Finally, back to Nancy Drew games I remember! I was starting to get worried about my brain after encountering two in a row that I had almost zero recollection of. Unfortunately, I remembered that I found this one just ok.
Nancy is sent off to Paris, France, to investigate an American fashion designer who has started acting positively batty. As someone who is not particularly into either fashion or Parisian culture, this one just didn’t catch my attention the way Secret of Shadow Ranch or Curse of Blackmoor Manor did.
Because the setting and context didn’t interest me, I had trouble really losing myself in the game. When I play Nancy Drew games, time usually just disappears, but not so much with Danger by Design. It was still enjoyable and I had a good time, but it wasn’t all-encompassing the way some the others have been.
A big reason for this is the rather annoying amount of shopping that must be done. Nancy has to visit street vendors to gather items that help her advance the game. Every time the player wants to see what items are in the vendor’s inventory (which changes), they must listen to the seller’s spiel. Then, to buy an item, there is another spiel as the seller tries to justify their inflated price. Then there’s some haggling. Then Nancy can finally leave. It is not a pleasurable experience, and it happens all the time.
Other than that, Danger by Design is a good time. The puzzles are challenging without feeling impossible and everything is very pretty.
If you don’t mind listening to the same chunks of dialog multiple times, you’ll do fine with one of the more annoying mechanics of the game. And if you’re interested in Paris and/or fashion, you’ll have a great time. It’s not the best game, but I’d recommend it with only the smallest hesitation.