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Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall - PC/Mac

Platform : Windows, Mac, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

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  • Solve Two Mysteries: Expose the fate of Jessalyn Thornton and unveil the truth about a family ghost
  • Take on the Scariest Nancy Drew Case Ever Explore crypts and graveyards and uncover moving statues, sliding panels and secret passages
  • Examine Multiple Motives Under a Full Moon Uncover old secrets and divulge new motives among the Thornton friends and family
  • Unravel Perplexing and Spooky Puzzles Reveal shocking evidence and critical clues buried beneath the spooky ruins
  • Track Your Trophies Verify your unlocked achievements on the new trophy menu display

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Game Information

  • Platform:    Windows 7 / Vista / XP, Mac, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
  • Media: Video Game
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Product Description

Some Families Keep Deadly Secrets. Jessalyn Thornton's fateful sleepover at the abandoned Thornton estate was supposed to be a pre wedding celebration, but the fun ended when she disappeared. While her family searches for clues, others refuse to speak about the estate's dark past. Did something supernatural happen to Jessalyn, or is someone in Thornton Hall holding something besides family secrets.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x927656c0) out of 5 stars 96 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x927fa438) out of 5 stars Hard to Believe this is a Nancy Drew Game 14 May 2013
By Joe - Published on
When it comes to Nancy Drew games, I have played them all. My adventures have led me to solve tough puzzles, interrogate suspects, and catch some devious criminals. I guess you can call me a Nancy Drew Veteran.
When I finished "The Deadly Device" several months ago, I was very satisfied with the mystery. All the core gameplay elements from the classic ND games that we all know and love were there. No more tedious mini games and chores! The Nancy Drew franchise has taken a turn to an older, more mature audience, and it is most certainly the case for Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Nancy Drew's 28th mystery takes her to the Thornton Hall Residence on Blackrock Island, where Jessalyn Thornton, the youngest member of the Thornton family, has inexplicably gone missing! Left with only Jessalyn's dead cellphone, a group of wacky family members, and a malevolent ghost on the loose, Nancy must try to keep her sanity in-check, or risk having a mental breakdown from all the house's scares and dangerous traps. I'm not joking either. Thornton Hall is literally filled with one dead end trap after the next. This is Nancy's most morbid case yet. As many have mentioned, the game does revolve around solving two mysteries: finding out the truth behind Jessalyn's disappearance, and bringing to justice Charlotte Thornton's death, which happened a decade prior to Jessalyn's disappearance.

I must applaud the animator's work, the graphics in this game were simply put, amazing. From all the interactive environments, to the emotional cutscenes, and even the characters themselves, one could tell that a lot of work was put into each individual deatil. While the outside of Thornton Hall is eerily spooky, the inside is just plain breathtaking. The Thornton cemetery was also an interesting place to explore, filled with ominous fog and one archaic crypt.

When it comes to the plot, the historical Civil War references took a back seat and HeR focused the core gameplay on the development of the characters. What made the game so intriguing; however, was the fact that each of the characters were all hiding a dark secret surrounding the night of Charlotte's death. I'm not going to spoil anything, but it is very rewarding to interrogate the Thornton family and feel so captivated by how believable and dramatic they are. The plot and role development really shines through in this installment. Overall, I found the plot to be very smooth. Everything transitioned perfectly well and nothing seemed out of place or just thrown into the game to make it longer. While I would have liked more places to explore inside the Hall, (after all, the outside of the place is huge!) or even around the island, HeR did a good job on tying up loose ends and justifying why the Hall was so small.

The soundtrack in GTH was also very memorable. (as is the case for all the Nancy Drew games) I particularly liked the songs played inside Thornton Hall. The outside songs were good too, but I sometimes felt that I could not hear them enough. The ambiance of the game overall fit the soundtrack perfectly though, and I wouldn't expect anything less from a Nancy Drew game.

