felt that there was no way for us to have realized (without a number of hints) what we were supposed to do.

One thing that really made puzzles difficult was the darkness of the game. Three puzzle in Leo's study and the ones in the lab were so poorly lit that it was a challenge to complete them even when you knew what you were doing.

The story was intriguing but never felt fully fleshed out.

Overall, there were many of the elements that we have always loved, but we were frequently frustrated or stuck because of the challenges of navigating our illogical puzzles.

Grace

Jul 6, 2024

byGrace

Fantastic -- a new favorite!

This game is incredible. Yes, there are a couple of flaws, but I truly believe these are just temporary growing pains which come with switching to a new engine.

The plot, characters, and settings in this game are amazing. The story was intriguing, nuanced, relatively unique (at least in the Nancy Drew universe), fun, and captivating - though I would have appreciated a bit more explanation for a few elements of the plot. The historical side was intriguing and educational, and the technology side was good if a bit underdeveloped.

The characters were so much fun -- especially Radek, Elka, and Patricie. Most of the suspects felt original and nuanced, but unfortunately a couple had so little screen time or involvement that they fell a bit flat. But this comes with having "10 +" suspects rather than the typical 4-5. Personally, I preferred having more suspects since it felt more realistic and enjoyable to have to uncover the culprit from among so many characters, so the limited involvement of a few suspects didn't bother me.

Now we come to the environments in the game: stunning. This game, aside from Sea of Darkness and Curse of Blackmore Manor, is now my favorite ND game for environment. This could just be because I love art history - and exploring a quaint town square with a towering old cathedral is my bread and butter - but I think almost everyone can agree that the environment is amazing. It's varied, diverse, and constantly provides new locations to unlock throughout the game. From modern, techy locations to echoing castle corridors, this game has it all (I have to admit a few locations were underused and therefore felt a bit like filler; I didn't mind this, though, and do think the expanded map was an improvement compared to the more limited exploration in the classic games).

Music in this game is a controversial topic; I've heard quite a few people criticize the repetitive nature of many of the tracks, such as the one in Vladena's store, but I personally loved all the music in this game. Some tracks are better than others, but overall the music is a huge step up from MID, and I've even listened to the soundtrack on repeat while studying.

Now for the puzzles. Firstly, I have to admit that I am so proud of Her Interactive for these puzzles -- many are original, creative, unique to the game, and push along the plot well. However, there is far too little information present to be able to solve many of the puzzles in this game (such as the clock puzzle). Altogether, many of the puzzles were just irritating and felt too difficult -- difficult in a "poorly designed" rather than a "fun challenge" way. However, the rest of the puzzles were great; for example, the cyber block puzzle was perfect (one of my favorite puzzles I've ever encountered in a ND game), and the coffee puzzle was educational and enjoyable (even inspiring me to later spend an hour researching the differences between doppios, cappuccinos, and lattes).

As for the endgame, I absolutely loved it. It was probably my favorite part of the entire game -- which is saying a lot, seeing as I lose motivation halfway through my replays of several other ND games because the ending is lackluster. The twists, turns, and *most* puzzles which come with endgame are captivating.

Altogether, this game has entered my top 5 favorite ND games, and I can't wait to replay it. There are definitely a couple of issues, especially due to the new graphics (for example, I had to switch computers after getting stuck on the latte art tutorial), but I'm thrilled with the work Her Interactive has done on this game and am eagerly anticipating what they might accomplish next.

Christy

Jul 2, 2024

byChristy

Such a fun game!

Puzzles and ambience were totally great. Game play is entertaining and story has many twists and turns. Lots of fun!

Kathryn

Jul 2, 2024

byKathryn

I See Potential

I’ve been playing the games since like 2002 and have been anticipating this one, like many of us.

Overall I think it’s a good game worth playing. The characters were great and so was the environment. The game definitely had a cozy vibe which I love about the games. I’ve also been to Prague and the environment is spot on!

However, buying on the website should include both windows and Mac downloads. I have two laptops and of course can only play my digital download on one. Further, I got stuck a lot in the game which was annoying, I think the gameplay in that regard can be improved upon in the next game. I also wish there was more to click on/investigate; if you put me in a room full of stuff, I want to be able to snoop through ALL of that stuff! The environment felt a little too spaced out sometimes due to this.

