Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

The goodies are dwindling down here (who took the last of the fudge?!) and we are getting ready to close shop. But don't worry, we'll be back January 3rd. We crazed sleuths could use a little rest and vacation. Of course, that just means some awesome mysteries to work on in Nancy's language.

Keep a weather eye on the message boards, the last of the avatars are coming your way, including the top fan choices. I'm excited for these last ones! They are my favorites.

Enjoy your holiday break and be sure to solve or re-solve a few cases (maybe one with snow involved?). From us to you:
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Foods and Gifts

Ah these holidays! They are a great time for foods and parties. We had an office potluck yesterday and I thought I'd sneak back into the kitchen just now to get a few more leftovers and goodies. I don't think I have a favorite dessert, they were all so awesome. Which reminds me, I wish we could try one of Hannah Gruen's masterpieces in a future game, because I always remember reading about the wonderful foods she makes, and they are described so well, too!

By the way, if you're doing any baking this week, I suggest getting your ingredients now, because stores get a bit crazy later. Same goes for gift shopping, but if you want to beat the crowds in the electronics section (for all your gaming desires), there's always the cool sales we've got going on our site, this week it's for Shadow at the Water's Edge. This is a really fun game to play over winter break, and you don't need to get trampled over to get it. (Being small is not very fun in crazy crowds, trust me).

Stay warm!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, December 20, 2010

Story Quote Contest Winner!!

What a crazy start to the day! Several Her Interactive employees were locked out of the office because the secure door was being overly secure. It insisted on remaining closed. No worries, we have a back door. Super detectives always have a backup plan for escapes and such. *Sly grin*.

In all the Christmas week buzz, we have an important announcement to make! Congratulations to Rachel for winning the Story Quote Contest!! Curious to see her story? Here it is:

The Case of the Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

“Okay! Nobody is leaving this room until this thing is solved; and I mean nobody!”

George Fayne eyed the occupants of the room as if daring them to retaliate.

“George, don’t you think you’re overreacting…Just a little bit?” Bess Marvin spoke nervously, sure George would not agree. Which she didn’t.

“Are you out of your mind? This is important!” George exploded. “My birthday party, and the cake goes missing? That this was three layers of pure chocolate HEAVEN, and I want it back. No one goes until it comes.” She glared at Joe Hardy, her prime suspect.

“George…” Nancy Drew sighed, curling a lock of her Titian hair around her finger.

“Don’t ‘George’ me! This is serious, and no one is leaving until I find out who did it! I’m going to look for anything suspicious in the kitchen. While I’m gone, reconsider your ‘stories.’ I know one of you took it.” The last line was spoken most pointedly at Joe, who had sworn he only smelled like chocolate due to the candy bar he’d eaten, not from eating her cake, a story which George found suspect at the very least.

After George exited the room, the group formed into a huddle. Ned Nickerson leaned forward to whisper.

“Is she always like this about cakes?”

“Not usually,” Bess Marvin answered worriedly.

“It was probably because she was up so late last night watching movies,” Nancy whispered. “On her last birthday, she made a list of things to do before her next birthday. Yesterday she decided to go for it and try to finish the things she still had on her list. Yesterday she’d already fit in three picnics, a swimming trip, and a hike around the town. She decided to cram some movies in too, to meet her goal. You all know how George is about accomplishing her goals.”

Frank Hardy shook his head. “She’s a determined one. Anyone know how late she stayed up?”

“Not exactly,” Bess answered. “But by three in the morning she was losing it. I asked her what on earth she was doing up so late on the night of her birthday, and she said something crazy-sounding like ‘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.’”

“Well that’d explain why she was so exhausted and grouchy this morning,” Joe whispered.

“Yeah. She sure isn’t now, though,” Nancy chimed in. “Nothing like a good sneaking suspicion to keep you on your toes I say.”

George re-entered the room.

“Okay! What are your alibis? Speak up! Joe!”

Joe, who hadn’t expected to be called on, had the same reaction he had when this had happened to him in school. He just about shot out of his seat and hit the ceiling.

“Yes ma’am!” he shouted, jerking to attention.

“Did YOU eat my cake?” George demanded.

“No, ma’am. ‘N it’d suit me just fine if I never saw it again,” Joe answered quickly.

George wasn’t buying it.

“Well then who did?”


Everyone turned and saw Hannah Gruen in the doorway, blushing just a little. In her hands was the cake.

“Hannah?” Nancy asked.

“I’m afraid I’ve caused a bit of a misunderstanding. George, no one stole your cake. I just got downstairs a few minutes ago and realised that I’d left the candles off your cake. I looked around, but realized we were all out of birthday candles. So, I rang up a neighbor and went over there to get some candles. I took the cake over there with me so I could compare the candles she had to the color of the frosting I used. Sorry for the confusion; I should have left a note” Hannah explained.

Everyone stared in silence for a moment, while George’s cheeks grew red with embarrassment. Then Joe spoke up.

“So, I’m not going to jail forever?”

Everyone broke into laughter and got on with the party; a highlight of which, everyone agreed, was a certain triple layer chocolate birthday cake."

-- Rachel

And congrats to you sleuths for figuring out puzzle #84! Here's how it's done: Start in the center (S) and then move to it's right, following in a spiral movement similar to the dart board in Warnings at Waverly Academy. Here's the answer: "See it on the cover of Glam Glam".

Keep the wheels spinning!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 84

It looks like we had a pretty exciting week. But I'm thinking next week will be even more awesome! We'll have a few more fun things going on, so be sure to stop by. :)

We've got a new puzzle for you this weekend. I'm hoping maybe it will inspire some good ideas for puzzle #83 as well. Good luck sleuths!

- Puzzle 84 -


Hint: This puzzle starts with 50 points at Waverly Academy


We'll see you next week. Have fun!

- Novel -

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Solving cases and keeping on our toes.

Today is alive and we are running! This place feels like a hot zone for all sorts of action; meetings all day, phone calls, contests to check out, schedule planning, and lots of food talk is what I'm hearing all at this moment. (These things that keep us on our toes and our minds alert are what make it so exciting in this office!)

Earlier a few office sleuths solved "The Case of the Disappearing Chair". Using their keen observation and interrogating skills, they cracked the case. There is predicament I'd like to try solve, too: how to get into the special snack closet, which of course "Is locked!" without anybody noticing...

The ND Decoder sweepstakes is hopping! Lots of you have entered, but if you haven't, you still have time! Tomorrow night at 11:59pm PST we will stop accepting entries. So hurry to it!

By the way, Sonny Joon wishes you a "peaceful" season.
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun Quotes and Jackalope Displays

I've been reading a lot of fun stuff today. There are some awesome quotes in the games that I haven't caught before, and they are really funny! I've missed several of Frank and Joe's conversations in the past because I don't call them very often for hints in a few of the games...and they are hilarious, totally worth listening to! Here's a couple I like from Trail of the Twister:

Radio Commercial:
VOICE 1: "How much would you expect to pay for this top of the line product?"
VOICE 2: "$64.95"
VOICE 1: {Caught off guard} "That's...yup. Thats right. Did someone tell you?"

Frank and Joe Hardy:
Joe: "Now I've forgotten what I was saying...oh yeah. Acts of revenge always make less sense than sabotage. But remember, Every act of sabotage reveals the nature of the saboteur. Think about what type of person would behave this way..."
Frank: {Lightly teasing} "That's very deep, Joe...not extraordinarily helpful, but deep."
Joe: "Eh, one out of two ain't bad."

I've also learned the secrets of the jackalope display in Trail of the Twister, which I love. Have any of you figured it out?

Weekend puzzle 83 is waiting for a master detective to figure out its answer. Give it a try!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ah, Ambience.

I've been listening to some well-known Nancy Drew music from the games, and wow! It is so much fun just to sit back, close my eyes, and hear the stories they create. It is so beautiful, and many are epic! The titles to the songs are simple, and just by looking at them I can make a very good guess as to which game they belong to...can you?