HeR Interactive has also added plenty of new features to the game as well:
+Reformed Achievements System. Players can now track their achievements in the game whenever they want! Whenever you earn an achievement trophy, you even get subtly notified about it as well.
+Fast Forward. Ah, the feature that we've all been waiting for. Players now have the ability to fast forward entire conversations with suspects. So if you've played the game already, or you're faster at reading than listening, you no longer have to wait long periods of time for the characters to finish talking.
+Plot Adjustments to Choices. I don't want to spoil anything, but this game takes your choices seriously. This player input ultimately affects the overall ending of the game as well. Yup, you've heard me, this game has multiple endings.

Honestly, there wasn't too many gripes that I had in GTH:
-Deadly Device had a phone app called YRChat, which was similar to a video conference calling. I wish HeR could've done the same and had Nancy do YRChat with Bess and Ned, or Addison. I'm not taking a point off for this, but it would've been nice.
-While the inside of the Hall was beautiful, some of the places were a little too dark for me. Literally. I understand the game was trying to be scary. It was just a pain to make sure that my laptop was running on its highest brightness to play.
-Some of the suspects were a little too forgoing with their secrets. HeR should make the interrogating a little more choice based. If the player makes a mistake, why not just play the "You made a fatal error" screen and try again?

Fire so red, night so black, dear sweet Charlotte, please come back...Ghost of Thornton Hall will not disappoint. If you loved Deadly Device from Nancy's last episode, you will most definitely love this one.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9280f300) out of 5 stars Dear sweet Charlotte, please come back.... 14 May 2013
By Bundt Lust - Published on
I've played nearly all of the 28 Nancy Drew games from Her Interactive; my favorites of all time were Nancy Drew: The Legend of the Crystal Skull(due to the great creepy voodoo vibe and goth prince Harry), Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice and Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge. I loved the combination of culture, history, and mystery in these games.

In Ghost of Thornton Hall, Nancy is called upon to find Jessalyn Thornton, a missing bride-to-be on Blackrock Island, ancestral home of the Thornton family. Thornton Hall is a dilapidated antebellum mansion flanked by skeletal moss-draped trees and a crypt / graveyard. Like CRY, you'll spend the entire game at night, which means lots of dark lighting (and ambiance). As other reviewers have pointed out, GTH felt a bit like a mashup of Nancy Drew - Haunting of Castle Malloy and Legend of the Crystal Skull (missing bride-to-be + lots of time spent in graveyards / crypts).

You'll spend much of the game untangling two separate mysteries: piecing together the puzzle of the missing bride-to-be as well as the death of Charlotte Thornton, whose ghost is said to haunt Blackrock Island. Nancy has the chance to interrogate several members of the Thornton family, although I would have liked to see more actual snooping (there's definitely much less snooping than in earlier games...and where do these people sleep / eat since no one apparently has a room at the house?).

You're limited to three main locations; I would have liked a couple of extra rooms to explore within Thornton Hall (one humorous random ND moment: there's a tea set where you can make yourself unlimited tea, and then I realized that this was one of the few games without a bathroom!). A few more hotspots would have been nice, too (Jessalyn's purse is on the floor, but you can't explore it. Wait, shouldn't there be some evidence in there??). However, there are lots of animations and unexpected surprises that add some life to the creepy old mansion.

SAW and CRY are definitely two of the spookier games in the series, but GTH has a sustained spookiness that pounces when you least expect it. Creepy events happen in every room at any moment, and combined with the eerie music (which has a great vocal / cello soundtrack), keep you on the edge of your seat. For me, the biggest cop-out was the supposed explanation for these at the end of the game...which wouldn't have explained all the sightings anyway. The game was morbid more than scary; there are several surprisingly dark subplots and possible endings for an ND game, and several of the conversations involve some pretty black humor on the part of one character in particular.

The puzzles offered sufficient variety, but I would have liked to see more use made of the ghost hunting equipment that Savannah Woodham left for Nancy; it's pretty obvious that the hauntings are off the charts, but you only use it for one puzzle and then you're done (SAW was great about using EVP recorders and the like to try and capture evidence).

