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November 2010

Making Lists

We are right on the cusp of everyone’s favorite time of year, the holidays.  There’s plenty to see and enjoy; lights and decorations, seasonal bakery creations, and familial celebrations are just a few.  Here at Her Interactive, we have already begun making changes to bring that spirit into the office.   That means lights, ornaments, and of course holiday candy.  And this year we’ll be doing, what I’m sure will be another hilarious and fun, gift exchange.   But we’re not the only ones who will be receiving some interesting knick-knacks; like virtual Santas, we’ve got a few digital goodies to hand out.

We have already prepared a myriad of holiday fun for you to enjoy.  Busy as Christmas elves, we have been here crafting a delightful set of seasonal downloads and giveaways for you.  We kicked things off yesterday with a re-imagining of a familiar scene from Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister, and you can expect a whole host of these holiday themed downloads during December.  In addition we’re making a few new avatars for the message boards.  In fact, if you're a member of our online community you can put in your own ideas for us to read and decide on.  If you're not a member yet, sign up!  Either way, make sure you read all about the rules before you submit your avatar wish! 

As we all know, the true spirit of the holidays is about giving.  So this year, we wanted to help you give the gift of mystery!  We’ll be offering a whole host of deals in December so you can share your favorite super sleuth with your friends and family.  We’ll be discounting a different title each full week in December!  Will it be an older title like The Final Scene? Or a new favorite like, Shadow at the Water’s Edge?  You’ll have to stop by each week to find out (though an upcoming newsletter might contain a few clues!)  Plus starting December 1st, we’ll be offering free standard shipping on any order until December 15th 11AM PST.  This is the best deal any discount-hunting detective is going to find this December. 

Happy holiday sleuthing!

P.S. For your first holiday deal – from 12/1 to 12/5 you can get 25% off any of our digital downloads by using the code: THANKS2010

Her Interactive is Thankful For...

With last week’s Dare to Play blog post we took a trip down memory lane.  This got us thinking about all the things that we, at Her Interactive, are thankful for.  This comes just in time for some Thanksgiving well-wishes.  Over the years we’ve had some truly wonderful times and we’d like to give a shout-out to a few things we just couldn’t do without.

Nancy Drew – Of course our favorite sleuth would make the list, how could she not.  We don’t just make games about Nancy, we build company culture with her tenets in mind.  A detective like Nancy doesn’t come along very often and we’re proud to be a part of her legacy.  There’s so much we’ve learned from her over the years, and so much more we wish to share.  Nancy, you’re the greatest.

Puzzles – They aren’t just silly games to us, they’re a lifestyle.  We’re puzzle fanatics, and we’ve made a business out of it.  Whether it’s a mind-bender in a Nancy Drew PC/Mac game, or goofy riddles on the Amateur Sleuth blog, we’re delighted to be able to share a few of our favorite puzzles with you.  How crazy are we about puzzles?  If we could only take one thing to a desert island, it wouldn’t be food, it would be a puzzle book.  Thanks puzzles, for being so awesome (and so frustrating.)

Mysteries – Even though Nancy and mystery are pretty synonymous we had to give them separate categories.  Our love of mystery exceeds the Nancy Drew universe at times, often looking at other greats like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and our other favorite teenage detectives, Frank and Joe Hardy.  As long as there’s a mystery to find, you can bet we’ll be looking.  Thanks for all the good times you’ve given us and yet to give.  

And of course the one thing we’re most thankful for is… YOU!  The fans!  We couldn’t accomplish any of this without your support and guidance.  We make the games, but you make the games possible, and for that we give you our most heartfelt gratitude.  

We wish you all the best this Thanksgiving, may it be happy and delicious!
~Her Interactive

 

Fondest Memories Kept in a Collector's Tin

With the Collector’s Edition Fan Favorites shipped and ready to be delivered, and a contest up and running, we have taken some time to think back on some of our fondest memories from the games that make up this special product.  Treasure in a Royal Tower, The Secret of Shadow Ranch, and Curse of Blackmoor Manor are not only adored by our fans, but also in the hearts of many HI employees.  We’re not here to play favorites, but we can’t help but remember a few of our most cherished moments from these games. 

