Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek Review
Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Her Interactive 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 2, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

It’s not a total surprise point-and-click adventure games seem to be creeping into the Wii’s gaming repertoire with greater frequency. Most of the time, the console’s remote seems to do a good job of mirroring the duty of the PC mouse that inspired the genre’s moniker.

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek screenshot

Sadly, the bulk of point-and-click adventure games being released on the Wii tend to be ports of older PC titles, instead of freshly developed ventures. For better or worse, this is the case with the long-running Nancy Drew series on the PC. After 19 titles for home computers, it has now finally found its way to a console release.

Gallivanting about in sub-zero temperatures with wolves howling and prowling in the not-too-far off distance may not sound like a great time to most folks, but one thing teen sleuth Nancy Drew doesn’t pass-up is a good challenge. Her first venture on the Wii, The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, is not the latest of Nancy Drew’s adventures, yet it brings the series to Nintendo’s console with enough classic charm to give some casual gamers reason to overlook a few fumbles here and there.

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When a series of uncanny accidents – including several near-death experiences and an exploding bunkhouse – sends some guests and employees high-tailing it from the creepy Icicle Creek Lodge, the owner of the establishment stops accepting new customers and calls in Nancy for an undercover mission to get to the bottom of the things. The matter is further complicated by a mysterious, howling white wolf that seems to be frequenting the snow-covered woods near the lodge. Traveling to the frigid Canadian Rockies, Nancy must pretend to be the lodge’s new maid and chef long enough to scope out the few remaining guests, uncover clues about the strange incidents, and reveal the suspected saboteur. Given the source material – an amalgamation of several different Nancy Drew classics – the story is quite engaging and will appeal to mystery enthusiasts and players who are familiar with the young detective heroine.

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek screenshot

In terms of gameplay, Nancy Drew fans will find the mixture of adventure and sleuthing they’ve come to expect from the series is still intact. You’ll sneak about the lodge to search for clues, call friends and conduct phone interviews with folks to gather information, speak with guests and other possible suspects, and engage in much of the requisite puzzle solving expected from a mystery point-and-click adventure title. However, Nancy’s undercover role in White Wolf of Icicle Creek also means you’ll be doing a lot of menial labor as well. Time passes as you play, and each morning you’ll have to check guests’ rooms for any dirty linens, which must be collected in a sack and deposited in the laundry chute. Since Nancy is also the interim chef, you’ll have to make three square meals a day at the appropriate times or face the wrath of the lodge’s owner.

The cooking aspect of the game is nowhere near as cohesive as you’d expect from full-blown foodie titles on the Wii, but it tries to imitate similar gameplay nonetheless. In the kitchen, you’ll hunt and peck around to gather all the ingredients needed for the meal and then engage in a step-by-step cooking mini-game. It’s a nice addition, even if it’s not particularly well implemented control-wise. Other mini-games, like fishing, a Minesweeper-like ice shoveling task, and a snowball fight with a bratty kid, are among a number of diversions that add a pleasant variety to the overall gameplay. These activities are well-integrated into the game and don’t feel tacked-on, but they suffer from often poor controls.

Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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