If you're stuck, you can use the hint feature if you're playing as an Amateur Sleuth. Another cool touch is that there are three possible endings depending on how you play out the final scenario. It was fun playing through all three to see the different endings, which also added replay value. One feature that I liked was that you can instantly see which awards you've earned throughout the course of the game using the new trophy menu display; each time you earn a new award, you'll get a notification (there are A LOT of possible awards this time around, adding to the replay value). And there's FINALLY a feature that lets you fast-forward through conversations, which is especially handy if you're replaying the game.

The game's atmosphere, music, graphics and story were great; it's definitely one of the best games from the last couple of years post-SAW, but it still seemed short compared to earlier games like Crystal Skull or Shadow at the Water's Edge. However, if you're a fan of "spooky" ND games like Mystery in a Haunted Mansion, Legend of the Crystal Skull or Shadow at the Water's Edge, you'll love Ghost of Thornton Hall!

Creepy atmosphere
New features (fast-forward through conversations, new trophy menu)
Replay value

Seemed short
Could have benefitted from a few extra rooms / locations to explore
You spend a lot of time backtracking, especially later in the game
Contains some pretty heavy / dark topics for younger players
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9267eb88) out of 5 stars Ghost of Thornton Hall - Spoiler-Free Review 18 May 2013
By Audrey Reddenbocker - Published on
Verified Purchase
Hello! I am going to break this review down into the different parts of the game and their ratings, an overall score of the game, and a recommendation for players new to the Nancy Drew series and for veterans. Again, this review will be spoiler-free and hopefully helpful to someone looking to purchase this game.

Plotline - 10/10:
I thought the plotline was a little shaky at first, because in my head I was thinking this was going to be a repeat of Haunting of Castle Malloy (possibly mixed in with Shadow at the Water's Edge -- other Nancy Drew games). To be perfectly honest, that statement is somewhat true. However, the execution of the plot really surprised me. Nancy stays on top of the case, does not get distracted, and the plot flows quite nicely. The plotline really grabbed my attention and I thought it was GREAT!

Scare Factor - EDITED | 10/10:
This game has a lot of little random things that jump out at you. Is it the scariest Nancy Drew game? It depends on what scares you. I, personally, find this game to be right up there next to Shadow at the Water's Edge, tying for most scary Nancy Drew game. I do not scare easily, but I actually jumped once while playing this game - so yes, it even got me. But in no way is it so-scary-I-wet-my-pants-crying scary. ;-)EDIT TO ADD: Okay, I would like to change the scare factor because, last night, when I was heading to bed, I kept thinking something was going to jump out at me..... and I am in college.... so, I take it back. This lived up to the scare factor for me :-)

Characters - 8/10:
There are five real suspects in this game - Harper, Wade, Colton, Clara, and the ghost. (Does she count?) :-) There were also phone friends to talk to - Addison, Ned, Bess, and Savannah. While I thought all the characters in this game were enjoyable, I felt like certain characters did not have their personality expanded as much as they could have. My favorite characters (and the most well-explained) were Wade, Harper, Ned, and Addison.

Graphics - 6/10:
Although many a people will say the graphics were great, I somewhat disagree. There were several parts in the game were characters would speak and then their body would move quite some time later. Plus a few times my game just froze. So, graphics were kind of iffy in this game.

Puzzles/Difficulty - 9/10:
To be perfectly honest, I get bored with puzzles I do not get. There were several puzzles that made me bored and I just used the spoiler/hint feature several times. But, for the most part, the puzzles were easy and the game was very simple to pick up on things.

Replay Value - 7/10:
These games are hard to give replay values, because although they have trophies you can get, ask more questions, and now skip conversations (cool new feature!), you already know the puzzles and the villain. So, to me, putting a replay value on this game is hard..... Replay value of this game can be determined for YOU by one easy question.... do you re-read books you enjoy? If the answer is yes, you will totally find this game to have replay value! If no (like me), you might be both sides of the fence.

Music - 9/10
The music really was not there. It was a soft and subtle additive, which I felt was appropriate considering what the game plot is.

Length of Game - 8/10:
I never want to see a game end!! I timed myself for playing this game and it took me 329 minutes (or about 5 and a half hours), but please note that I DID CHEAT a few times. Without using hints, this game would have taken me definitely over 7 hours, which is not bad.

