I always wanted to be Nancy Drew. The mysteries, the excitement, the little coupe she whizzed through the countryside, dispensing wisdom and “what ifs” to grateful town officials and movie stars…
But, seeing as I have never even been to River Heights –much less befriended the police chief of said town– and since I am no longer a teenager, and can therefore no longer attempt to be seen as extraordinarily precocious and correct when it comes to sleuthing… I shall happily make do with the next best thing:
I’m going to become Nancy Drew’s newest best friend! Well.. sort of…..
Move over George and Bess. Tomorrow morning I’m going in to record a voice-over for a new Nancy Drew Myster computer game. Hooray! A new project!
Her Interactive keeps Nancy relevant
The game is by Her Interactive, a Bellevue-based company that spreads the gospel of Nancy, one PC at a time.
The husband has worked with them before, providing some fun voices for the recently released The Haunting of Castle Malloy, and another game still in production.
The cool thing about Her Interactive is that they are specifically dedicated to the computer game market for adolescent girls… games that emphasize “excellence through the art of creative collaboration.”
But don’t think that because they’re “for girls” these games are all pretty ponies and dress-up games. We are talking about Nancy Drew after all.
As a kid and teenager, I read my way through nearly all of the old-series (forget the 80s/90s rip-offs… ugh). I absolutely loved the ghost stories, disguises, world travels, and near-miss murders. Nancy Drew has stuck around because she is smart, courageous, curious, and courteous (don’t see that often)– she’s a heroine with just the right mix of recklessness and common sense.
From what I’ve seen so far, the Her Interactive games really take advantage of the iconic character and her adventures. There’s action that doesn’t include violence; there are complex, detailed storylines; there are funny, scary, earnest modern characters; and there are some really nifty (and difficult!) little mind-benders and math games throughout.
(I still haven’t made it through the “Junior Detective” level on the game we have at home…)
These girls are no caricatures
The game I’m working on tomorrow is set at an all-girls prep school, with a supporting cast of 5 or 6 teenage girls. I’m voicing Nancy’s “over eager and socially awkward roommate.”
I was so impressed by the company’s staff at the auditions; I read for all the girls — an overachieving athlete; a manipulative queen-bee; a wry and cello-playing goth type; a shy and kicked around workaholic– and even though each girl has a slightly text-book personality, the casting director made sure to emphasize several times that these girls are no caricatures.
“They are not valley girls,” she said, “and we’re not going for socialites,” a la Gossip Girl. They want their fans to really relate to the characters. These are “modern and tech-savvy” smart cookies…who don’t speak ‘OMG.’
In fact, the bulk of this game’s mystery is centered around a mysterious villain who is sabotaging the girls’ year-end academic projects (website designs, photography, and numerous essays)… the worst part? The villain is also ruining their chances of the college scholarship that comes with being named Class Valedictorian.
Not bad, eh?
And ok, yes… in some of the Her Interactive Nancy Drew titles, there actually are one or two dress-up games.
But let’s face it… in addition to her nose for mystery and her “hunky boyfriend, Ned,” the original Nancy also had a fantastic sense of occasion.