Nancy Drew PC Games by season

Nancy Drew PC games have been a huge part of my life for years. From the time I discovered them around 2000 until 2015, two games were released each year, one in the winter and one in the summer. Since then, only one game has been released, but I live in hope that there are more to come. And until then, I can replay the thirty plus existing games whenever the mood strikes.

If you also want to (re)play these wonderfully detailed and educational Nancy Drew games, you can play them in order, or you could shake things up by playing by season — the games aren’t so closely related that I’ll get confused very much this way, I promise. The company behind the games, Her Interactive, encourages this to some extent by making “winter” and “summer” game packs available for purchase. I didn’t look at these packs before making my choices, instead I chose to categorize the games the way I thought best. And I added spring and fall categories, so now you can keep playing all year round!

Some of the choices were obvious – the one where you’re snowed in at a ski resort turned castle is decidedly wintry – while others I categorized based on vibes more than objective evidence. Feel free to arrange the order of play to suit your taste, perception and memory if you wish. All that matters is having fun!

Spring

The secret of the old clock

Not only is it a symbolic spring, as this game is based on Nancy’s early adventures, but it takes place on a very pleasant sunny day. Perfect for mini golf!

Trail of the Twister

In the US, tornado season is generally March through June, so this is definitely a spring game.

The Haunted Carousel

I was going to Disney World in May, so this amusement park themed game makes me think of spring.

Labyrinth of Lies

The myth of Hades and Persephone takes center stage (literally!) in this game, set in a Greek museum. Since spring is traditionally when Persephone returns to her mother Demeter, this is the season that makes me think of this game.

Cover of The Phantom of Venice

The Phantom of Venice

I guess Venice is nice to visit in spring. And one of the songs playing in the background as you wander around the city is a portion of “Spring” from Vivaldi’s The four Seasons.

Risk by design

This is in the Spring section for the very silly reason that it’s set in Paris, and the first thing I think of when I think of Paris is a line from an old song: “The last time I saw Paris, her trees were dressed for spring… »

Legend of the Crystal Skull

We have an exact date for when this New Orleans-based game will take place: May 31st. Technically spring, but would be perfect for summer too!

Summer

The Secret of Shadow Ranch

Brave triple-digit temperatures to catch a saboteur and his ghostly horse — and harvest vegetables for the picky ranch cook. (Seriously, bring in too many underripe vegetables and it’s game over.)

The Haunting of Castle Malloy

One of your tasks in this game is to pick flowers for a friend’s wedding bouquet. Most of these flowers bloom in late spring or during the summer, making this game set in a dilapidated Irish castle a potential summertime game.

Ransom of the Seven Ships

What better way to spend the summer than sailing and swimming in the Bahamas?! Admittedly, the fact that your best friend is missing is a bit disappointing…

The shattered medal

I’ll be honest and say that this is the only Nancy Drew game I didn’t really like. BUT it has a nice summery feel to it as you wander around New Zealand as a reality TV contestant.

Kapu Cave Creature

You and the Hardy Boys can roam the jungles and beaches of Hawaii collecting shells, fishing and spotting local bugs and plants. Oh, and something about a legendary monster and a dying pineapple crop?

Secret of the Scarlet Hand cover

The secret of the red hand

The focus on the ancient Mayans, who inhabited tropical climates, prompted me to put this in the Summer category.

Shadow at the water’s edge

Spend your summer vacation teaching English to Japanese kids…and you’re SUPER haunted by a ghost at the ryokan you’re staying at. (The actors’ accents might be the scariest thing of all…)

ghosts of thornton hall cover

Ghost of Thornton Hall

During a rainy night in the Deep South, Nancy discovers dangerous family secrets – including exactly the kind of secrets you’d expect a powerful Southern family to have.

Danger on the island of deception

Summer is the perfect time to help a lost orca off the coast of Washington state! You can also kayak and learn about whales at a museum dedicated to them.

Alibi in Ashes

In this game, Nancy spends most of her time in prison, so her friends have to do some sleuthing (and eat a lot of ice cream) in their hometown of River Heights.

The Silent Spy

Spend a summer in Scotland, where Nancy uncovers deadly secrets about her deceased mother and plunges into the world of espionage!

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake

The trees are all green in it, but somehow the rustic cabin you stay in has a fall feel to me.

Stay tuned for danger

The TV season traditionally starts in the fall, so that’s where I put this game, in which Nancy investigates death threats made against a selfish soap opera star.

The Final Scene

You spend the entire game inside a ruined theater, searching for a kidnapped friend. Something about the once-grand, run-down old place gives me fall vibes.

Cover of Captive Curse

The captive curse

Everyone in this game – including Nancy – is dressed up like it’s Oktoberfest (which is at September, vielen Dank!), so this belongs here. While you can wander through some creepy forests, most of the time you’ll find yourself in an old German castle wandering around for a monster with a fetish necklace.

Curse of Blackmoor Manor

This reminds me vaguely The Hound of the Baskervilles — creepy English manor house, ghostly beasts, etc. — and since this book was set in October, this game should be too.


For more Nancy Drew goodness, check out this history of the Stratemeyer Syndicate or take this quiz to find out which Nancy Drew sidekick you are!

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