Monday, August 31, 2009

Once Upon Days

Hello hello,

I hope everyone had a fruitful weekend, full of fun and relaxation. There's a lot to be done this week. We've got the launch of the DS game soon. There's a new newsletter on it's way (written by our much-missed intern, Summer), as well as a new contest debuting tomorrow! And maybe a few more tricks up our sleeves... ^.~

I saw that some people didn't want me to spoil puzzle #24 just yet. So I'm going to consolidate all the hints we've given so you can make one final push (with help from Mari.)

-- Puzzle #24 hint --

You’ve got the phrases right.

[ “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth”]
[ “A piece of cake” ]

And you’re on the right track. You just need to finish the numbering. You may have to work in a different direction and don’t forget to count spaces.


As a side note, I'm still being blown away by the dedication to solving this one. Mari is determined to see you solve it on your own two feet as well. She's furiously holding the keys to #25, though from what I've seen you all are working in the right direction there too. More on this tomorrow though.

Sorry for the late-day post, sometimes Mondays come through like a tornado. Let's hope tomorrow is a bit less blustery, yeah?



Friday, August 28, 2009

Playing on the Weak End (w/ Puzzles!)

Friday, oh friday...

It is finally here. I know that everyone is excited for this little break. I can see the rise and fall of posts on the boards. With both Summer's slowly moving into the past, Autumn's presence has become quite pressing.

~And I just have to say that we were super fortunate to have Summer sleuth here while we did. She was a great person to have around the office and we'll miss her very much.~

As for this weekend, I've got a new puzzle, but it seems like you all have begun to become so busy. I'd hate to detract from #24, yet Mari delivered this brand new puzzle to me. So I guess I'm splitting the difference once again. :P But if there is no solution for #24 by Monday, I'll be posting the steps and answer. Alright, on to the excitement.

-- Puzzle #24--

You'll need all the hints so far, plus, you'll need to think backwards.


Okay, that's one puzzle out of the way. Up next is the new one for this week.

-- Puzzle XXV --


And there you have it. I hope everyone has a fun-filled time this weekend. But most importantly, be sure to relax and de-stress! We'll have some good announcements next week, including a contest we may have alluded to previously. Also I may have drafted a guest writer, but we'll see if she's willing to take the leap!

Stay crafty!

- Novel -

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Farwell to Summer

Hello devoted Amateur Sleuth blog fans,

I’m sad to report that this is my final address to you. I’ve had a wonderful summer here at Her Interactive listening to your feedback and reviews. I have to say, it’s hard to imagine more dedicated fans, and that means so much to me.

You guys have been so welcoming, despite more posts from me resulting in less from Novel. I really appreciate it, as well as all the excellent answers you provided to my questions. Not to mention how impressed I am every week with your amazing puzzle solving skills!

You’ve really been great and I hope you all continue to use your Nancy Drew skills in the real world. On that note I will bid you adieu and remember, always drink lots of water and wear sunscreen.

Summer Sleuth

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quick Hint

Eeek it's late, and I don't have a lot of time to write, but Mari wanted me to pass this along. It's a hint for puzzle #24


"Spaces count."


Keep working, some of your are definitely on the right track! Talk to ya's later. ^.^

- Novel -


Hey folks
Well today the sales and marketing team took me out for lunch to celebrate (or mourn…just kidding) the ending of my internship. It’s really weird that eight weeks have gone by already!

Once we got back I ventured back outside to try and take a picture of some interesting wildlife. I saw a bunch of adorable ducks and spent about 10 minutes chasing a dragonfly trying to get it to land on my hand because that would have made an awesome picture (he never did). But then as I had settled for the idea of posting a picture of a mere duck, I stumbled upon a fascinating herd of wildlife:

Little is known about these strange creatures, including why they decide to have a meeting outside and then sit in the shade on a beautiful day or why none of them ever smile. Maybe one day scientists will reveal the answers to these mysteries but for now I’m just proud to have had the opportunity to take their picture without being mauled or possibly overwhelmed by their ultimate combination of brawn and wit.

Just kidding what I came across was a walkthrough meeting for Nancy Drew 22. Which is top secret and I can unfortunately reveal nothing about. :)

Summer Sleuth

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Honey(ies) I'm Home!

I hope you all had fun with Novel last week and that you are planning a trip to the store (or the HI website) to get your copy of the second dossier game Resorting to Danger because it released today!

So far today I’ve started writing the next newsletter which will again be about the Hardy Boys DS game. I hope you guys are excited for it because it’s a whole new area for HI and I think they did an amazing job putting it together. It’s so much fun being on the train and solving a real historical mystery. I’m also really excited for you guys to play WAC which is coming up really soon.