Ending of Game - 9/10:
A lot of people complain about this aspect of the game, claiming that not everything was explained. To be honest, there was only one thing that I thought was not explained. Everything else made sense to me. And I thought the ending was rather good. (If you have any questions, though, just comment and I will definitely answer them!)

Overall - 9.5/10:
I want to give this game a solid 10, but I feel like it was not the longest game, there was one thing unexplained at the end of the game, and the graphics drove me a little crazy. The top two questions people are probably wondering, though, are:
1) Do you recommend the game? And;
2) Where would this game fall on your favorite Nancy Drew game list?
The answer to the first question is a 1,000% yes. The answer to the second question is that it is definitely in my top 3 games, possibly my #1! :-)

If you are brand new to the Nancy Drew series, I would actually recommend checking out some of the earlier games. The reason being is that some games have references to the previous games. But, none the less, I do recommend this game.

Definitely a must! The game is great!!

Next Game:
All I can say is WOW! I do not want to spoil it, but I will say this: I NEVER saw this idea coming! :-O

Again, if you were confused about anything, comment and I will try to help! :-)

Thanks for reading!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9283fb64) out of 5 stars The Nancy Drew Christmas Tradition! 27 Dec. 2013
By Mara - Published on
Every year for Christmas I get a Nancy Drew game and relive my childhood. I'm 22 and have no shame! My favorite Nancy Drew games involve lots of snooping, loads of secret passageways, and a great plot!

In The Ghost of Thornton Hall Nancy Drew heads to Blackrock Island to investigate the disappearance of Jessalyn Thornton. Thornton Hall is a rundown mansion on the island filled with loads of spooky nooks and crannies. No one actually lives at Thornton Hall besides the ghost "Charlotte" haunting it. Jessalyn went missing while exploring the island. The Thornton family have all gathered to search the island for their beloved Jessalyn. As Nancy you will wander around Blackrock Island making your way through a graveyard and exploring the run down mansion to try to uncover how Jessalyn went missing and whether the ghost of Blackrock island is real.

The plot was both amazing and not so great. The plot centers around a very spooky, yet lovable ghost. Exploring the mansion and discovering the ghost's mystery was wonderful. This is definitely one of the better plots in a Nancy Drew games, but the plot also has a lot of holes. There is something about the civil war and people dying in a fire but none of that really comes back to mean anything. The story is set up with all these wonderful details and then just nothing.

Furthermore the premise was just a bit off. There wasn't really much purpose to Jessalyn being a bride to be or having her bachelorette party out at the mansion. Essentially Jessalyn went missing when she was hanging out with a friend. That's a much easier way to explain what happens in the beginning of the game instead of muddling it down with a bunch of weird details about Jessalyn's wedding which made the start of this game super confusing. It took almost halfway through the game just to understand what happened the night Jessalyn disappeared. I love interviewing suspects and finding out more details but for most of this game you are just really confused because no one has told you the full story yet.

The location of this game is AMAZING! I have never seen so many secret passage ways in my life! I loved it! Usually you get one or two secret passageways in a Nancy Drew game and you're done. Not with this game! The secret room, tombs, and passages just keep coming. There may even be a part where you look spy through the eyeholes in a painting.

Thorton Hall is wonderful to explore and delightfully spooky. I'm usually a big chicken but I enjoyed the creepiness factor of this game. There are ghost sightings in every single room which keeps you on your toes and makes the game interesting even if you are wandering around the entire house for over half an hour looking for a single penny to use in an invention.

I would have preferred to have a few more rooms to explore. There did seem like a lot of places to explore but within the house itself I wish there had been more to do. A few more spooky bedrooms would have been wonderful to sleuth through and would have added to the atmosphere of the rundown mansion.

Well done, but the setting was too dark. I had to play on the highest level of brightness and even then there were several times I missed an item to pick up because it was hidden in the shadows. This game is only night play. I wish there had been some daytime as well just to mix up the setting a bit and give your eyes a break from all of that darkness.