Megan

Jul 1, 2024

byMegan

Frustrating Game Play

I've been playing Nancy Drew games from the very beginning, so I was really excited to have a new game to play. However, this game left me a bit disappointed.

The story is interesting, the mystery is intriguing, and the puzzles are challenging enough (sometimes too challenging). It's mostly the game design/coding I found frustrating.

As someone who always plays on Master Sleuth mode, I will preface that I played this game in Master Sleuth mode first.

While the graphics and controls of this game got a huge upgrade, I wish more attention had been paid to the game design and coding for the actual game play. While previous Nancy Drew games had a bit more freedom as to what order you could solve puzzles and discover clues, this game felt like it wanted you to stay on a very rigid railroad track path, despite the free roam game controls that were introduced. This meant that I frequently found myself stuck and having to refer to the game guide or online forums/walkthroughs to figure things out because I wasn't moving through the game in the single path that the game designers intended. Since I was playing in Master Sleuth mode and didn't have a checklist, it wasn't very intuitive to figure out what the "correct" order was to solve certain elements of the game.

I also encountered several glitches while playing the game that prevented me from progressing. For instance, while solving the cabinet puzzle in the alchemist's lab, the sound of the rotating pieces kept playing on repeat--even when I exited to the main menu--and the only way I could get it to stop was to fully exit the game and reload before that puzzle. There were also times where I would lose the ability to pick up an item (very annoying when this happened while snooping in a suspect's purse during a timed event), or where I'd go to talk to someone and have to repeat the entire conversation I'd already had with them. I started obsessively saving my game just to make sure if I encountered another glitch I didn't have to play through another hours-long stretch to reset the glitch. Super frustrating since I never experienced glitches with previous Nancy Drew games.

In a similar vein, some of the puzzles were too difficult to solve without referring to a game guide or walkthrough online because it's unclear how you're supposed to discover the info you need to solve the puzzle in the game environment. For instance, you need to know the Czech word for "copper" at one point, but nowhere in the game have you encountered that word (or at least it isn't stored in your list of Czech words in your journal) so the only way I knew to get that word was by looking it up online.

Also, fair warning for anyone who gets migraines or is sensitive to strobing light effects, you'll have a really hard time toward the end of the game when you're trying to track the culprit. The bright and strobing moving white line accompanied by the constant beeping of the tracker, and soon followed by a game section with shaky/wobbly camera motions, gave me a migraine and nausea and I had to stop playing and come back to the game later.

I really think the game designers could have used a bit more time to minimally do a better QA of the code for the game to clean up those glitchy parts. Ideally, there would have been a bit more freedom in terms of the order in which a player chooses to seek out clues, solve puzzles, and interview suspects, or at least a bit more in-game context to let players know what order they're "supposed to" solve the game in and how they're supposed to solve certain puzzles.

Ultimately, I'm still glad I played the game. I'll probably never replay this game, and I've warned my husband this is not the game to start with if he wants to start playing Nancy Drew, but I'll easily replay previous Nancy Drew games. I'm hoping the game designers give themselves more time to really think through the next game's development and do a better QA of the entire thing so it will be less frustrating and more fun to play.

Emily

Jul 1, 2024

byEmily

Enjoyed but still room to grow...

I am a LONG time Nancy Drew player and lover. As a child I read all the books and I still remember playing Secrets Can Kill (the original) and having to swap out the two CD's. I was beyond excited for Seven Keys to come out and I bought it immediately and played it twice within the first week. While there is a lot to love, I took copious notes through my second play to determine where my hesitancies were to deeming it a perfect game. These critiques are nitpicky but meant to serve as a way for HER to continue to grow because there is so much to love and I really hope more games continue to come out! Please only continue reading if you have played the game and/or are okay with spoilers.