"Harpsichord Enchantments"
"Desert Lands"

Weekend puzzle is yet to be solved! "I'm counting the days of old in hopes you will find the answer!"

As for the new sweepstakes (see previous post), I figured you would be more excited to see what the prize actually looked like in its box form:

Looks complex, right? Perfect! Hop to it for the chance to win!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, December 13, 2010

Contests, wallpapers, and sales, whoo-hoo!

Mondays here are like caffeine boosts! After resting up on the weekends, we come in to greet tons of exciting new tasks and then amp up the old tasks. There is so much going on: contests, new wallpapers, newly added avatars, and this week's game sale! Whoo-hoo!

While the judges are deciding on the winner from our last contest, we've got something fantastic to announce; A brand new sweepstakes!

For this week only you can enter for a chance to win a Nancy Drew Decoder Puzzle! To participate simply email us at along with your name and email address with the subject line: "Decode Nancy Drew." Submissions will be accepted until 11:59PM December 17th. We'll randomly select 20 winners from the entrants to receive a Nancy Drew Decoder Puzzle! For your best chance, be sure to follow the rules below:

  • Each contestant may only enter once.
  • Entries must be received before 11:59PM December 17th.
  • Entries will only be accepted by email.
  • This contest is open to everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and drop your name in the hat! And keep your eyes peeled for more great information.

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 83

Hey-o everybody!

The weeks have just been flying by here at HI. I've been enjoying reading Little Jackalope's posts probably as much a you have! She's been doing some awesome projects recently. We'll hear more from her next week, so stay tuned.

We haven't forgotten about the weekend puzzle, here's the latest mind-bender.

- Weekend Puzzle 83 -

Dpd cm kp sfrasqcgovo

56, 61, 43! Hut! Hike!


Good luck and we'll see you next week. ^.~

- Novel -

P.S. correct puzzle now posted. :P

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December Brainstorms

Lots of meetings have been happening today. It is in those hours that we brainstorm Nancy Drew hurricanes! It's a lot of fun, but it's also work, which I love.

We've been getting ready for the new year while cranking away at all of December's action, it's quite an interesting juggling trick. I find it better when there are several things to work on, so I can go back and forth, clearing my mind for an hour of one task, and coming back to it later. Hm, does Nancy have a one-track mind, or do you think she can concentrate on several things at once?

This is me working on very important projects; I figured you'd like to see what that looks like:

Don't take any wooden nickels!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elves and Sneakiness

Santa and Elf hats are sort of funny looking, I think. I've been staring at them all day and goofing off with their different shapes and how they rest, and I realized that elf hats look a little like a medieval archer's pointy hat. You know, the kind with a feather in it? (Using detective skills really trains the eyes to such details and observations). Here's the hat I have:

Lose the stripes and fake ears and fuzz ball at the end and voila! I'm an archer! Or just a sneaky elf in disguise.

Speaking of being sneaky, I casually walked by a meeting room not too long ago and subtly looked through the corner of my eye to see what's going on. It was a secret meeting in the dark, the schemers were speaking about the future. Ooh! I walked quickly by because I wanted to be surprised later.

We have a few surprises in the near future as well! Just wait a bit and you'll see!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Researching and Art projects

It's been a while since I have read through one of the yellow hardcover Nancy Drew books, and I was afraid that I wouldn't enjoy it as much as when I was younger, but my doubts soon vanished when I started reading one for some "research". It was awesome! I loved every page of it and since I just couldn't put it down, I never used a bookmark.
It reminded me that Nancy is a fighter for justice, and that is what drives her to find answers. Well, that and her curiosity, of course!

I've been doing some snooping for old art images to mischievously alter for future projects. I'm particularly looking forward to Thursday when more goodies are released! Busy, busy, busy! I should be wearing my elf hat right now...

Oh the puzzle! Congrats to you super sleuths who quickly solved the weekend puzzle! Here's how it went: Start with the first letter and count every third until you reach the end. Next, go back and start on that second letter, counting every third. Do this one more time (starting on the third letter, counting every third) so that every letter and space and punctuation mark is used. You get three titles:
1. Trail of the Twister
2. Secrets Can Kill Remastered
3. Shadow at the Water's Edge

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, December 6, 2010

Surprise! It's Monday!

Guess what happens on Mondays? Just about everything. There's buzz in the office because a couple got engaged! Congrats to them! It must be the season for everything special. It's also the season for being sick. Several people here at Her Interactive aren't feeling too well but came in to the office anyway. What troopers!
We are super busy with all kinds of things, and a few of us are having a discussion about character hairstyles. It's interesting to hear the artists' and designer's thought process on this!

Ooh! The new holiday wallpaper is up for you to download, and can be found on the home page. Also, if you are on the message boards, there is a new avatar you can use. :)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 82

I've been enjoying reading Little Jackalope's posts. She's had some rather interesting adventures already! I can't wait to see what happens next week!

Anywho, here's the puzzle for this weekend:

- Weekend Puzzle -

tssrehacairdleo_twos_f_a_ctta_hnte_h_keti_wlwilas_ttreeerrm' _as_s__te_ed_rg_ee_d_


Good luck, we'll see you next week!

- Novel -

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Goodies and ciphers... and a leaky roof

This is what I've learned since I've been at Her Interactive: something interesting happens every day. Yesterday a leak was discovered in the roof, and today (as I speak) someone is trying to fix it (right across from my cubicle). Thankfully the leak isn't over any one's desk!

Whoa! I just realized it's December already! That means some great stuff will be coming your way. Actually, there are a few things available right now. A holiday wallpaper is up for downloading (this is from Trail of the Twister), so check out the Dare to Play blog for details. If you are a member on the message boards, check out the new avatars you can use, (the "Whale" is on page two and "Nancy Drew Book" is on page three under the "Standard Avatar" list).

Congrats to all you sleuths for solving the puzzle from last week (and for catching the typos...that is totally my fault and I will make it up to you, meaning Novel might fire me from puzzle creation.) Here's how it is solved:

Find the lyrics to the song "Let it Snow!" and notice how it is broken up into four verses ("paragraphs" or "sections" for us non-musical people) and use the Ottendorf cipher to find individual letters.
The first number represents the verse/section, the next number is the line, third is word and last is the letter in that word.
For example: = P

Here's the complete answer: (Hannah's Pumpkin Pie).
Stay sharp!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Old Secrets Discovered

I was just doing some simple artwork when it happened. It appeared in the art, as if it transformed in front of my very eyes, and then revealed itself to me. The words were invisible to my naked (actually glasses-gazing) eyes until when it wanted to be found...

OK, so I'm being a bit dramatic, but it's because I'm super excited!! I discovered a secret that I never knew! (Well, some of you may have already known). Have any of you studied the old Nancy Drew game menu with the stacked brown-red books? Take a closer look to the right of the Nancy Drew silhouette, where there are some jagged, textured lines. Those lines are actually words!
It says (Her Interactive) in capitals. I thought this was pretty cool. Just think! There are several other Nancy Drew and company references hidden in the games. Try looking for them, even in the old games, you may have missed something, like I did.

Last week's puzzle is still unsolved! I'll be posting the answer sometime soon, but for now, another hint: Use the song lyrics to find letters that make up the three words (hence the three sections of numbers).

Let's get case crack'n!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The start of goody giving

That's right, it's goody giving time! New holiday wallpapers are up and if you read the Dare to Play blog that just went up, you'll see clues on December's holiday extras. Novel_Sleuth has been super busy with these, that's he's worked himself into losing his voice. :( Get better Novel!
We spend a lot of time thinking about the upcoming holidays and specials and all the possibilities that we can fit into our day. So much time that some of us are decorating to keep the festive inspirations close by. I've heard that an artist nearby has Christmas lights in his cubicle, so I thought I'd start decorating mine. Here's what I have so far:

Gingerbread cookies on my wall! (OK, so I was inspired by Yumi's room decor in Shadow at the Water's Edge). It's not much, but I intend to add more, later. Maybe I'll sneak a peek at the artists' cubicles to see what ideas I can glean. *Sly grin*

Oh! The puzzle is still unsolved! Here's an even better hint: Each row of numbers equals a letter.