It’s also a shame that I haven’t been here because I forgot to remind Novel to wish you all a happy National Bologna Day yesterday! But in any case I hope you had a good 24th even if you didn’t get a chance to have a nice bologna sandwich and if you did then congratulations on staying up to date on your bizarre holidays.

Summer Sleuth

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Puzzle #24 Hint

Howdy howdy,

It's Monday once again and we're quite pleased to see you back. This week should be a good one. We've got one of our favorite interns back from her "vay-kay." She'll be popping up this week to give you some more scoops. But on to the meat of Monday-faire... hints! O.O

So it seems you've gotten the answers to the rebuses, but how do they relate to the puzzle's answer. When I asked Mari this question, she give me the below hint to help you along. Check it out.



Hmmm... Another picture. Will it be just the push we need? Guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow. Stay awesome!

- Novel -

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Puzzle for the Week's End: # 24

Hey! hey! hey!

Finally we get to Friday. The week's rushing slows, and all we've got left is a little riddle for your enjoyment. I'm happy to report that we have an excellent puzzle for you today. Though I've got to admit, it looks rather tricky. Let's get to it!



Mystifying! I'll be checking up on the progress, so good luck to everyone. Have a great weekend, oh, and do something fantastic, yeah?

- Novel -

Thirsting for Thursday


I like to think of Thursday as the end of the work week, (this may not always be as effective as I imagine it to be) but Fridays tend to have a wonderful transcendence to them; creativity gushes, and the weekend respite gathers a tangible presence...

So Thursdays always turn out, busy. But what's the news?

Well, we've released a newsletter about RED! If you're on the mailing list, it should show up today at some point. If not, you can always check it out here:
It has got some excellent information about RED, so be sure to check it out.

WAC is still going strong and I've been combing through the content to help determine the game's official rating. The process is laborious, but necessary. The ESRB handles all of the ratings, but we have to gather all the game's pertinent content together. This means I've got to work with all the departments to get what I need. I've been traveling between designers, writers, scripters and artists just to find all the particular scenes we'll need, to submit the request to the ESRB. Good communication skills are a must for this job!

I guess we'll see how it turns out in a couple months, huh?

That's all for today. I've already seen some preliminary work on tomorrow's puzzle, so expect something good then. Later, gator.

- Novel -

P.S. No matter how many times you read something, still those little typos slip through... That's Thursdays for you :P

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Depicting a Mid-Week State of Mind

The days keep drifting by here. We're just about out of summer, but we've still got so much left to do. RED release is pretty much here, the DS game is about to come out as well, and for the classic fans, we've got WAC on the way.

Is it too much? :P

As you can imagine with all of these new games; we keep running a bit behind, but this is mostly to ensure that we're still creating the quality that you know and trust. For your enjoyment, I've got a little vignette into our busy hive.

If you think that's messy, you should check out my desk. >.<

Well, I suppose I'll let you ponder on that for the day. We've got a newsletter coming up pretty soon, as I'm sure Summer eluded to. I'll let you know the dish as soon as I do. Oh, and per our conversation yesterday, I've got another little snippet from the WAC box.

• Sleuth through the night -
Stay up past curfew for some extra-curricular snooping.

Sounds a bit risky ;) but hey, that's the best time to do some detective work! Welp, I'm outs, see ya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday to Muse

Boy! has it been a while since I've written you all in the middle of the week. Summer has been doing such an excellent job of it, I've nearly forgotten just what news to give. As intern, she gets to work on a lot of fun activities, while my work is a bit less news-worthy. Of course that being said, what I got to focus on this past week was pretty rockin'-awesome!

WAC is coming, which I'm sure you're aware of, and I got the good-fortune to work on some of the copy for the packaging. As a member of the marketing team, I usually get to help by providing some input on the boxes we make for each game. This time however I was able to actually be a part of the creation process.

Last week I worked on writing the copy that appears on the box. I got to help outline the plot, describe the special features, and pen the tagline! We'll probably go through a few re-writes, but I had a lot of fun trying to come up with great things to say. Though I've got to say it is a challenging job. It can be very tricky trying to fit an entire storyline into just 300 characters.

I did manage to pull a line out for you all. It is one of my favs, but unfortunately we had to cut it from the final version. >.<

"Enroll in an Academy of Intrigue!"

Pretty snappy huh? Sometimes the right words just sound so nice. I'll see if I can sneak a few more lines off the box for you to read. Mmwwhahhah!

