Nancy Drew PC Games by Season

Nancy Drew PC games have been a big part of my life for years. From the time I discovered them circa 2000 until 2015, two games were released each year, one in winter and one in summer. Only one game has been released since then, but I hope more are on the way. And until then, I can replay over thirty existing games whenever my mood strikes.

If you’d like to play (again) these wonderfully detailed and educational Nancy Drew games, you can play them in turns or turn things upside down by season – the games aren’t so tightly linked that I’ll be very confused that way, I promise. HeR Interactive, the company behind the games, encourages this to some extent by making “winter” and “summer” game packs available for purchase. I didn’t look at these packs before making my selections, instead choosing to categorize the games the way I think best. I’ve also added categories for spring and fall, so you can now keep playing all year long!

Some of the choices were obvious—where you snowed at a castle-turned-ski resort was clearly winter—others I categorized based on more vibration than objective evidence. If you want, feel free to arrange the playing order according to your own taste, perception and memory. All that matters is that you have a good time!

Spring

The Secret of the Old Clock

Since this game is based on Nancy’s first adventures, it takes place not only on a symbolic spring, but also on a very pleasant sunny day. Perfect for mini golf!

Twister’s Trace

Hurricane season in the US is usually from March to June, so this is definitely a spring game.

Haunted Carousel

I used to go to Disney World in May, so this amusement park-centric game makes me think of spring.

Labyrinth of Lies

Set in a Greek museum, the legend of Hades and Persephone (literally!) takes center stage. Since spring is traditionally the time when Persephone returns to her mother, Demeter, that’s the season this game makes me think of.

Ghost of Venice cover

Ghost of Venice

I assume Venice is nice to visit in the spring. And one of the songs they play in the background while walking around the city is Vivaldi’s “Spring”. Four season.

Hazard by Design

This is in the Spring episode for a very stupid reason to take place in Paris, and when I think of Paris, a line from an old song comes to mind: “The last time I saw Paris, the trees were dressed for spring…”

The Legend of the Crystal Skull

We have an exact date for when this New Orleans-based game will be played: May 31st. Technically it’s spring, but it’s also pretty appropriate for summer!

Summer

Shadow Ranch’s Secret

Brave three-digit temperatures to catch a saboteur and his ghost horse and harvest vegetables for the farm’s picky cook. (Seriously, bring in too many unripe vegetables and it’s game over.)

Fairy of Malloy Castle

One of your tasks in this game is to collect flowers for a friend’s wedding bouquet. Most of these flowers bloom in late spring or summer, making this game set in a half-ruined Irish castle probably a definite summer game.

Ransom of Seven Ships

What could be better than spending the summer sailing and swimming in the Bahamas?! Admittedly, it’s a little depressing that your best friend is missing…

Smashed Locket

I’ll be honest and say that this is the only Nancy Drew game I don’t really like. BUT as a reality show contestant she has a nice summery vibe touring New Zealand.

Creature of Kapu Cave

You and the Hardy Boys will wander the jungles and beaches of Hawaii collecting shells, fishing and spotting local insects and plant life. Oh, and something about a mythical beast and a dying pineapple crop?

The Secret of the Scarlet Hand cover

The Secret of the Red Hand

Focusing on the ancient Maya living in tropical climates prompted me to put it in the Summer category.

Shadow by the Water

Spend your summer vacation teaching English to Japanese kids and being SUPER haunted by a ghost in your ryokan. (The voice actors’ accents can be the scariest thing…)

ghosts of thornton parlor cover

Ghost of Thornton Hall

On a steamy night in the Deep South, Nancy investigates dangerous family secrets, including the kind of secrets you’d expect a powerful Southern family to have.

Danger on Deception Island

Summertime is the perfect time to help a lost orca off the coast of Washington state! You can go kayaking and learn about whales at a museum dedicated to them.

Alibi in the Ashes

In this game, Nancy spends most of her time in jail, so her friends have to take a nap (and eat lots of ice cream) in their hometown of River Heights.

silent spy

Spend a summer in Scotland, where Nancy uncovers deadly secrets about her dead mother and immerses herself in the world of espionage!

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake

The trees here are all green, but for some reason, the rustic cottage you stay in makes me feel like a fall.

Watch for Danger

The television season traditionally starts in the fall, so I’m putting this play here in which Nancy investigates death threats against a selfish soap opera star.

Last scene

You spend the entire game searching for a kidnapped friend in a dilapidated theater. Something about this once big, rundown old place gives me an autumn vibe.

Prisoner Curse cover

prisoner fucking

Everyone in this game – including Nancy – is dressed as Oktoberfest (which September, vielen Dank!), so it belongs here. Wandering through some spooky forests, most of the time you are chasing a monster with a necklace fetish in an old German castle.

Curse of Blackmoor Manor

It vaguely reminds me Hound of the Baskervilles — spooky English mansion, ghostly creatures, etc. — and since that book was set in October, so should this play.


For more Nancy Drew goodies, check out this history of the Stratemeyer Syndicate or take this quiz to find out which Nancy Drew sidekick you are!

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