Graphics
Pros:
Smaller spaces like the coffee shop and alchemy lab felt fully developed and realistic, minor details like patio umbrellas and string lights moving in the wind were well done as were NPC's acting in realistic ways such as taking photos, etc. Lighting is also well done.
Details like tourist taking someone’s photo is a nice touch
Cons:
Certain graphics like water in the fountain, close up of birds in one scene lacked detail and were immersion breaking. There is a lack of character models for NPCs (I saw the same girl in the purple sweater 4 times in one plaza). Blocking off every area of exploration with fences felt unrealistic and overdone and large spaces felt empty due to lack of NPC's and assets.

Gameplay
Pros:
I very much appreciated the option for both classic and modern modes of gameplay though I personally preferred WASD.
Cons:
The distinction between the normal cursor and when an item was able to be interacted with was not distinguished enough making things incredibly easy to miss. Instructions for puzzles were often unclear both in the sense of what clues would be helpful, but also the logistics of how to actually get things to do what is intended. Illogical guessing was required for some which is against the very nature of a logic puzzle and gameplay glitches became infuriating (missing ingredients in alchemy lab & repeated conversation with V in the beginning of the game every time you try to talk to her). Speed and movement involved in WASD felt unnaturally fast and, in the case of going up and down stairs, disjointed.

Plot
Pros:
The general plot line is an intriguing idea
Cons:
Character plot lines were not well developed and therefore felt abrupt and info for character development could have been done in a much more natural, fluid way. When Nancy is being chased by something scary, which is never directly looked at, she knows what she's being chased by (knight) when the player does not. Also, when Nancy comes to the conclusion that someone is tracking her phone, it comes up far after her second chase scene. Either it should have been addressed then but the “trap” couldn’t be completed yet because we still needed something, or there should have been a chase scene then. In the trap, Nancy comments about the latches not having locks, but you don’t even have to be looking at them for her to note it so it takes continued investigation to figure out what she’s mentioning. Having Marek give Nancy his daughter’s pin doesn’t prove that he is willing to help her… Ending the game with a phone call “play by play” cheapens the story and proves the story was note told well if it needs to be recapped to be understood. Character dialogue and voice acting felt unnatural and off – subtle things like inflection make a big difference and were done poorly.
Most players have played all if not most of the games. Things like past cases are briefly mentioned but other parts of Nancy’s life go unaddressed. For example, Nancy’s fight with Ned in MIS and her promise to go on a vacation with him. Conversations with Ned feel like this never happened. There are ways to include these past story elements while still including players who may not have played all past games, while also perhaps encouraging them to learn more by playing older games. Finally, when it is learned V has been in the alchemy lab but the puzzle to enter remained in need of solving in order for Nancy to enter, but then it remained exposed after we solve it, it does not make sense.

LF

Jul 1, 2024

byLF

I loved the hacking puzzle!! The game had some glitches (my laptop could not run the latte art puzzle for whatever reason, the final scenes needed to be done in the new control mode not the classic) but overall was a good story with some fun puzzles. The game art was very beautiful. I wish there were more puzzles that didn’t rely on you knowing how the game controls worked to solve them. Also, I would have loved for a card game puzzle! With Leo or another side character - some more side mini games that are super fun like in the old games.

All in all - a good return game!! Can’t wait to see what they make next!!

Amy (joyfulmysterywriter)

Jul 1, 2024

byAmy (joyfulmysterywriter)

joyfulmysterywriter’s KEY Review

(This is a shorter review. May do a video on a longer review later)

Mystery of the Seven Keys is the thirty-fourth game in the Nancy Drew Adventure series made by HeR Interactive, the video game company that has been making games since 1998.

For years, fans of the games were used to having the games released at least twice a year. Until 2015. For a long time, there had been radio silence and fans of the games had no idea what the future of HeR Interactive was going to be.

All of a sudden, April 1, 2023 started the sneak peeks and puzzles for followers to solve and it took me a long time to process what was going on.

I was super excited to get the game and it took me about six days to complete it although I played about an hour to two hours a day until I completed it.

To start the game, you can choose how you play the game. What was new about this game that is not in the previous games is you get to choose which modes you want to play. The Classic Mode is the point and click style similar to previous games but it can be too picky where your cursor needs to click on the screen. I tried out the classic mode but I just decided that it was better for me to choose Modern Mode. Modern Mode is free roam where you can freely move Nancy anywhere you want her to go. When you hold the Shift key and the W key, you are making Nancy run and I just love running around the city of Prague!