- Novel (XXVII) -

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seizing the Day

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I noticed that there were a lot of people continuing to puzzle through the weekend. It is always grand to see everyone enjoying themselves with a brain teaser. I'm happy to say that both puzzles have in fact been solved! Great job! There is however a slight caveat... Puzzle 22 was solved prior to Friday's post. !?!

I know, I know. You all continued to work so diligently and I'm sorry that I didn't see the answer in time. I think that perhaps for all of your hard work I owe you a great bit of gratitude. I'll have to think of a special way to repay your determination (and patience with me!) For now, all I can do is alleviate your curiosity.

-- Weekend Puzzle 22 --

This image was found by clicking on the image on the blog for August 7th, 2009. The rules for solving are as follows: All the bugs have spots.
[ Ladybugs facing right use addition, the ones facing left are subtraction. ]
With that information we can get the following numbers:
[ 20, 20, 19, 18, 18, 8, 7, 7, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 1 ]
These numbers correspond to letters of the alphabet:
[ T, T, S, R, R, H, G, G, E, E, E, E, E, A ]
These can be unscrambled to create the following phrase:
[ Three Easter Eggs ]


I can hear the shrieks of exasperation. Oh but wait...

So what's the big news on this that I've been hiding? Well as you may or may not have guessed, this does relate to RAN. For us, this is something we've never before disclosed. Our designer, Cathy was quite ecstatic to be able to release this information to you. But in a hilarious twist of events, it would seem you all discovered this without our intervention! You're just too adept at the mystery business for us to give hints about the present. :P Still, there's always the joy of the hunt, eh?

I can't help but feel like we need to get back on our game a little bit, what do you think?

The next puzzle was pretty standard fair, and you all solved it with the grace and ease of a world-class sleuth. Let's see how it was done.

-- Weekend Puzzle 23 --

Lucky Symbol: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ = 25 15 1 2 22 2 25 15 22

Lucky Find: _ _ _ _ _ = 16 22 14 14 8

3 20 21 3 22 22 14 26 3 1 26 8 22 2

So to solve this puzzle, you need to determine what the two Lucky items are. We've got:
[ Lucky Symbol = Horseshoe ]
[ Lucky Find = Penny ]
If you match up the letters with the adjacent numbers, it gives us part of a cipher for all of the bottom numbers. Which looks like this:
[ ( A – I = 18-26 ) ( J - Q = 10-17 ) ( R – Z = 1-9 ) ]
So you replace the letters and unscramble them for the answer:
[ Secret Identity ]


And there you have it. Answers to all the burning questions. I'm going to need to slow down a bit to ensure everything is working well in hand for the future. (*fingers crossed for less mistakes*) But I think perhaps I'll wrap up for the day :P

Summer is out for the week, so I'll be seeing you tomorrow. Ta-ta!

- Novel -

Friday, August 14, 2009

Puzzle For The Weekend of August 14th, 2009


Boy-oh-boy! It looks like we've still got one puzzle up in the air, and another on the way. I've been sworn to secrecy about last weekend's puzzle, so I can only give hints until it's solved (you'll understand why when you get the answer.) But since I know some of you wish to move on, Mari has provided me with another puzzle. So I'm going to double up, I hope this is okay. In order to help make sure we don't get things crossed, I'm going to be very explicit in the separation of clues and the such. So let's get to it!

Hint for weekend puzzle 22:

No one has solved it just yet, but I've seen some close answers. Just a little bit more. Here's the hint -
[ Ladybugs facing right are to be added. Ladybugs facing left are to be subtracted (which someone solved!) You're looking to spell three words ]
I hope this helps, good luck!



Puzzle #23:

Lucky Symbol: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ = 25 15 1 2 22 2 25 15 22

Lucky Find: _ _ _ _ _ = 16 22 14 14 8

3 20 21 3 22 22 14 26 3 1 26 8 22 2


Great! Oh by the way, if you've just checked up on the blog, Summer posted that we have indeed drawn winners for the Hardy Boys DS contest! So be sure to check your email and see if you've won! She may have also mentioned something about another contest coming your way soon. Yes, this is correct! I'll be posting the details and all the fun soon, so be sure to check up on us. ^.^ Keep the peace!

- Novel -

Hardy Boys Winners!

Hey guys,

We had so many participants in the Hardy Boys contest, it was sad that we only got to draw five winners. But hooray for those five people! Because we don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy, we can only release their first names. So congratulations to Ben, Glen, Lacy, Jessica and Uma! They’ve been notified via email and will being receiving their copy of Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks in a couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest, it was a lot of fun to create and manage, and I hope you all enjoyed it too!

And to everyone who didn’t win, remember presale for the game starts on August 24th and will ship on September 1st so order your copy soon! Also I think Novel has another excellent contest in the works, more on that little bit later though! Have a fantastic weekend!