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Codes, Ciphers and Clues, oh my!

Whoo-hoo! It's Monday! Why is it that Monday seems to be the most mind-boggling day of the week? I love it, all the more challenges to take on! It's kind of like playing dodge ball in reverse. Multi-tasking (and thinking) is a Nancy Drew trait, I think. I'm practicing it now.

Speaking of challenges, last week's puzzle (mid-week for the Thanksgiving break on Thursday and Friday) has not yet been solved, but oh boy! Someone is on the right track on the message boards... So here's your semi-vague hint: Every letter counts. Ciphers are fun...half the problem is trying to figure out which one. :)

Ooh... I'm thinking of using my purple journal from the Nancy Drew Collector's Edition Fan Favorites to create a Nancy Drew cipher, code-cracking and sleuth guide. Any suggestions to what puzzles from past games I could add to it?

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Preparations

It's the season of great food and gift giving. My favorite! We are busying away in preparation for all the upcoming holidays and treats you will be getting. Gifts just add an extra spark to all the excitement, and someone here in the office received a nice big gift basket filled with goodies not too long ago. So much fun! I wonder what Nancy gives as gifts?

Anyways, for your temporary enjoyment here's a little puzzle I've gift-wrapped for you:

Let it snow!

And Happy Thanksgiving!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Nancy Snow Day

Well, we are snowed in today. That means cocoa, a blanket and extra time to spend on playing one (or more) of the Nancy Drew games! I haven't decided which one to play, though. I'm thinking "Classic old game? Or exciting new game? Snow in the game, or ghost in the game?" Oh I know! How about Treasure In the Royal Tower followed by The Secret of Shadow Ranch, and in the dark of night I'll play Curse of Blackmoor Manor if I have that much time. What a great combination for a wintry season like this. Sounds like a great gift idea, (Collector's Edition Fan Favorites, anyone?) especially when or if you get snow or storm days and need some excitement in the warm indoors.

How fast do you suppose you could get through these games (if you have already played them), and how long does it generally take to finish a new game? I know I take days on a new one, but can zip much faster through a classic we all know so well.

Oh dear, with all these games to choose from, I should make sure I have some time for work...

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Sleuth

Day 1: Whoo-hoo! Had a snowy start on my first day at Her Interactive, but would snow ever stop a sleuth from doing "sleuthy" things? Of course not, Nancy would not have it. I will say, though, the snow makes the world look so mysterious, it can hide large objects yet outline details with its sharp, contrasting color, and it makes the outdoors seem so quiet. It's as if the snow is hiding many secrets.

Anyways, I've been getting the low-down on the inner workings here at HI from a more professional sleuth, discovering some secrets and learning how we do things here (this includes magic). A couple things I have learned from Nancy is to keep great notes, and to use a handy task list. I have full confidence that these highly developed skills from my detective training will help in my work. Hmm, I wonder what other Nancy skills I could use to make my work excellent...

~Little Jackalope~

The Next Act

Okay so I'll make this super-duper-short (e.g. tl;dr).

We've got a brand new voice here at HI and I thought I'd give her a spin at running the show for a couple days a week. I've still got some stuff planned for you all so don't worry bout that, but in the meantime, enjoy the classic stylings of our latest sleuth!

- Novel -

P.S. Puzzle solution tomorrow. Kudos for the solve.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 80

Here it is, your weekly puzzle. We've got something a little bit different, but I think you'll totally dig it. Check it out.

- Weekend Puzzle 80 -

(click for a larger image)


Good luck! And have a good weekend.

- Novel -

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gratitudes and Platitudes

Did you see the newsletter yet? I know it totally just went out, but whatever it is awesome. There's some sweet developer commentary about Shadow at the Water's Edge. Plus they talk about some excellent promos during the holiday weekend. Good stuff.

Thanksgiving is next week. It's kinda got me thinking about all sorts of stuff. Like what's for lunch? But more importantly what are we, here at HI, really thankful for. I'm thinking of doing a short poll around the office today and tomorrow and then posting a few of the answers I get. What do you think!? Yeah, it would be awesome, thanks.

I'll tell you what, I'll say what we're thankful for, and you can let me know what you are thankful for?

Cya tomorrow!

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Life Cycle

Sometimes it's a wonder how things end up given where they started. For instance, I snapped this shot earlier today.

- The various stages of an HI journal's life -

It shows the progression of the exclusive journal (only in the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites tin). I think there was little chance of us ever going with the white book on the bottom, but it helped us select a bit more solid sort of book. Odd binding and the desire for more pages helped push us from the green version to the sleek looking brown. But of course this is HI, so we gave it a royal color (matching the tin and games) and put the famous silhouette on the front. And wham! We've got our journal.

Of course this is the simplified version of the process... it took us over a month to do and there were a few other considerations, but it's interesting to me to see the changes from what we originally concepted, to what we ended up shipping.

Heads-up, newsletter. Tomorrow. Be there, or be somewhat quadrilateral.

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cruise Control

So I was getting a little nervous, given the rocky start this week's had so far [i.e. see yesterday's post], but it looks like all is back to normal. Well as normal as things can be around here at any rate. I mean when you've got an official full of amateur detectives... leaving dirty dishes by the sink is ill-advised. What can I say, a crime scene means a mystery, and sometimes we just can't help ourselves. :P

Of course we have been a bit pre-occupied as of late. It has been a launch heavy year, and here we are eagerly anticipating the holidays (the turkey can't get here soon enough, I say). Holidays means specials and new holiday content. Maybe there will be a little more info regard this in the upcoming newsletter. Which I should add you'll be seeing this week, if you've signed up for our newsletter that is [if not, you totally should]. Plus some extra content I hinted at last week. It's mere days away. ^.~

Puzzle 78 and 79 have been crushed! Excellent job sleuths, and you got puzzle 79 in just one day! ^.^ You can see how to solve them below.

- Puzzle 78 Solution -

First you need to put the words into a [ atbash cipher. ] You'll end up with a pretty incoherent sort of phrase [ Lasagne Timers Smirking ].

Take this phrase and [ unscramble it ] using the hint provided. The hint has three words that help you out [ Sit, Speak, and Heel ] These words are all [ commands for a dog ]. With this hint, you'll know that part of the answer is [ Mr. Mingles ] so simply solve the rest. [ Mr. Mingles Strikes Again ]



- Puzzle 79 Solution -

This puzzle can be broken down into the questions for each line -

What makes Helios's chariot shine: [ Helios was the greek personification of the "sun" ]

How many "good boys do fine"? [ Every, which in the musical mnemonic = "E" ]

When did the roses sing to Alice: [ In Alice in Wonderland, the roses sang about "June" ]

Now [ say ] it altogether and don't forget to [ add 'coming soon' ].

[ Sonny Joon Coming Soon ]


See you tomorrow.

o Novel o

Monday, November 15, 2010

Margin of Error

So Friday was a total whirlwind. So much so that no one posted the puzzle! I am way sorry for that (it is now posted), and totally don't know how not a single person here noticed... My computer decided that 'enough was enough' and promptly stopped functioning in every sort of way. It was whatever the direct opposite of "awesome" is.

I figure I'm pretty much the Western equivalent of Rentaro. I've got glasses, love crazy puzzles, and I'm completely obsessed with technology and any new whiz-bangs and gizmos that I can find. No robo-cats though. Still, all that stuff just likes to break for no reason. I'm a magnet for computer errors, it's like a weird super-power. Though I probably would've chosen flying if given the chance.

Now I've got a new computer (temporary) and here's the post. Promptly placed for your enjoyment. See you soon (accident-free).

