Prolific American author Edward Stratemeyer created Nancy Drew in 1930. Since then, the detective has appeared in five films, three TVshows, and several Nancy Drew Games.
The author is credited for publishing over 1,500 books, and the first Nancy Drew book appeared in 1930, the year the author died. Severa ghostwriters under the collective pseudonym of Carolyn Keene have taken care of the book saga since then.
These books have sold over 80 million copies and about 45 translations into different languages. Currently, the character stands as a cultural icon and an influential heroine.
Every Nancy Drew Games in Order
The games follow Nancy Drew, a fictional amateur detective. She’s a young teen who lost her mother and lives with her father, attorney Carson Drew. She likes solving mysteries in her spare time, like cases from her father.
Washington-based studio Her Interactive handles the Nancy Drew game franchise. The first title debuted in 1998, and most of their games take ideas from the long-running book series.
These are short, detective titles suited for all audiences. Players move nancy in 2D or 3D environments to talk to suspects, solve puzzles, pick up clues, and ultimately solve the crime.
You play these with point-and-click mechanics. If you’re a connoisseur, it’s akin to one of the mini-games within There is No Game: Wrong Dimension.
There’re 33 mainland Nancy Drew games, and one remaster. On top of that, there’s a shorter Nancy Drew Dossier series with two spin-offs, four handheld games, and two mobile games. The total, as I said, is 42 Nancy Drew entries.
Secrets Can Kill debuted in 1998 for Windows. 2010 remaster is currently available for Windows and macOS.
The original game was a first whodonuit experience. The term refers to “Who has done it?” It’s a plot-driven detective story where solving a series of puzzles resolves the crime. It’s based on the first book of the Nancy Drew Files series, which takes the character into a murder investigation.
Stay Tuned for Danger – 1999
The second entry debuted in 1999 for PC. It’s also a first-person whodonuit with a plot that happens in New York.
Stay Tuned from Danger improves the 2D graphics and takes the story from the eponymous book.
The Haunted Mansion title debuted in 2000 for PC and Game Boy Advance. It follows the titular heroine on a San Francisco adventure.
The plot is about helping Nancy’s friend Rose. She’s looking to settle into an antique Victorian mansion in the city. However, strange accidents are slowing down the house renovations. The player must figure out what’s happening in a series of puzzles and events.
Both critics and fans praise the game and consider it the best in the series.
The fourth entry debuted in 2001 for Windows PC, and it packs an E/ESRB rating for its mild violent content. Moreover, the game added two difficulty levels to tweak puzzle challenges.
Players control the detective in the Wickford Castle Resort in Wisconsin. She must discover who vandalized the place. To that end, she talks to suspects, solves puzzles, and uncovers clues.
The Final Scene debuted in 2001 for PC as well. It features Nancy Drew rushing to rescue her friend, Maya Nguyen, as she disappears during a trip to St. Louis.
As before, you play in the first person across several puzzles, hints, and suspects. There’re also two difficulty modes.
The Secret of the Hand debuted in 2002 for Windows. It came out with an E/ESRB rating as well.
Players control Nancy Drew on a new mystery and two difficulty levels. Loosely based on 1995’s The Secret of the Scarlet Hand book, the plot is about Nancy Drew finding a stolen Mayan piece from a museum.
The next entry debuted in 2002 for Windows and features similar mechanics as previous games.
The plot is inspired by two Nancy Drew books. It introduces Sally McDonald, a friend of Nancy’s father. The amateur detective is helping him get his new house back in Moon Lake, Pennsylvania. McDonald claims the Rottweilers ghosts of a gangster are still barking within its doors.
The Haunted Carousel is the next entry of the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure. It debuted in 2003 for Windows, and it greatly improved the series’ graphics.
Its story happens in New Jersey’s Captain’s Cove Amusement Park. The amateur detective is investigating mysterious events in the area.
The ninth entry in the series debuted for Windows in 2003. Players return to Nancy Drew and similar mechanics.
Its plot takes cues from the Whispers in the Fog book (1999). The story happens in Washington’s Deception Island during a whale-watching excursion. The detective investigates who vandalized her friend Katie’s boat.
The Secret of Shadow Ranch debuted in 2004 for Windows. As before, Nancy Drew interacts with clues, suspects, and puzzles to solve a new mystery.
This game is loosely based on the best-selling book of the franchise, The Secret at Shadow Ranch (1931). The story happens in the Shadow Ranch, in Arizona, during a vacation. On the first day, Nancy discovers the owners are gone, and she begins the quest to find them.
The 11th main entry debuted in 2004 for Windows. Taking ideas from 1985’s The Bluebeard Room book, the title follows the amateur detective to England.
She helps a friend solve the mystery about her family’s history in a haunted mansion in a foreign country.