Summer Sleuth

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Extra blog, extra hint.

I hate to jump in Summer's shadow, but I've been following the joy and frustration of our esteemed weekend puzzlers and I just couldn't hold back the hints. I present to you a super clue, one that may just give you all the boost you need.


You've got the theory;
[adding versus subtracting, no negatives, and size is unimportant.]
Now it's a matter of putting those rules into practice. Finish strong!


I know you can do it, plus the answer is pretty awesome. Any way, as Summer eluded, tomorrow is quite the day, so I'll see you then! ^.~

- Novel -
Hi there!

As you all know well, HI is currently very busy working on WAC but the process of putting the whole game together is incredible to watch. I’ve spent the whole day play-testing WAC and it’s so much fun! I’ve seen all the petitions and reviews on the message boards that want the old style of games back which is why I’m so excited for you all to play this game. It feels a lot like MHM or TRT with the setting and historical content but adds all sorts of new puzzles and activities (like receiving texts and taking photos!) I think it’s the perfect combination of old meets new.

Also, we have a newsletter coming up concerning the characters from RED, which will be available in stores in just a couple weeks! The newsletter will contain all of our presale and digital download dates so be sure to keep an eye out.

And the third exciting thing that I have to tell you is that we’ll be announcing the Hardy Boys Sweepstakes winners here tomorrow! We received so many applicants and I can’t wait to pick the five lucky winners!!

Enjoy your Thursdays!

Summer Sleuth

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Clue Time

Mari says: “Well done! You’re very close! Here’s a hint - there should be no negative numbers.”

Hope that Helps!
I must first say you guys are doing great on the weekend puzzle. I’ve seen so many great ideas and theories. Novel is out of the office this afternoon so I will be posting a clue in a little while but first it’s time for the weekly portal (…picture) into Her Interactive life.

You all, clever as you are, have probably already noticed how much I like the little pictures and puzzles that people leave scattered about the office. So my picture that’s on one (of three) of our office refrigerators is of a little man and…his dog? Or maybe another small man that is attached to his leg? It’s hard to tell, but regardless it’s cute and creative.

I’ll be back soon with your clue!
Summer Sleuth

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hello everyone!
I’m back from a beautiful weekend spent in Santa Barbara, California to rainy Seattle weather. I hope all of you had an equally enjoyable few days working on that sneaky weekend puzzle.

I spent the morning typing up the text from the French boxes for CRE, ICE and CRY which is surprisingly difficult on word because it attempts to auto-correct everything you type. But I got through it after turning auto-corrections off. Then I got to do a little work with the RED trailer (it looks pretty swell, I have to say.) We should be putting up on our site any day now.

I now plan on spending the rest of the day testing WAC which will be going into beta testing within the next few days. The game is so much fun. It’s weird that I won’t be working here anymore by the time that it comes out but I still can’t wait for you guys to play it!

Ω Summer Sleuth

Monday, August 10, 2009

As it pertains to puzzles.

Good day,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It was quiet in the office, though I think there were a few busy bees in; diligently plugging away at WAC. I have to admit, I was not among them. >.<

So just so we're all on the same page, there was a weekend puzzle posted on Friday. Mari was trying to be extra sneaky with this one, and I'll tell you why. This puzzle has a special answer. That's right, it has got a fairly big reveal. But, I can't spoil anything just yet. I will however, give you a little bit of a hint (if you're inclined to use them :P )


Congrats on finding the puzzle! Those of you who have been working hard and need just a little bit of help, here's your hint:
[Each bug represents one letter. ]

Good luck!


Sounds like a pretty good clue to me. So get cracking, and I'll see ya later on!

- Novel (3.14) -

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Puzzling Sort of Weekend

Hey everyone,

I know that it's your favorite day of the week and you can bet that we're exited too!

Summer's been asking you all some good questions recently, I hope you all have taken the time to respond. She's been quite adept at asking the important questions, we're lucky to have her around. ^.~

So in other news I received this email in my in-box this morning.



:( Oh, well... I'm sure that you super-sleuths can find something puzzling to do this weekend. I guess we'll hear more on that on Monday. Thanks for hanging out this week, I'll see you in the future!

- Novel -

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today I have a question for you guys! You already know how valuable your opinions are for us so it was suggested to me to ask you, that avid fans, this simple question:

What is your favorite second chance scene and why?

In other news today, I’ve asked the entire office to join me and Novel for a big game of Apples to Apples because it was recently discovered that he, in fact, has never played before. I’m very excited seeing as it’s one of my favorite games ever. Hopefully a lot of people will come and get in on the wild comparison action!