It's a decent length for a Nancy Drew game. I didn't feel cheated like I have with a few games, but the game did seem short. You do a lot of stuff within a short time span. Lots of action for me made up for the lack of game time. HWE could have easily made this game twice as long! They had all the plot set up for it.

Overall a really fun play. I would definitely recommend it, but it's not the best Nancy Game out there.

-Great Soundtrack
-Spooky Rooms
-Tons of Secret Passage ways
-Great Plot
-Multiple endings
-Puzzles aren't too difficult

-There were lots of moments where you needed to find one thing but you couldn't so you got stuck. Usually that item was hiding in some dark corner that you didn't see.
-Lots of cool objects like ghost detecting gear but you only use it once
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9471e264) out of 5 stars A GREAT TAKE ON A GHOST STORY! 10 Jun. 2013
By NightshadeBlack - Published on
This is my second review and completed adventure in this series.

First, I'd like to start by dividing my review into two factions.
1) The game itself
2) My personal detective work.

* PART 1 *
PLOT: Set on a spooky southern island, I was immediately engulfed with excitement and hopeful scariness as I took in every detail of the scenery. Learning you had to track down a missing fiance while encountering the supernatural was right up my alley! {Haunted stories are my particular favorites.] I immersed myself into the family lore reading all the facts I could find on what I might be up against. I loved all the cemetery explorations and it reminded me of my own particular ghost haunting from years past. I found that there were secrets about a killing or such and I was interested to find the guilty party/person. Was it too obvious? It was, but I don't fault the game makers. Sometimes, easy is one way of going about the plot as many people may tend to over think matters.

CHARACTERS: Clara waiting around swatting flies was a little off-putting. Harper was a take on Helena Bonham-Carter. Colton was not much help for the most part. Wade would have been more interesting if I really cared what he had to say. Savannah? A little too cloying. Bess and Ned were just plain awesome and fun! Really would want to be friends with them in real life. The ghost? Not spooky, but more intriguing if anything. The paranormal? Fascinating!!! What the hell was that armadillo thing in the workroom anyway?

CUMUL SCORE: - 2 = 85

SCORE/GRAPHICS: Great operatic vocals! And with a twinge of bass and piano thrown in. It could almost get a little irritating, but it was fine for me generally

PUZZLES: I loved the Cemetery Lettering scavenge [ I overthought it a bit] and the stained glass puzzle was a weird treat. Puzzles which I thought I would hate [the locket] turned out to be less of a hassle than i imagined


ENDING: Again, we are faced with Nancy NOT solving ANYTHING. All she did was decipher puzzles. I didn't get to select who I thought the culprit was. Isn't that the point of a detective mystery? To see if you solve the clues lying around? It went on autopilot once again and fleshed out the rest of the story for you. All in all, it was still interesting, although one would wonder if Jess's disappearance could have been handled better by Colton and Jess themselves. I want to believe that there was a second part to the story and that indeed an active ghost haunting taking place. That makes far more sense than any character or narrative explanations given. Indeed, I'd have more respect if the game DID honor real ghosts....after all, not everything can be explained and they ARE real.

CUMUL SCORE: - 4 = 88

* PART 2 *

I try to solve cases without any hints, walkthroughs, etc, even if it were to
take weeks! Well, it took me a little over two weeks and I gave myself a Detective
Score Of : 86

My Strong Points: Solving the Puzzles pretty fast when given the chance. I remembered quite a bit from the books and newspapers if proper recall was expected but the time rarely called for it.

Weak Points: This was more of a Game Maker problem than anything I personally lacked. Falling scythes and wooden ceilings happened before you realized you had done something wrong. Instant death should not be an option without clues laid out that there would be such a problem. I know this doesn't happen in REAL life, but this is a sleuthing game. Bad choices should garner death....not because you weren't supposed to touch an object that gave no forewarning.

OVERALL GAME SCORE: 86+88/2= 87 [ B+ ]

A lot better game than the original SECRETS CAN KILL: REMASTERED [C minus] ...better graphics, feel, length etc, but I would like a few more places to search.
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