One of Nancy’s earliest cases (on the PC) is still one of the best.  Treasure in a Royal Tower continues to achieve high marks among all our fans.  This winter mystery has more than its fair share of memorable moments.  The fabulous and bizarre dialogue of one, Beatrice Hotchkiss, the maze-like hallways of Wickford Castle, and the beauty and history of Marie Antoinette kept within its walls are just a few choice scenes from this game.  Talk about a fun and exciting mystery, this classic case is definitely fit for a queen!

Adventure is practically synonymous with Nancy Drew, and The Secret of Shadow Ranch is a great example of that.  What we remember most (besides all the chores and hard-work a sleuth has to do down on the ranch) was exploring an eerie ghost town, listening to undiscovered singing talent around a late-night campfire, and our favorite part, caring for and riding a few of Shadow Ranch’s beautiful horses.  That particular memory is what keeps us galloping back for more.

With Nancy’s most recent case, Shadow at the Water’s Edge [not included in the set], so recently released, scary moments are in the fore-front of our minds.  Curse of Blackmoor Manor is often referred to as one of our most terrifying games, and that’s how we remember a lot of it.  Whether it was ghost hunting after midnight, exploring darkened passages with the tiny light of a glow stick, or spying a werewolf’s paw from a secret hideaway, there were many times when we had goose bumps crawling across our skin.  The lesson learned; sometimes a truly frightening case can be truly amazing.

These are just a few of our favorite moments from these games.  Tell us what you remember most from your experience playing Nancy Drew PC games?  And don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Collector’s Edition Fan Favorites, currently available for order, but only while supplies last! 

Win the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites Tin

"Nothing like a good sneaking suspicion to keep you on your toes I say" ~Ned Nickerson (Curse of Blackmoor Manor)

"Isn't it marvelous to be up and about when others are sound asleep?  I find my brainwaves are at their most powerful during this time." ~Beatrice Hotchkiss (Treasure in a Royal Tower)

"No, ma’am. ‘N it’d suit me just fine if I never saw it again." ~Dave Greggoy (Secret of Shadow Ranch)

3 simple lines from our most iconic games.  All you have to do is write a short story using these quotes for a chance to win the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites tin featuring these games and an exclusive journal.   All submissions should be sent to HIcontest@herinteractive.com by December 10, 2010 with the subject line "Quote story contest."  Please include your name, phone number, email address, and permission to post your story online in the email.

You may also mail your story to Her Interactive, Attn: Quote Story Contest, 1150 114th Ave SE, Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98004.

Here are the details:
1) Your story must be no longer than one page single spaced or 1000 words long.

2) You must use all 3 quotes in your story, but it doesn't matter who says them nor does it matter which order they appear in.

3) It must be an original story that you wrote yourself.

We will select one winner by December 20 and post it online.  Good luck and we can't wait to see what creative ideas you come up with!

Passing Judgement: Shadow at the Water's Edge

The fans have spoken, and Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge is a huge hit! Snooping is back, the characters are interesting, and this was indeed the scariest Nancy Drew game in the series.  So we're extremely thrilled with what our fans had to say, and hope that our next game can meet the bar we just set...

The professional reviewers also had their take on this mystery adventure game.  They seemed to want more from the series and additional features, such as dialog fast forwaring.  The points they bring up are interesting and something we'll considering in creating future games, but we'll always come back to what our fans want.  We won't make any changes that will ruin the core experience and the way you've become accustomed to playing the games.  But it's always good to get an outside opinion.  Here's what the reviewers are saying:

"Shadows at Water's Edge is one of the less linear entries in the Nancy Drew series... The exotic and beautiful Japanese setting adds a breath of fresh air to the series, allowing players plenty of opportunities to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and learn a thing or two. Like past Drew games, the puzzles can get quite challenging and can't be skipped which might result in some frustration. A skip option for the dialogue might have been nice as well, since some of the characters tend to talk quite slowly. Overall, though, Shadow at Water's Edge has all the ingredients of another worthy entry to the well-respected series." ~Common Sense Media

"Shadow at the Water’s Edge is a good game with a fascinating horror story to enjoy, but the need to solve large number puzzles could make the game less appealing to some people. Still, it’s quite fun and definitely worth playing." ~The Adrenaline Vault

"The Nancy Drew games are still always worth investigating. They carry with them enough charm and chutzpah to override the wobbles of the odd alarming puzzle or timed panic. If you’ve enjoyed previous and recent Nancy Drew adventures then it’s a safe bet that you’ll have a good time with Shadow at the Water’s Edge as well." ~GameBoomers

What do you guys think?  Do you agree with the professional reviewers?

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