PC ¦ PlayStation 3 ¦ Xbox 360 ¦ Wii ¦ DS ¦ PSP ¦ Others ¦ DGC Grade Table

Nancy Drew: The Creature in Kapu Cave (#15) PC CD-ROM

Genre:   Adventure
Developer & Publisher: Her Interactive
Released:  October 2006
Price: $19.99

You, as Nancy Drew, go to Hawaii to serve as a research assistant to Dr. Quigley Kim.  A devastating scourge is destroying the pineapple crop causing residents to whisper that a local research compound has awoken the legendary Kāne ‘Ōkāla.  Upon arriving, she discovers the camp ravaged with Dr. Kim missing. Coincidentally, the Hardy Boys are also on the Island to complete a top secret mission, but it’s up to Nancy to uncover this intricate web of mysteries!

Kapu Cave has a mouse-controlled point-and-click interface. The game also provides two levels of difficulty: Junior and Senior.  The Junior Level provides a notebook with a to-do list and occasional telephone conversational clues that are not available on Senior Level.  I would personally recommend the Senior Level because of the challenges and you would want to figure out these puzzles yourself without hints or clues.

Kapu Cave contains a variety of puzzles, many drawing thematically and graphically from the Hawaiian culture and surroundings.  The challenges range from inventory to sorting and recording tasks, to a board-game-like activity to pattern recognition and sequencing.  The sequencing puzzles reset if you step back from them.  Fishing is technically a timed challenge – although once you’ve figured out what you’re doing, it’s not hard to catch the fish.  Also, you solve two sound based puzzles.  (If you have the “Closed Captioning” option turned on, these can be done without listening to the sounds.) A timed underwater sequence is a memory test -- and it’s pretty entertaining, as you are swept away by the currents once you’ve made the correct choice.  There’s also a point later in the game where it’s necessary to make a fast exit.  If you mismanage either of these, the game gives you a Second Chance over and over again.

The final portion of the game contains a new series of locations to explore, but each one is closed off as you move through it.  You go in so far, something happens, and you can’t go back.  While it’s a great way to heighten the tension -- and it gets your heart beating faster -- it also means that you can’t reexamine the areas at your leisure.  These sequences heightened the sense of restrictedness.

Until the ending of Kapu Cave, where many of the main characters start to converge in one spot, the game has a pleasant, leisurely pace.  Among other things, you can explore the beach, try out different baits for fishing, snorkel for shells hidden in the coral reef and experiment with combinations of beads and shells.  The extent to which to engage in these activities is mostly up to you.  There’s an information kiosk where you can read about Hawaiian folklore, plants, people and animals. The best thing about the game is that you get to experience realistic and surreal environments around you, such as the special effects of the beach. You will feel like going to Hawaii!!

Overall Game Rating 10/10

(Click the letter or here for details)

I give A+ for it!!! Highly Recommended!!

Deaf Gamers comment: Perfect! No problems at all for deaf gamers.

Review by Kimberly Pellechi