- Novel -

Weekend Puzzle 79

Woo hoo it's Friday! I hope everyone had a fantastic week. Here's a puzzle to keep your mind in shape till Monday. Enjoy!

- Weekend Puzzle 79 -

When you find what makes Helios' chariot shine,
and take note of how many "good boys do fine".
Then learn when the roses sang Alice a tune,
You will have the question that ends with "coming soon?"


Have fun. ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nose Buried

There's nothing like sitting down with a Nancy Drew mystery on a cold, Fall day. Don't worry, it is work related. ;) Sometimes we read through a mystery or two to stay up on the Nancy trivia. And sometimes we just need a good case to solve. But today, I've been reviewing a few classic Nancy Drew stories in preparation for upcoming testing. We always like to make sure that our games continue to reflect the kind of Nancy Drew experience we all know and love. Now sometimes we like to add our own sort of "flair" to that formula, and it seems to fall squarely onto Marketing (i.e. me and my awesome team) to make sure that these changes don't stray outside of the "normal" Nancy Universe. Of course we're not the only ones reading the "yellowbacks, et al" I know I've seen a few of the designers sneaking into the library throughout the day. It's good to know Nancy is in capable hands!

I see that you're soooooo close on the puzzle, so here's the last hint.

- Puzzle 78 Hint -

Space the letters like so: 2 - 7 - 7 - 5


There's a new one going up tomorrow, so finish this one up quick, like I know you can. ^.~

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Forward Momentum

The hive is stirring! We've got holiday plans coming together nicely (and it's not even Thanksgiving yet) I know I hinted at a newsletter on Monday, but don't expect it for a few days or so. Just let it gather a bit. Trust us on this. In the meantime, maybe enter a contest? :P

- Pic of the Week -
- A new Collector's Bundle? -


The puzzle players got part of the clue, but they might be focused on the wrong kind of companion. Think poof-ier.

I'm hoping for random tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Contests, Hints, and Announcements

So there's a few things to run through today. First off there's an awesome contest starting today. It's all about the Collectors Edition Fan Favorites so be sure to check that out. All the rules are explained on the Dare To Play blog. I know how creative you all are, so I'm expecting to see a whole lot of awesome entries. Good luck!

It looks like there's another HI message going up on the MB. (This occurs every other Tues. if you haven't caught on. ^.~) You might want to read it once it goes live. I've had an advanced screening, and I think it is super important for everyone to give it a look. *edit: link to post*

Lastly, lets look at a hint to help you all finish up the weekend puzzle.

- Puzzle 58 Hint -

The original hint gives you 3 keywords that one particular Nancy Drew character might be familiar with. Use that to help you solve the anagram.


I'll round up some hi-jinks for tomorrow. See you soon.

o Novel o

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiration of Choice

If you look at current trend of gaming these days, you'll see that innovation is a major player. There's all sorts of incredible technology being developed, and in concurrence, plenty of designers stepping up to the challenge of creating whole new gaming experiences. Now the devs here at HI might not be looking to change the face of PC gaming, but we like spicing things up every now and then. Looking to this explosion of fresh ideas is a great source of inspiration for our designers. It's one of the reasons we're so excited about the Nancy Drew: Mobile Mysteries Series.

I've even put in a special request to learn about where some of that inspiration comes from. Perhaps the principle designer of Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge will give us the inside scoop... maybe just in time for a new newsletter...

I like the possibilities that are brewing, and I'm certain we'll enjoy seeing where all these new ideas can lead.

Adios amigos,

o Novel o

Friday, November 5, 2010

Puzzle 78

It's Friday once again! And you know what that means!

- Weekend Puzzle 78 -

Ozhztmv Grnvih Hnriprmt

hint: If the answer doesn't sit well, turn on your heel, and speak it aloud.


Have a great weekend.

o Novel o

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Open for Business

We posted a fantastic little video today. We had a true to life fan come in and help us out on the endeavor. It provides a grand perspective of the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites. You know, cause maybe you wanted to see how it all fits together. Or perhaps what the inside of the journal looks like. Either way I think it is a fabulous treat for a rather lackluster Thursday. Although the knowledge of a puzzle tomorrow is getting my hopes up. Maybe I'll have to go sneak an early peek at tomorrow's brain-bender. You should probably watch the video... or if there's still sun, enjoy the day. We'll be here when you get back. :P

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amazing Crafts

So there's not a lot of time to gossip today. But I wanted to show you something waaaay cool (that you may or may not have seen.)

- Pic of the Week -

- Oh so charming! -


Yup, those are custom created cell phone charms. This epic win is courtesy of our last intern (may she sleuth on forever!). We can't help but gush over how close they are to the in-game versions from Shadow at the Water's Edge. And she even made one of a fake-eye from Legend of the Crystal Skull, too awesome!

Hasta manana!

o Novel o

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spoken Like a True Sleuth

I got to sit in on a localization meeting today. If you're unfamiliar, it's industry-speak for when a game is translated and released in another country. We localize into French, Russian, and German currently... which are three countries with languages I can't speak or read. Still, the meeting was pretty awesome. It was all about how to make it easier to localize our games to any country. Can you imagine picking up a Nancy Drew game from the store and playing it in Japanese? or Spanish? or even "Ig-pay Atin-lay"? I think that would be totally awesome... though I have to say it's a little "pie-in-the-sky." So don't expect that feature in ND24 or anything, but maybe one day. Cause I'm sure we can all agree, the world loves Nancy Drew, particularly when she's speaking your language! ^.~

Here's the answer to last weekend's puzzle.

- Puzzle 77 Answer -

So this puzzle is a [ rebus ]. The pictures are [ words ]. You can break it down as follows:
1. Last
2. Tea
3. Rain
4. Two
5. Blue
6. Moon Canyon
If you [ say ] them together you get the final answer:
[ Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon ]


We'll catch up some more tomorrow. Have fun till then!

o Novel o

Monday, November 1, 2010

More to Come

So it's the first of November, Halloween has come and gone. Was it absolutely splendid? Are you completely sick of candy? I can tell you that we're not... I'm typing with chocolate-coated fingers right now. (is it bad to want to lick my keyboard?) Still I hope it was an eventful and fun weekend. Maybe you had some time to sit down and play Shadow at the Water's Edge. Or perhaps you did a little due-diligence on the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites (which launches today!)

There's still a good bit of fun to be had before the "Holiday Theatrics." Maybe some videos, a contest or two, who knows. ^.~ The Fall launch may be over and done, but the 'plotting' has not stopped. Promise.

The puzzle has been crushed. I'll do all the spoiling on Tuesday. See you soon!

o Novel o

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Puzzle [77]

Here's your weekly brain-bender. Good luck and enjoy!

- Weekend Puzzle 77 -


Be sure to have a fun and safe Halloween. Ta-ta!

o Novel o

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steps Ahead

Planning for holidays is always fun business. We get to think about decorations, promos, giveaways, contests, etc. Happy times I say. I don't always remember what shenanigans we got into in the previous years, but it seems important to try and top them in some way. Halloween's a good time for this as we're already caricatures or costumed crime-fighters. Working at blazing speeds to solve problems in this cubicle jungle. It's a carpeted beat, but one that I patrol with pride. ^.~

Oops, got a little off topic... but I'm excited for the weekend already (and thinking of special days further along the road.) Holidays bring out happy spirits and hospitable hands, so I can't help but get swept away. Maybe I'll check out early today... just don't tell anyone. ^>^

The puzzle was solved! Awesome! Here's the key.

