Much like Secret of the Old Clock, I didn’t remember much about Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon. It’s the first game that Nancy gets to work with the Hardy Boys and it takes place on a train. That was the extent of my previous knowledge.
A rich, wanna-be star, Lori Girard, invites a number of famous personalities onto a mysterious train headed for an unknown destination. The original owner of the train, Jake Hurley, was an eccentric treasure-hunter who hid the entrance to his mine and left clues for finding it on his custom-built train. The train Lori Girard now owns. It’s up to Nancy to discover the mine and uncover the secrets hidden within.
It’s a decent story, but not the best. While the idea of a hidden mine of treasures may appeal to some, it wasn’t really for me. And it’s hard to stick with puzzles that lead to the solution of a mystery you don’t really care about.
Besides Frank and Joe Hardy, I didn’t recognize any of the characters from my previous playthrough. Probably because none of them are very interesting. They’re all famous people, concerned about getting more famous. Boring.
The train is pretty, but a frustrating setting to play through. Since everything is in a straight line, it feels restricted and shallow. There’s plenty to explore, but the layout makes it feel like you’ve explored very little. Pair that with the annoying, walking-between-cars cutscene, and you’ve got a recipe for frustration and disinterest.
What Makes This One Special
Last Train is the first game to feature the Hardy Boys as real characters, not just voices on the phone. They’re great fun to talk to on the phone in previous games, and pairing up with them is a treat (even though Nancy totally does all the work). They save what could otherwise be in danger of beating out Danger on Deception Island as worst Nancy Drew game.
It does win the award of worst puzzle, though. These dolls are the creepiest thing, ever.
Just skip this one. There are so many other great Nancy Drew games that it’s not really worth spending time on Last Train. Though, I did beat it in only 3 hours, so it’s a quickie.