Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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When I was a child, one of my favorite genres to read was that of the gamebook genre. I'd spend hours on end playing Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, learning to read faster and faster while also expanding my vocabulary hugely. It wasn't all pen and paper style games like this though. There were also others that focused more on the storyline and empowered me by allowing me the choice of what to do next in a story. Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch HD is much like that.
Understandably, given its placement under the books category, Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch HD is more of an interactive book than a fully fledged game. Following the mysterious events in a ghostly ranch, Nancy Drew is thrust into a world of phantom horses and long lost treasure amongst other ghoulish events.
For the most part, it's a story in which players can choose which path to take at relevant moments in the tale. There's a bit more to it than that however. Throughout each chapter are highlighted words that provide sound effects or definitions. There are also numerous collectibles to find by tapping on relevant words and completing games.
These games are quite simple admittedly but break up the story nicely. While some puzzles are very easy hidden object type games, others are more wordy in nature and there's a bit of horse racing thrown in too. Eight chapters in all ensure that Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch HD is a long enough experience to warrant the price but not so long as to bore its readers.
While none of it is challenging really, the gaming interludes keep things interesting. Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch HD is well put together, right down to the ability to replay past chapters to get all the collectibles and then unlock other mysteries. It's bound to do wonders for those parents trying to encourage their kids to read more.