- Puzzle 76 Answer -

There are a couple of steps to this puzzle. First off, you'll need to determine the [ clef ] of the musical notation. The [ included text ] will fill you in, specifically this word: [ "viola". ]
[ Viola ] is traditionally written in [ Alto clef ]. Once you've got that you can discover the corresponding [ notes "A - G" ]. Translate each of the [ notes ] in the puzzle.
Now for a little bit of [ math ]. With the first group of notes, [ FFFA ] convert them to [ numbers i.e. - 6+6+6+1=19 ] which we can then swap with [ 19 = S ]. So the 1st [ letter is "S" ].
Continue replacing [ the notes with numbers ] and so forth. Each [ line ] is equal to [ 1 word ]. Complete the conversion for the entire stanza, you'll end up with:
[ Suki Knows Many Tricks ]


Oh, yes, that is most certainly true! Have you learned them all? Alright, I'll see you tomorrow, with a whole new puzzle!

- Novel -

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Uncertain Terms of Endearment

So the website has been enjoying a day of "disparate temperament"... or I guess fussiness. The fickle nature of technology these days, I tell ya. It's fantastic to be able to access all this cool stuff, but when something breaks it takes like 50 people to diagnose and fix the problem (which always ends up being an unplugged cable or errant semicolon). Bah! Oh well, I hope it's back in tip-top shape soon.

We got a handsome delivery today; our first set of completed Collector's Edition goodies. I stole one for a few moments to snag a photo.

- Pic of the Week -


It's the real-deal, folks. The journal is even more awesome than I could have imagined. I'll have to get some interior shots for you to check out. I'm very pleased with how the whole thing is working out. It's going to be a Nancy-filled winter!

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nancy To-Go

I played around a bit in the Mobile Mysteries world today. I'm not exactly a techno-phile (e.g. Rentaro), but I will say it was quite an awesome experience. Its more novel than "PC snooper" which is fine by me. Of course I exploited the portability as best I could (considering the soppy weather we're having.) and found a quiet and comfortable corner to play in. The encapsulated "Nancy experience" was familiar... cold, dark room; notepad and pencil next to me; fingers tight with nervous tension. I guess its good that they included all that. But I'm still concerned about the barrier of entry (i.e. an 'iProduct'.) I guess they're becoming more common every day so who knows...

These jaunts into new territory are good for HI in my opinion. What do you think?

Here's a hint to help you solve the puzzle. Good luck!

- Puzzle Hint -

If notes were numbers, would they add up?


Halloween is 5 days away! Got your costume ready?

- Novel -

Monday, October 25, 2010

Your First Weekend in Japan

So you've had a good, solid weekend to consider the latest Nancy-faire (Shadow at the Water's Edge). Do you absolutely love it? Has it met your expectations? Is it the scariest mystery this side of the Pecos? I guess an even better question is, 'have you completed the case yet?' So many questions, mayhaps we'll break out that most customary of launch rituals, the "post-launch fan survey." No ETA on that though, there's still much to do...

Deep in our secret Testing Facility, we noted that even our most senior of Test technicians took quite a long time to completely play through this game. Chore for them, but boon for you! Personally I find that our games tend to fall right around the "just-enough" play-time for me, with each offering clocking in at a length appropriate to my interest in the story's plot... (except The Phantom of Venice - cause, boy... I coulda spent ages snooping in that lovely city). Now of course I know many of you fall into the "Games are too short" camp, but I'm thinking that Shadow at the Water's Edge might just be the answer you've been lookin' for, ya dig?

You puzzle-players are on the right track. Though I fear it may be more math intensive than you realize. I'll keep an ear out for a good hint to sing your way.

- Novel -

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Puzzle!

I'm particularly excited about this puzzle. It looks like it might be quite a "notable" entry. Good luck!

- Weekend Puzzle 76 -

"A little reading... a little math... and viola, solved!"


See ya next week~

- Novel -

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All This Stuff

I'm kinda in art overload here. I'm looking at pictures from 5 different launches that have happened, or are expected to happen this year. It's been busier than I can remember. I mean think about it... all those new games... and more on the way...

This here is what we call a "double-edged sword." I've enjoyed getting to solve new mysteries and adventures (on new platforms too). But, sheesh, we barely finish with one launch and we're moving on, setting up the stage for the next act. Can we maintain such a pace? Yeah, probably. If anything, Nancy's taught me that determination and hard-work are the way to go. But it hardly gives me any time to praise the fabulous teams that have made these great games. And how am I supposed to pepper in my commentary of the vox populi (that's you) for each product if I've only got a day or two till I'm hyping the "next-best-thing." Hmmm...

I guess this will take some extra thinking! But I'll come up with the proper solution... (new programming perhaps) No doubt, no doubt.

Keep rocking out in the free world!

- Novel -

p.s. Puzzle tomorrow. ^.^

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today's View

So there was a particularly excellent surprise delivered to the office today. One of our fans sent us a care package for Halloween! It is awesome! All the HI workers took a break to enjoy and peruse the contents. We definitely appreciate the effort of this Nancy-fan. Kudos to you!

- Pic of the Week -
- What could be contained within? -

- Cards, candy, and costume props! -

Oh, and you may notice that yesterday's post is now live... not sure what Blogger is up to, but I'm slightly disappointed that I had to wait a whole day to send you a shout-out. Here's hoping this one hits a little sooner.

Peas and thanks!

- Novel -

Shadow at the Water's Edge Launch

It's happened! We've launched Nancy's next case, Shadow at the Water's Edge! Get in on the adventure (and terror), you won't be disappointed. Promise.

Newsletter releasing in... 5... 4... 3... 2...

So last weekend's puzzle wasn't too tricky, but it was a bit of a departure from our normal approach. Lets see how it was solved.

- Puzzle Answer -

This puzzle is a [ visual puzzle called "rebus" ] Notice that [ many things ] is hidden by [ garden ] If you build that into [ a sentence ] you get the answer:
[ Garden hides many things ]


Yup it's a Shadow at the Water's Edge reference. There's more fun to come. See ya soon.

- Novel -

Update: It looks like this post was held in queue for a whole day! Yikes!

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Day Left

So this is it. Launch week. Shadow at the Water's Edge is on shelves tomorrow. (No midnight launches that I'm aware of.) Does it feel like Christmas Eve to anyone else? Maybe New Year's? There's definitely a countdown coming to a close in my head and butterflies keeping me from shut-eye tonight. On the off chance that I say this every time...(let's pretend this is the first time.) This is the most excited I've been about a game release. ^.^ How bout you?

We've already seen a few reviews from people that pre-ordered their copies, and it's looking like "eagerly awaited" is a common motif. Also there's been a few "best game yets." It's just hours away till you're in Japan with Nancy! *grin*

For point three I'll be brief. Newsletter. It's coming. Soon. Very Soon.

I'd say the puzzle is solved. The process is valid, even if the answer is debatable. We'll bring it into view tomorrow. Ciao till then.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

Here's the puzzle for this week. It's a bit of a departure from the norm, but I think you clever cats will nab this one, no problem. ^.^

- Weekend Puzzle 75 -


Good luck!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday Fail

So maybe you're wondering where yesterday went... Well it seems we had a few hiccups in the office, namely the crash of several servers and loss of network communication. Work became fairly limited, but I suppose something good did come of it...

Yeah, that's how we solve some of our problems... cupcakes. Cause seriously what can't be solved delicious baked goods?

Oh hey did you check out the character trailer they released today? I'm hoping they've got some more to dish out. I particularly like these kinds of videos because the characters are my favorite part about our games. Anywho maybe you should check it out. ^.~

Tomorrow is Friday and that means puzzles!


- Novel o -

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Close to Answers

So officially one week until launch. I guess it would appropriate to start freaking out now. We're close enough. Go ahead, you deserve it. ^.~

I wonder what else we have left to surprise you with. Of course any more surprises and you're going to start believing we're just made up of big events. Still, the bag o' tricks has yet to run dry. And let's say that's a good thing.

It looks like the puzzle wasn't too tricky for you all to solve, but let's check our work.

- Puzzle 74 Answer -

The first step is to determine the code that's being used on this puzzle. You may notice it as [ Unicode ]. All you need to do is [ plug the characters into a decoder ]. This should give you the final answer:
[ Odds are, Pachinko plays a part. ]


So it sounds like there will be a little bit of play time in Shadow at the Water's Edge. I guess that'll be a nice balance to the all the scares. Downtime never hurt anybody... ghosts, that's still up in the air.

