Title: Alibi In Ashes
Distributor: HER Interactive
Date Released: October 18th, 2011
Age Groups: 10 to Adult
No more wild, crazy, and exotic places for Nancy! She's going home to River Heights (finally!) to compete in a Clues Challenge with George, Bess, and Ned. But as soon as Nancy arrives home, she soon finds that not everyone is as excited as Togo the dog to see her.
At the beginning of, the game, Nancy finds a note on her desk, telling her to come to the town hall. When Nancy arrives, she finds herself locked inside a room that is about to go up in flames! When Nancy finally gets out, though, she is accused of arson, and is sent to jail!
But Chief McGinnis is not to sure about Nancy burning down the town hall, and makes a deal with her: if she can round up enough evidence to prove that she's innocent, he'll let her out of jail. But Nancy can't do it alone, can she?(Hello, she's in jail!) So Nancy Drew calls in her friends, George, Bess, and Ned, (playable characters) to sleuth around outside, and interrogate suspects.
With their help, Nancy is sure she can come up with enough evidence to pin the dirty deed on someone else.
Nancy Drew: The brave and intelligent 18-year-old amateur detective of River Heights and pretty much everywhere else. Nancy spends most of the game in the police station (jail) because she was wrongly accused of arson. Nancy calls her friends and has them investigate the town because she can't. Her dad is in Australia during the game, and often cannot be reached. Her dog, Togo, is staying with George.
Georgina "George" Fayne:
Bess's smart, sleek, and cool cousin who loves electronics. She is a playable character in the game, and can be found (by other characters) in Nancy's living room, sitting on the couch. George's appearance has changed from Ransom Of The Seven Ships, and Shadow At The Water's Edge.
Elizabeth "Bess" Marvin:
George's pretty, girly and ice cream-loving cousin. She is a playable character, just like George. She can be found (by other characters) sitting at a table outside of "Scoop", Antonia Benson's ice cream shop. According to Bess, she is sitting there eating every flavor imaginable while spying on Deirdre Shannon, the girl sitting at the next table. Like George, Bess's appearance has changed.
Nancy's boyfriend. Ned is very protective of Nancy, often telling her to be careful. He is a playable character, like the cousins, although he is not seen during the game. Nancy uses him to get information out of Deirdre.
Deirdre's rich, snooty, and jealous (of Nancy). Deirdre has envied Nancy since they were children, and is tired of her parents nagging her about how adventurous, smart, and responsible Nancy is. She likes Ned, Nancy's boyfriend, and is constantly trying to get him to notice her throughout the game. She's really not sure what to think of Nancy's arrest.
Alexei Markovic is an antique shop owner, and a suspect. He is sometimes grumpy, though quite kind to certain people, even if his face may say otherwise. He used to be a hot-shot detective before a mix-up ruined him almost completely. Alexei believes Nancy is innocent. He does not like Bess, on account of she broke his old vase, and refuses let her touch or buy anything, or answer any of her questions.
Antonia "Toni" Scallari:
A somewhat cheesy elected official for River Heights who runs the local ice cream parlor, Scoop. Antonia can be interrogated for clues. She seems warm and inviting, while there may be something she's hiding from people. She does not think Nancy is innocent, and hints that to Bess.
*One of my favorite characters (next to Bess). Brenda is a pretty and mean news reporter. She does not like Nancy for stealing her spotlight and getting to the crime scene before her. She is a... word twister. For Example:
Brenda: Does she (Nancy) have any enemies?
Bess: Well, she solves crimes so there might be some hard feelings from the people she's gotten into trouble.
Brenda: She solves crimes so she must be pretty familiar with how criminals cover up their tracks.
Bess: Yeah, she knows all of the tricks. Wait. What are you getting at?
Brenda: If anyone could get away with the perfect crime, it'd be Nancy, right?
Bess: I don't know about that.
Brenda: So you think there's potential she won't get away with burning Town Hall.
Bess: That's not what I said at all!
Disclaimer: (I do not own these lines, these are by HER Interactive)
Of course, Brenda denies Nancy's innocence.
Chief McGinnis is head of the River Heights Police department, and is a very good friend of Nancy's. But when she is supposedly accused of arson, he doesn't have a choice but to take her to jail. Chief McGinnis knows Nancy is innocent, and is willing to let her gather enough information to prove she's innocent.
Overall, I thought this game was the best Nancy Drew game in the series! Sure, the game doesn't take place anywhere too exotic, but nothing is really ever revealed about Nancy's home in the games except Nancy's desk, and sometimes some of her room.. I like the goodies Hannah sent Nancy that were in the police station. She had everything from Koko Kringle Bars to Oranges and Lollipops in that basket!
I also like how you could order all the different flavors of ice cream, without being on a budget. My favorite one was the "All American Apple Pie".
I totally loved this game (and some of the puzzles!), so I will give it a jumbo 5 stars!