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Low-Spoiler Hints for Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor

Welcome to my Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor hints page. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point gamers towards things they might not have thought of in each game rather than divulging puzzle solutions or giving step-by-step instructions. There's not much point in playing an adventure game if you know the puzzle solutions in advance, and there's no point at all in investigating an ominous mystery like Curse of Blackmoor Manor's if you've already had the story spoiled for you.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible while still providing some valuable Curse of Blackmoor Manor hints and game recommendations. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend UHS--due to their unique website setup you can only see one hint at a time, so you can get the answer to one pesky puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. Here's the UHS link if you're interested. My site here focuses on exactly the things traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical bits of Curse of Blackmoor Manor, detours you can take, little things you can do to smooth the gameplay out for yourself, extra details you might miss if you did only what was strictly necessary to complete the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether to buy the game, for example, and want to know whether there's anything you're going to detest in it--please try my Nancy Drew Review page to find all the pertinant information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Now, on with the game!

Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Hints and Tips
Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Walkthrough
Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Game Spoilers and Easter Eggs
Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Plot and Character Information
Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Cheats and Links
Backseat Game Designer: Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor Critique

Curse of Blackmoor Manor Hints and Tips

Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor is a modern PC adventure game in the popular Nancy Drew series. Like the other Nancy Drew games, Curse of Blackmoor Manor offers a simple 1st-person point-and-click interface with which to navigate a small gameworld, solving puzzles and interrogating suspects. This one is set in an ancient manor in the remote moors of England. These are relatively easy games, designed with young teens in mind, and Curse of Blackmoor Manor is very much plug and play. However, there are a number of things you may want to be aware of before beginning to play in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the game. Without spoiling anything:

Difficulty Setting: I've never seen a game with such an irrelevant difficulty setting as the Nancy Drew series has. There are no additional puzzles if you play on Senior Detective-- Nancy just makes a few more leading comments to Junior Detectives as she goes along and keeps track of more things in her notebook. Loulou will also give hints to Junior players if you ask. None of this is especially important or interesting, so if you've played the game on one setting, there is no need to go back and play it again on the other.

Savegames: Like other games in this series, The Curse of Blackmoor Manor is well-constructed and does not suffer from serious bugs; in fact, the Nancy Drew games have a "second chance" feature that allows you to automatically replay any scene in which Nancy dies or fails at her mission, so you theoretically shouldn't need to worry about savegames at all; even in practice, one savegame should suffice. Which is good, because the savegame mechanism in the Nancy Drew games is extremely annoying.

Time Management: There are a few timed sequences in Curse of Blackmoor Manor. Two of these can be repeated indefinitely until you complete them quickly enough; if you make an error in the last one, in the endgame sequence, you will need to use the aforementioned "second chance" feature to give it another try. Except for these timed challenges, Curse of Blackmoor Manor proceeds in Ultima-style flextime--the NPCs will move around the manor at set times every day, but if you miss them, you can just sleep for the requisite number of hours and catch them there the next day (use the alarm clock next to Nancy's bed to accomplish this.) It doesn't matter if you conclude this quest in three days or thirteen; except for the routine movements of NPC's, nothing in the castle changes except in response to actions you've taken yourself.

Interrogation: You have a selection of different dialogue choices during most conversations with suspects in The Curse of Blackmoor Manor, but in no case do your choices affect anything in the game. This is somewhat unfortunate (it would have been nice for the amount of information you decide to reveal to the suspects to affect their behavior), but it also means you really needn't waste your time reloading or replaying any conversations. You should, however, make an effort to exhaust every line of conversation with every character (except Ned, who is just Nancy's boyfriend and is not relevant to the plot), both because it gives you more details so that you can figure the mystery out for yourself, and also because the act of conversing with an NPC sometimes triggers an unrelated plot event to happen somewhere else in the manor.

Movement: The movement controls in the Nancy Drew games can be inconsistent--sometimes it is hard to see an exit to your left, right, or even straight ahead (!), because the cursor does not shift to show that you can go that way unless it is resting in the precisely correct location (which is not always to the far margin of the screen where you'd expect it). Luckily the area available to explore in each of these games is very small, so you can get used to the arrows in each location quickly.

The Phones: There are two different phones available in this game, and they work differently. The phone in Nancy's bedroom can only be used to call Hugh (Linda's husband) or to order food. Nancy's cellphone, on the other hand, can be used to call everybody BUT Hugh and the chef. Sometimes, however, you will find yourself unable to use the cellphone. Usually this is because there is another person in the immediate vicinity (well, what detective would want to give everything away to the suspects by yakking away on her cell phone?) If this happens to you, just back away a step or two and try again.

The Internet: This is a neat feature. If Nancy needs to know some information that is commonly available in the real world-- such as the symbols of the Zodiac-- she can just look it up online, same as any of the rest of us would. :-) Also as in real life, there's often some optional background reading that relates somewhat to the task at hand which Nancy can spend her time reading if she wants.

Problem Spots: There's not much that could possibly go wrong as you play The Curse of Blackmoor Manor. There's no way to lose this game that Second Chance wouldn't undo. In fact, it doesn't even matter if you never read or pick up any of the important evidence. There is only one ending cutscene, and it is not affected by any choices you make. Of course, the game is more fun and makes more sense if you bother collecting the evidence and conversing with suspects.

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