- Novel -

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scary Business

We're only a week away from Nancy's latest and greatest (see: Shadow at the Water's Edge.) Not to mention scariest. Of course there's so much buzz going around lately it's hard to stay on point with just one case. Talk about a busy sleuthing year, this one certainly takes the cake. Let's hope Nancy is as good at multi-tasking as she is with detective work. ^.~

Oh, also in the news, we're looking for some Beta testers for the up-coming Mobile Mysteries Series. I know the AS blog isn't usually a bulletin board for these things, but this is an extra special case. If you've got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you just might be the tester we're looking for! Check out this survey if I've piqued your interest. (

In the world of puzzles, you've come out on top. Congrats! I kinda figured you all would solve this without much difficulty. But we'll leaving the spoiling to Tuesday; where it usually dwells.

Course we'll bring something else to the table then as well.

- Novel -

Friday, October 8, 2010

Puzzle 74

Friday is already here! Are you aiming for a relaxing weekend? Don't forget to give the weekend puzzle a whirl, check it out below:

- Weekend Puzzle 74 - 



- Novel -

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Missing Days and Answers

No blog for two days? You know what that means... Yup, I've been bed-ridden for a short period of time, but I've returned to send some much needed love to my readers.

It hasn't been the most exciting of weeks in the office (from what I can see) but pre-orders have wrapped up, and shipping begins today. That means we're a little under two weeks till the official Shadow at the Water's Edge launch. Soooo soon! :P

You saw the trailer right? I told you it was brimming with spooky goodness. But what did you think? Too scary? Not scary enough?

So I know I promised the puzzle answer on Monday and here it is!

- Puzzle 73 Answer -

This puzzle uses a special kind of code. If you [ remove every 3rd letter ] from the list [ starting with the capital "S" ], you'll discover a [ message - "Start with the first and take out every third to solve!" ].
Take that [ statement ] and look at [ what is leftover. ] There's no need to [ rearrange the letters ], the final answer is
[ Bento can be quite charming ]


I'm certain that is a clue for something... Perhaps it'll make more sense when SAW lands on your doorstep. ^.~

We'll have a new puzzle tomorrow, stay tuned.

- Novel -

Monday, October 4, 2010

Start of Something Sinister

Good afternoon, Monday!
It is now officially the first week of October, the month of scares. We’re getting into the Fall swing of things, which as we all know means launch time is almost upon us. If you’ve pre-ordered your copy of Shadow at the Water’s Edge then you just might see it shipping out a little earlier than the retail launch. I suppose that’s one pre-order perk they failed to mention. ^.~

So there’s one more piece o’ the pie; the trailer. Sure they played a short teaser thing, but I’m talking the full-blown, epic, thriller of a preview. You’ll be pleased (or afraid, depending) to know that it is on the way to you. Let’s say… tomorrow, and hope that I’m not proven wrong by the powers-that-be. It'd be best if you didn't miss it, you'll thank me later. Although... talk about nightmares, this one’s definitely got terror written all over it.

The weekend puzzle has met its end. We’ll discuss tomorrow, no?

- Novel -

Got a good Halloween costume picked out yet?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

So I think there were like 8 announcements this week... well at least 3 big things happened. Did you catch them all? I promise next week will be a bit slower. ;)

Any who, here's the puzzle for this week. Good luck, sleuths!

- Puzzle 73 -




- Novel -

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Super short post:


OhboyOhboyOhboyOhboyOhboyOhboyOhboy! You should totally totally play it. For realsies. Disappointment, you will have none. :)

Right, right. Puzzles and fun tomorrow. Cheerio!

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Content Galore

Have you seen this? [this]

S' pretty hilarious IMO. The schemes of these guys... I love 'em. Oh hey, speaking of which, tomorrow you're going to be very, very happy. I promise. Cause you know there's not been enough to hype our projects. I swear we're just cranking out goodies this day. It's a bit like owning a candy factory, let me tell ya. Our offerings are consistent, sure, but there also absolutely fabulous. Make no mistake, we love this part of the gig.

Case in point.
- Pic of the Week -

- That's dedication, no? -

See you on side B.

- Novel -

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

iDon't Know

So while I'm waaaay stoked about the new project, details are a little sparse in my neck of the woods. I hear cheers from that half the office every so often (insert "greener grass" aphorism). But there's still a lot of mystery surrounding it. Perfect for an avid Nancy Drew fan, huh? Maybe I can snoop out some photos or secret documents. Now that would make for an exciting day!

The reception on the boards has been pretty good. We're never sure just how well received any of our odd-ball schemes will be. We just keep trying to make the best Nancy Drew experience for everyone and hoping for the best. Eh, it does teach you that Nancy Drew, timeless as she is, isn't afraid to take that leap to emerging technology. And I'm glad that HI is part of that process.

So I guess the hint for a hint was a little too much. The puzzle has been vanquished. Congrats to everyone for helping out. Check out the solving steps below.

- Puzzle 72 Answer -
Follow these easy steps to solving:
1. [ Cut the numbers into vertical columns ]
2. Use the clue to determine [ the amount of up or down movement ] which is random.
3. Now apply step two to step one; the [ 1st column moves 0 ]. Next up, the [ 2nd column moves up 3 ]... [ 3rd column moves down 1, 4th column moves down 3, the 5th column doesn't move, 6th column moves down 3, 7th column shifts up 1, the 8th column goes up 3, the 9th column moves down 4, the 10th column moves down 3 ]
4. Scour the newly formed [ configuration ] and you'll spot the answer.
[ The Curse of Blackmoor Manor ]


Super sweet. I'm completely thrilled that you all managed to work it out. I really liked this one. Okay-dokey, looks like I'm done for the day. We'll cross paths again around the same-ish time tomorrow, yeah?

- Novel -

Monday, September 27, 2010

Say What?

If you haven't been over to the homepage today, I suggest you make a trip. We've released some rather exciting news today. You know how we love a good surprise, so hopefully this one has blown your socks off. I mean, it's Nancy, but on-the-go, how much cooler could it get. Most importantly... (cause I know this came up last time we ran a new series) you'll still be seeing your favorite sleuth on PC twice a year. But hey, we've also got this sweet side-gig, if you know what I'm saying.

Give it a gander.

We've had our eye on this prize for some time now. And I know everyone is just pleased as punch that the cat is out of the bag. I guess that's all I can say right now... besides I've met my idiom quota for the day.

- Novel -

P.S. Puzzle help tomorrow... think like Otis.

Friday, September 24, 2010

[72] Pzzle

Here it is, the next puzzle. This one promises to be quite the brain-buster. See for yourself.

- Puzzle 72 -

Hint: 0313031343


Ok... Go!

- Novel -

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back to the Asics

Boy oh boy! The meetings this week have been vibrant and entertaining. (re:BBQ post) But that's not all. Next week is going to be a big one as well. New SAW content will be showing up. Plus we've probably got something or other to announce. You know us, we're all secrets and mystery (it is our business after all.) In fact I think we've been tossing around this idea of "Her Interactive - The Mystery Makers." I'll put my seal of approval on that. It definitely has the kind of ring my ears enjoy... alliteration aside. It's been gracing the newsletters since sometime back, and maybe we haven't gotten it tattooed on the business cards just yet, but I like the concept. Making mystery, crafting crime, selling suspense; yup, we do that.

In other news, we're trying to keep pace with everything. The launch is bearing down on us fast; pre-orders sit waiting to be fulfilled (begin shipping in just over two or so weeks!) I'm thinking I need some one here just to help me remember where I misplaced my "To-Do" list. Ah well, with Fall officially rung in, I guess we can't help but begin feeling a bit "too cozy." Which I suppose is the perfect time to shake things up, yeah?

