Secret addiction.

The beast has been awakened.

With the purchase of a new laptop in December, I now have the technology once again to indulge in my odd but harmless addiction. I hate to say it too loudly (furtive glance)…Nancy Drew computer games by Her Interactive**.

A friend (another Nancy Drew lover since childhood) introduced me to this fascinating pastime years ago. The kids and I played many of them together when they were growing up – from “The Secret of Shadow Ranch” to “Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake” to “The Secret of the Scarlet Hand” to the epitome of all spooky adventure/mystery games “The Curse of Blackmoor Manor,” we challenged ourselves with the puzzles and problem solving right along with the girl sleuth.

Many of the lines from the games made their way into our everyday conversation and are still used regularly to this day: “Makes you crazy!” (originally said about the dangers of handling a mercury/sulfur solution, but applicable in many real-life circumstances); “With rubber gloves you will not burn” (always useful when dealing with electrical circuits); “I’ll just chop up this mint!” (handy when purchasing said herb for a recipe just this week). Oh, and “Ah! That light!,” “You’re asking the wrong amnesiac!” and the ever-popular “I need a key.”

Meet Jane Penvellyn, a friend from Blackmoor Manor.

Meet Jane Penvellyn, a friend from Blackmoor Manor.

A year ago for Christmas the kids gave me two of the latest Nancy games, but we soon discovered that our ancient Vista laptop (groan – worst technology mistake ever committed in this household) couldn’t handle them. So when the new laptop joined us recently I was overjoyed by the thought of bringing Nancy’s adventures back into my life.

I started with the CD of Game #28, “The Ghost of Thornton Hall.” It was a pretty good mystery and not a bad challenge. But I longed for the old favorites. Browsing the Her Interactive website, it took me about two minutes to discover I could download the oldies but goodies for a mere $9.99! Boom! In the last three weeks I’ve devoured “Treasure in the Royal Tower,” “Danger on Deception Island,” “Blackmoor Manor,” and “Scarlet Hand.” I figure it works out to about $2.00/hour of play time. What can I say?I’m a cheap date.

And so, now I’m regularly back in the land of the ingenious and spunky Titian-haired sleuth. I tell myself the games are good for exercising the little grey cells, as Poirot would say. But really, it’s a walk down a much-beloved memory lane.

** No animals were harmed in the writing of this post, and no compensation (sadly) was given by Her Interactive.

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