Let’s just say how awesome Prague looked. Prague is where the game is set. I’ve never been but I have seen pictures and videos and I think whoever designed the city did an amazing job. Not just the outdoor settings but the indoors too! I really enjoyed all of the inside locations like the cafe, tech/antique shop, the museum, any place you can think of in the game, I thought they were amazing!

I think the characters were amazing and the voices were great, the animations were good but the designs were okay. Adela’s design is the only one that I think needed more work. Vladena, maybe a tiny bit, but for everyone else, awesome! My favorite was Radek. His designs, voice, and animations were amazing!

The phone calls we could make were okay. I didn’t realize until from other fans about how in the previous games, you would get just for fun calls like you hear what Nancy’s friends are up to while Nancy is on the case. That would have made the phone calls more fun! I do enjoy the texts but I thought they were going too fast. Between the contact’s texts and Nancy’s should have a slight delay. It takes me time to process the text and then I type the text

I needed to use the strategy guide a lot! There were some puzzles that needed more guidance in the game like Nancy should say to a puzzle, “I wonder if Ned has anything to say about this” or something.

My favorite puzzle was the cyber block puzzle. At first, I didn’t have the patience but as I got to do the puzzle more, I enjoyed it. Especially the sound effects everytime you move a piece. Least favorite would have to be the safe puzzle. The clock would be a close second.

I really enjoyed the coffee mini game. I tried it again after playing it for the first time and the computer crashed. I had no idea what happened and so after a few days after avoiding it, I decided to try again and it’s been working and I started to like it! The latte art were fun but there were some that were so tough it reminded me of another puzzle in an older game in the series.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game. There are some things that needed more work and puzzles that are not too complicated but I thought it was a great game. I originally had it at 9/10 but after seeing many fans having trouble triggering something in the game, I took a half a point off.

Sarah

Jul 1, 2024

bySarah

A Major Step In the Right Direction!

First off, I had an absolute blast playing Mystery of the Seven Keys. It was challenging at times and took some adjusting to the new controls, but once I got a feel for the mechanics and the way the puzzles were designed, it got easier and I found the challenge level satisfying. I loved the environments and the majority of the characters (especially Patrizie, Leo, Radek, Marek, and Elka). I also love how long this game is -- I've often lamented that Nancy Drew games are shorter than I would like and over too soon, and I appreciated that this one kept taking unexpected twists and turns. Right when I started to feel sad because I thought it was almost over, something new would develop. I loved the number of characters in this game -- it made it much more difficult to discern the culprit, although I agree with some reviewers that with more characters comes a responsibility to flesh them out (and some characters were more successful in that regard than others). What I appreciate about the later games pre-Midnight in Salem is that the culprits and motives were starting to get more complex and nuanced, and I think that trend continued into MID (despite its problems) and further developed here. Is it a perfect game? No, but most games aren't flawless. It's worth getting past the initial discomfort of the unfamiliar to play to the end, and it has solid replay value.

I do think that because some of the puzzles in this game are tricky to determine what you're supposed to do and HOW to interact with them, I miss the "phone a friend" hints of the older games. As a lifelong gamer with some pride in my problem-solving abilities, I really don't like using strategy guides and I did have to consult this one a handful of times; I prefer my hints a little less overt - just gentle nudges to help me redirect instead of having to be told exactly how to do the puzzle. Overall, I felt like you all listened to our feedback from Midnight in Salem and proved you took it seriously. I anticipate the next installment will be even better.

Sarah

Jul 1, 2024

bySarah

Worth the wait!

I was so excited when Her announced they'd be releasing another game and this one really checked all the boxes for me. The atmosphere was immersive, the storyline was interesting, plausible, and easy to follow. The puzzles were challenging without being overly frustrating and the pace of the game was perfect. While there were a few hiccups, they were pretty minor and not too distracting. I am SO amped for any future games Her releases!!

Nancy Drew: Mystery of the Seven Keys | Her Interactive (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated:

Views: 6080

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.