Other than relentlessly trying to get as many people involved in the game as possible, today I worked some on the RED microsite which will be up in the near future and thought of ideas for something HI could do for Nancy Drew’s 80th birthday which is also coming up shortly.
Oh! And if you didn’t know, we started pre-orders for Resorting to Danger today! You can check out the info here:

Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting to Danger info:

Pre-order page with RED:

Tomorrow Novel will be on with the weekend puzzle so have a wonderful weekend!

Summer Sleuth

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Picture Wednesday

Hey y’all,

Every week the Art team from our Dossier series (AKA “the casual team”) has a theme for their white board and throughout the course of the week anyone in the office can come by and draw many an image related to it. Often times the board is completely covered with colorful artwork. For today’s picture, I thought I’d show you guys a board they did a little while back, with the theme “cause and effect” that depicts several adventurous young creatures playing with colorful spheres!

Yeah, some of them are a little bit creepy looking, but really they’re just a bunch of trapeze swinging, air guitar playing, misunderstood critters. I just think it’s cool to see all the detail and creativity the artists here at HI put into everything, not just the games!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the hundred degree weather has subsided, and we’re back to cloudy skies here in Seattle. In fact, it’s gotten so cold that I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt today!

Summer Sleuth

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hello hello and happy August (granted, I’m a little late)!

Well if you guys have been following the Her Interactive Twitter account or the message board, you’ve probably noticed that we at Her Interactive dedicate a lot of time to listening to your feedback and trying our best to make the changes to our games to make them all the more enjoyable. So the last couple days I’ve spent doing just that.

Yesterday I spent almost the entire day compiling over 100 pages of user reviews from the message boards for some of earliest, most popular games. Today I’ve been playing through those games in order to better understand just what it is about them that makes us sit on the edge of our seat biting our nails in suspense.

One of my favorite parts about HI is reading the emails of user feedback sent to us throughout the week. It’s awesome to work for a company that tries to listen to its fans. It’s wonderful to read all the positive comments but it’s also really important to hear the constructive criticism you all offer. We always strive to make the best game possible, and right now that means figuring out just how to bring back some of “the old” while still coming up with new puzzles and story lines – which is super fun for me because it means I get to go back and play old games!

And I know I probably say this every week, but amazing job on the weekend puzzle. I don’t know if I would have ever figured that whole nautical flags thing! It’s really great to see you guys work with one another to solve something and I love seeing how you go about putting the pieces together!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

§ Summer Sleuth

Monday, August 3, 2009

Revealing 21


Welcome back! It's Monday here and we're already anticipating a crazy week. I suppose that's good for you all (cause it means lots of excellent ND content), but I'll tell you what, I sure could use a bit of a break. :P

You know, I watched the progression of the puzzlers this week, and I have to say you achieved some moments pure brilliance. I love listening to the theories, techniques and guesses. You guys make this so much fun! But I suppose what you've all been waiting for is the answer, eh? Or maybe just a hint.

I don't think Mari quite discovered the myriad of possibilities her clues could lead to, so I'm going to have to do a bit of a reveal in order to explain. Let's see... I'll start like this. Someone solved the puzzle, they just don't know it. ;)


Solving this puzzle requires an understanding of [ nautical flags and their associated letter codes ]. Each particular statement may contain one or more clues. (Many of you discovered these steps!)

A Tale of Two Ships
“Stop immediately and keep clear!”
- [ Stop Immediately = L, Keep Clear = T ]
“What’s wrong? Do you need medical assistance?”
- [ Require medical assistance = W ]
“We’re fine. We just have a man overboard. I’m going to need you to move astern so we can get to him.”
- [ Man Overboard = O, Moving Astern = S ]
“Oh! I see him! You need to alter your course to starboard if you want to pick him up.”
- [ Move Starboard = E ]
“We got him! Thanks for your help.”
- [ There are no clues in this one :) ]

So once you've gotten all of the clues they need to be unscrambled.
[ T, L, W, O, S, E ]
I think this is where a majority of the complications began. Unfortunately of all the possible answers, only one is correct.
[ Towels ]


I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. This answer is directly related to Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting to Danger. I'm not really allowed to explain how, but you'll definitely get it if you play it. I think that part of the idea was once you had a bizillion possible words you'd say, "hey [ towels ], that's relative to a spa, which is where the next game takes place." But with all these nautical hints we've been dropping, I could see how it might be a bit of a stretch.

Still, I hope everyone enjoyed the puzzle, look forward to a new one this Friday (of course!) Summer's up tomorrow to give you the spiel on her projects. I'm outs!

- Novel -