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Party Plans

So yesterday we had a bit of a party... It was a celebration for all three launches this year (TOT, SCKR, and SAW; if you're keeping track.) We haven't had much time to focus on cutting loose, ya know with all the back to back releases. So official "launch parties" have been in seriously short supply. It was much needed. Lemme just say this... we had BBQ. Yeah it's true and it was awesome. Take a peek.

- Pic of the Week -

If only there was "smell-o-vision"...

So that's been our week so far. That and leftover cake! What more could you want!

- Novel -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Reach of Teaching

I was reading some interesting articles about video games being used as teaching tools in schools. Apparently there are some classes being taught about game design in a Junior High setting! I think that's fantastic. Games can be a great medium to convey a variety of subjects. Some modern games instill philosophical tenants, political commentary, or even scientific facts into their games.

If you've played any of ours (and I totally know you have) then you've probably learned more than your fair share of random trivia. Say... the Italian language, Marie Antoinette, Shakespeare, or even entomology. There's tons to pick up on, so maybe you'll find one of our games in your syllabus next semester. :P Now that would be epic!

What were you most surprised to learn in a Nancy Drew game?

Also the weekend puzzle has been solved, congrats! Check out the steps below to see how it all worked out.

- Puzzle 71 Answer -
The first step in solving this puzzle is knowing that [ the symbols are letters ].
To determine each symbol's meaning, the clue suggests [ that there is a rotation occuring (clockwise) ]
In the puzzle, only [ 1/4 of each letter is shown ] at a given time. The first symbol is [ the top left of an "R" ] which means the next one [ shows the bottom-left ( of an "E" ]. Continue on in this fashion until you've deciphered them all [no anagrams here!]
The final outcome is:
[ Rentaro loves Miwako ]

Oooooh, a little romance. Yup, SAW's got the whole gamut of plot. Still for some, the promise romantic plots can also add a twinge of terror. No wonder we keep saying it's our scariest one yet.


-Novel -

Monday, September 20, 2010

Extent of what we SAW

So there will be [is] a brand new newsletter! Yup, your inboxes are about to get a friendly visit from the SAW-fairy... if you're beyond waiting till the end of day, I suppose you could click here. (Don't say I never did nuthin' for ya.) ;)

Also I'm sure that by now you know all about the spooky "Paranormal Tours" site we launched in preparation for SAW... starring none other than John Grey! That's right, the ghost hunter from TRN has taken a tour of the famous SAW ryokan. There's a whole bunch of content to discover.

And I suppose lastly, I've got some competition in the blog business. It seems that Yumi Shimizu (Bento-maker and fashionista extraordinaire) has decided to run her own super fantastic daily blog. You should definitely give it a read, she's got some spunk!

Other than that, it's a good soft Monday. Maybe this week will follow suit. See ya later!

- Novel -

P.S. Did you pre-order SAW yet? Cause today you can!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

Hey! Hey! Hey!

The eagerly awaited puzzle of the week is now here. Check it out!

- Puzzle 71 -
Think clockwise!

Good luck and have an awesome weekend.

- Novel -

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Games! Games! Games!

I’m sure by now you’ve seen… and played the brand new minigame! Yeah, it is as they say in the business, “the Bee’s Knees.” IMHO the best part is the Free Play mode, cause making up your own crazy outfits is like a bajillion times better. In fact, you should send us your favorite combinations! That would be totally ‘ab-fab’ … if you catch my drift. Here’s my current incarnation:

“With trimmings too!”
Plus, if you couldn’t already guess, you get to play this minigame in Shadow at the Water’s Edge! It’s a pretty sweet puzzle/feature we added to this game, but you’ll have to wait and see how it all comes together. For now, fashionistas, enjoy the small sampling!

Speaking of which, Pre-orders start next Monday, September 20th! So get ready. I know we’ve already talked your ear off about the cool extra content in the Special Edition, but feel free to review. ^.~

You know the drill, show up tomorrow and you’ll be rewarded with the sweet agony of a mental workout! That’s right, it’s puzzle time all over again. Bring your thinking caps. :P
- Novel -

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not Window Dressing

So we've got something special lined up for Thursday (tomorrow.) It is often the news nexus of our week. And though you may hazard a guess, I can guarantee that it isn't the aforementioned (yesterday) newsletter. I will hint that it is something you're simply going to love. Maybe I left a clue around here somewheres...

On to more important events. Like say, pictures! *snap*

- Pic of the Week -
Flowers definitely brighten up the office.

Yeah, so every so often the office gets some flowers. Maybe as a 'thanks' or just a hello. Regardless, we're always ecstatic to be adored. Also, sometimes you don't have to stop to smell the roses, sometimes they come and find you. ^.^

So yeah, tomorrow, stop by... oh, and dress for success. ^.~

- Novel -

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Rest of the Week

Monday held some excellent news. I mean we've got real dates for Shadow at the Water's Edge . Now comes the hard part... waiting. Of course we'll give you all sorts of interesting content to keep you preoccupied till then.

Speaking of which, maybe there's a newsletter in your future. Of course, there's no telling what kind of information you can find inside. I'm guessing even more spoilers, and probably a refresher on dates. Maybe a surprise or two as well. You know the score. ^.~

So the puzzle has been solved. I think it might be a little tricky for me to explain, so I'm going to cheat a little and link to "methods of solving"

- Puzzle 70 Answer -

This puzzle is called a [ nonogram ]. Steps for solving this kind of puzzle can be found here. Just be sure to watch out for the typo... For this particular one, when you've completed it, you may notice [ a picture ] forming.


We can discuss the meaning of that answer very soon. But, today is wrapped up, join me tomorrow for something not altogether different.

- Novel -

Monday, September 13, 2010

What We SAW

So maybe you've noticed some of the late-breaking news we posted on Facebook, or perhaps you caught it on the Shadow at the Water's Edge product page. Regardless, we've now got a definitive pre-order date for Nancy's next case; quote for quote. "Pre-Orders begin September 20th!" That's right, you can begin to pre-order in just one week. Granted I'm sure you also noticed the October 19th launch date, right? That's like just-barely-slightly-close-to one month away. No sweat... I've got the patience... I think... *bites lip*

Anywho, I know the 'Powers That Be', would love for me to do a little extra sales pitch here and mention the totally sweet bonus goodies you get for pre-ordering your copy. I'm inclined to agree, given the amount of awesome contained there-in. Check out the list below:

* Additional Tricks for Suki
* Extra outfits for your cellphone avatars
* An Extra Metagame Award
* Two minigames to play on Nancy's cellphone
* Additional Outtakes

I've got to say, that's quite the haul. If you were on the fence before, I'm thinking this should just about push you right over. It looks like tomorrow could turn out to be a slow news day... comparatively. I'll just have to wrangle up something to compete. ^.~

In puzzle news; you've all managed to complete this one, despite a slight numerical error in the design. We'll have the whole 'sha-bang' on that tomorrow. Catch ya then.

- Novel -

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 70

Puzzle Time! Here's the latest weekend puzzle, good luck!

- Puzzle 70 -
(click image to enlarge)


Cya next week. ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The First to See

I know there's a usual dance that the blog takes, with steps chosen by the days of the week. But we've had a bit of a buzz around here and it may have knocked me slightly off queue. Still, there's been some fires that needed dealing with. And I'll borrow an excuse from there.

I'm guessing you are more than primed to hear about Shadow at the Water's Edge, and I don't blame ya. Well, I've got good news... there's a trailer for that! Yup. Finally the first, of what I can assume is many, vids for the next Nancy Drew case. Beautiful scenery, yes. Spooky, definitely. I can't wait for the next installment.

SAW is on its final polishing phase. Which comes with about a million hurdles. As commented yesterday, most of the office is knee-deep in mystery, ensuring only the best is shipped. This is our mission, our duty, and our passion. :P

Looking for more mystery? Fret not and return tomorrow with an open head and a brave heart; for a nefarious puzzle awaits!

