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New Nancy Drew game Mystery Of The Seven Keys is out in May, thus making my life very slightly harder

I've only played three out of the 34 games so far!

A guy in a yellow jumper in front of some creepy puppets, a suspect in Nancy Drew: Mystery Of The Seven Keys
Image credit: Her Interactive

The problem with deciding to play every single Nancy Drew mystery puzzle game for a column is that, because they have been coming out since the 90s, Her Interactive have built up enough steam that I may never catch up to the front of the plucky citizen detective train. They have today announced a release date of May 7th for Nancy Drew: Mystery Of The Seven Keys, along with the official trailer.

This time Our Nance is heading to Prague, for a sort of old-world-meets-new story about hacking, medieval myths, and a stolen necklace. Nancy is hired to find said heirloom, and interview a bunch of suspects, one of whom is creepy puppet guy up there (there are no screens of Nancy because she never actually steps out from behind the camera in these games; she may as well be a cryptid). I realise this may not be of interest to regular readers of this site, but while I may not have seven keys, I do have one to the back end of this website, so nobody can stop me.

Watch on YouTube

Mystery Of The Seven Keys (which will be available directly from Her Interactive but doesn't have a Steam store page yet) is one of the more modern games all gussied up in Unity when compared to the dubiously-3D early 00s games of the series. Of particular note, besides what the presser calls "immersive inspections" (which I think is just regular looking around a game, maybe?), is that Mystery Of The Seven Keys introduces a new "dual navigation system" that allows for either classic point-and-click or "free-roam" controls. I don't know exactly what this means, but I assume you can pick between first-person walking around or the discombobulating click-to-change-scenery controls from the rest of the series. Like someone taking a long, unplanned holiday in Stockholm, I've started to believe that the discombobulation is part of the charm.

Nancy heading to the exotic climbs of Europe isn't the first time the mysteries have taken her abroad, but it's a trend I have not yet reached in my playthrough of the games. Our Nance mostly kicks around different bits of America - which is fair enough, it's a massive country - until game 11, when she goes to England. This is 8 games away from me in The Case Files Files. Mystery Of The Seven Keys is 31 games away, so I shall hold the aggressive locals, weird puzzle boxes, hacking mini-games, and the "but who are the real mosters?" vibes from the trailer close to my heart. I imagine the cybercrimes element is going to make this like an episode of CSI: Cyber, which is very exciting to me.

While I have complained about Her Interactive pulling further ahead of me, I should point out that they've obviously slowed down a lot. Up until as recently as 2014 they were throwing up a couple of Our Nance games a year, but development time really stretched out after 2015's Sea Of Darkness. The most recent game before this was Midnight In Salem, which came out in 2019, and it wasn't well recieved, with clunky performance and apparently sub-standard puzzles. Plus they replaced the long-time Nancy voice actor. Change! I don't like change! Anyway, Mystery Of The Seven Keys is out on May 7th, I just won't be playing it myself for a while.

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