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


So Shadow at the Water's Edge is running right into crunch time. I've seen no less than half the office doing test passes and giving momentary "yelps" of fright. It is too fantastic. But one thing is certain... we're nearing the launch of another Nancy Drew mystery.

I know, I know. No date has been given for this latest and greatest of cases. But I'm more than certain tomorrow will bring at least one or two new SAW surprises. Let's just hope one is a release date. ^.~

Good work to everyone who helped solve this puzzle. It was tricky, but you all managed to knock it out. Check out the solving steps below.

- Puzzle 69 Answer -

So solving last week's tricky puzzle requires you to start by
[ creating a 5x5 grid ]. Next you'll need to place the [ alphabet in the grid (excluding Z) ] Now take a look at the image, you have to [ overlay the lines on the grid ]. Write down the [ letter where each angle lies ]. Do this for each [ shape ] and you'll end up with the following:
Unscramble the clues and you get
[ Warnings at Waverly Academy ]


Cya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recording Panel

So yesterday was Labor Day and they graciously gave me some time off. I spent a great deal of my weekend attending the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). It's an annual Gaming/Gamer event, with plenty of opportunities to learn some new industry tricks and see the latest and greatest fellow developers have to offer.

If you recall in years past, I tend to twitter from the floor, but this year I was busy being the principle note-taker for all of the panel discussions HI attended. It definitely wasn't all easy-breezy-lemon-peezy (particularly in the "Legal Issues in Video Games" panel), but I did get the opportunity to hear all about "Building Better Online Communities (that's for you) and some killer intel on "Girls and Gaming." (that one's for both of us) All and all, I'd have to say it was a pretty rocking experience with lots of good wisdom. Anytime you get to hang out in the thick of gamer-culture, you know it's gonna be a pretty chill time. ^.~

By the way, I just have to say, Holy cow! Someone solved the puzzle! It was a major piece of work and mad props to all the sleuths who stepped up and completed it. We'll do all the solution steps in a big post tomorrow.

- Novel -

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekend Puzzle (Remix)

So it looks like there's still soo much work to be done on last week's puzzle that we're going to revisit it. Below you'll find the original puzzle along with a new hint to help you solve this tricky brain-teaser.

- Weekend Puzzle 69 (Re-visit) -
This puzzle is coming to you 5/5. So buckle down with your pens and papers, you won't be catching any Zzzz's for a long while.

Hint 1:
To solve this tricky puzzle, you’ll need to use the shapes on a special grid

Hint 2:
In search of clues, the compass points.
To find the answer, search the joints.
Then combine the hints you will find.
And soon the secret comes to mind.


Good luck!

- Novel -

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sleuth On

Hey everyone,

Today I brought my two best friends into HER with me to work on super special secret project, which I can’t tell you about due to its super secret nature. However, we’ve yet to move past the brainstorm portion the task.

Otherwise, I’m sorry to report that today will be my last blog entry. Next week I go back to school and you guys will go back to reading the delightful words of Novel every day. I’ve had a really amazing summer here at HI and I’ve loved writing the blog (both last year and this year) for such amazing fans. Make sure you guys keep using your sleuthing powers for good!


-Summmahhh Sleuth

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September is Here!

As you may or may not have realized at this point in the day, it’s now September! For almost all youngins like myself, September marks the beginning of a new school year which isn’t necessarily the best news. Buuuutt, September is, and should be recognized for, all it’s other attributes. Firstly, soon there will be crunchy leaves on the ground to step on (my favorite fall treat). Secondly, it’s now only the month before the month that SAW comes out. Thirdly, September is the first month that it becomes acceptable to drink hot chocolate and apple cider again, in preparation for the cold months ahead (okay if you live in Florida that doesn’t so much apply to you).

In fact, September is such a great month that it has a multitude of monthly holidays that are associated with it. Some of my favorite of the whole year in fact, check it out:

Classical Music Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Fall Hat Month

International Square Dancing Month

National Blueberry Popsicle Month

National Courtesy Month

National Piano Month

Better Breakfast Month

Chicken Month

Baby Safety Month

Little League Month

Honey Month

Self Improvement Month

I don’t know about you guys, but Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day (also the most important!) so I fully plan to spend my September improving my morning feast. All of these holidays are super important…okay so maybe not all of them… but it’s fun to celebrate things that that don’t matter! I say go crazy with hat shopping this month or in the spirit of self improvement (month) spend a day trying to make your own blueberry popsicles and honey. Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well not much news today so I thought I’d give you guys a better visual of what Girlfest was like:

Here’s some of the lovely volunteers of the HI team that spent their Saturday spreading the Nancy Drew word to thousands of young girls. Aren’t the matching shirts super spiffy? This morning I got to randomly pick a winner to receive a full set of all the games which is a pretty big prize! I’m super excited to email her later this week but I’m also excited for all the other girls who were interested to start playing the games.

Otherwise, today has been pretty average. It’s raining in Seattle (boo) and this is my last week here at HI, so I’m starting to wrap things up. But later this week I’m going to be working on a cool project that hopefully you guys will get to see soon!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Over the Weekend

Well it was definitely an exciting weekend for HI! Once a year, here in Seattle, there’s an event called Girlfest where thousands of Girl Scouts are invited to come participate in activities that range from henna tattoos to rock climbing to playing Nancy Drew games! About a dozen HI employees headed to downtown Seattle for the occasion to assist girls with contests and help girls play the games.

We had two contests set up, one was a free raffle to win Secrets Can Kill Remastered which we did drawings for three times throughout the day. The other was a questionnaire about Nancy Drew games, all based on information that could be found on the boxes which were lying out. By answering all the questions right, each contestant was entered into a drawing for an entire set of all the ND games! A pretty good prize I would say.

While we were busy at Girlfest I hope you guys were busy working on the weekend puzzle. But since no one on the message board has solved it yet, here’s a hint:
- Puzzle 69 Hint -
“To solve this tricky puzzle, you’ll need to use the shapes on a special grid”

This one is extra hard, gooood luck!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

Aaaaaand here it is! The next big puzzle. Loaded with extra trickiness. Enjoy.

- Weekend Puzzle -

This puzzle is coming to you 5/5. So buckle down with your pens and papers, you won't be catching any Zzzz's for a long while.


Good luck and we'll see you next week.

- Novel -

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sick News

Well today I was back to compiling reviews for all the past games. Gathered from all over the web. Other than that I didn’t really do much…except blow my nose one thousand times. That’s right, I’m sick. But hopefully a good night sleep tonight and a lot of Vitamin C will have me in tip top shape in no time.

Otherwise, I spent some time today trying to brainstorm for ideas for both an upcoming contest and for a bigger, creative project I’ll be working on next week. However, we’ve had so many contests already it’s hard to think of brand new ideas! Hopefully something will come to me soon though…

You guys should also get excited for the September newsletter (I know it’s kinda early to say) but I began writing the draft yesterday. It contains some new details about SAW which I’m sure you’ll love because so far not much has been revealed.

Plus, SCK2 launched this week and I’ve been reading a bunch of reviews on the message boards. So I just wanted to say thanks for all the extremely helpful feedback. Without reviews, we wouldn’t know what you guys like/don’t like about the games, and that’s the most important thing.

Novel will be giving you guys your puzzle tomorrow, so have a good weekend and make sure you go enjoy the last few days of summer!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mid-Week Photo

Okay, I admit it, I was wrong. The puzzle was solved on Monday and I just somehow missed the answer on the message boards. Sorry for any confusion, but good job figuring it out so quickly!

Now on to important Wednesday business... pictures count as important? Well regardless, this is the other intern's cubicle and some really great drawings she did. My favorite is the man running from the tornado (TOT inspired perhaps?). And you can't quite make out the writing but the candy bar in the bottom left says "Koala Kringles" (I’m sure Sunny would be proud).

Well, at least one of the interns here is artistic...