The Secret of the Old Clock is the next point-and-click adventure in the series. It debuted for Windows in 2005 and kept similar mechanics as previous games.
The title commemorates the 75th anniversary of the character’s creation. As such, the plot takes inspiration from the first four books in the franchise.
Its plot delivers a 1930 scenario during the Great Depression. The story happens in the fictional town of Titusville (Illinois). Nancy finds herself involved in the mysteries of an Inn revolving around stolen jewels, car crashes, and a missing will.
The next entry debuted in 2005 for Windows. It’s similar to previous games, and it delivers a new story based on the book Mystery Train (1990).
The Hardy Boys invite Nancy Drew to join them on a train hosted by a wealthy man, Lori Girard. Girard has gathered the world’s best researchers, detectives, and investigators to solve the mystery of Jake Hurley, the original train owner who went missing.
Danger by Design debuted in 2006. Nancy Drew returns for a new point-and-click adventure loosely inspired by 1988’s Death by Design book.
The plot takes the amateur sleuth to Paris. She’s undercover as an assistant to a suspicious fashion designer.
The next entry debuted in 2006 for PC. It’s closely based on the Mystery on Maui book (1998).
Nancy Drew travels to Hawai’i as a research assistant to entomologist Quigley Kim. Meanwhile, a scourge is destroying the local pineapple crops. You’re to investigate a secret research lab that’s tied to the accident. Moreover, the Hardy Boys are present for another mission, so the three amateur detectives can team up.
Nancy Drew: The Deadly Secret of Olde World Park – 2007 (Nintendo DS)
This is the first Nancy Drew title for a handheld console. It debuted in 2007 for the Nintendo DS.
The game delivers third-person gameplay. Players can use the tactile screen for talking to people, finding clues, solving puzzles, and playing mini-games. The story comes through 15 chapters that play a homage to the book series.
The next entry debuted in 2007 for Windows. A year later, it premiered for the Nintendo Wii. That means it’s the first Nancy Drew game for consoles.
This game takes cues from the 2000 book The Mystery of the Mother Wolf. The adventure takes the heroine to Alberta, Canada, to investigate suspicious accidents on the Icicle Creek Lodge.
Lastly, the game has a different control scheme on Nintendo Wii. Additionally, it adds mini-games.
Legend of the Crystal Skull is the 17th entry of the franchise. It debuted in 2007 for Windows and takes its events closely from the book The Mardy Gras Mystery (1998).
The plot follows Nancy Drew on vacation to New Orleans. Her best friend, Bess Marvin, goes with her. Both team up to find a mythical artifact before it goes to the wrong hands.
Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society – 2008 (Nintendo DS)
The next Nintendo DS experience debuted in 2008. It’s also a third-person adventure where you can use the devices’ mic to find clues.
The first entry of the Dossier series debuted in 2008 for Windows. It’s similar to the main entries, but it includes several mini-games and mechanics not seen before. The main mechanic is finding hidden objects in each room.
Nancy Drew is on the set of a movie. She’s undercover to investigate suspicious production accidents behind the scenes.
The 18th entry debuted in 2008 for Windows and features similar mechanics as before. The plot is based on The Phantom of Venice book (1985).
The Italian Secret Police summoned Nancy to research a series of thefts in Venice. The thief uses a cape and a mask, and the goal is to find the culprit, but “The Phantom” leaves behind only a handful of clues.
Castle Malloy debuted in 2008 for PC. The plot is loosely based on The Bike Tour Mystery book (2002).
The detective travels to Castle Malloy in Ireland. She’s the maid of honor for Kyler Mallory’s wedding, one of her friends. While she drives towards the castle, she crashes and lands right into the next mystery, including a ghostly figure.
The Hidden Staircase – 2008 (Nintendo DS)
2008’s The Hidden Staircase is about finding family relics in the Twin Elms. As in previous NDS titles, it’s a third-person adventure that relies on the tactile screen for its mechanics.
The plot is loosely based on the 1939 book by the same name. There’s also a Hidden Staircase 2019 movie on Amazon Prime.
The second entry of the hidden object series debuted in 2009 for Windows.
Nancy Drew is undercover once again. She’s working as a general assistant at the Redondo, a resort where the famous and the rich enjoy privacy. Someone in the resort is planting bombs, and Nancy must find the culprit before someone gets hurt.
Ransom of the Seven Ships – 2009
Ransom of the Seven Ships debuted in 2009 for Windows. It’s no longer available, though, as the studio discontinued the game in August 2020.
Bess Marvin is on a five-day vacation in the Bahamas. Nancy Drew and George Fayne join her. However, someone kidnaps Bess, and Nancy is set to rescue him while solving a 300-year-old mystery.
The 21st entry in the series debuted in 2009 for Windows. It’s loosely based on The Curse of the Black Cat book (2000).
Once again, Nancy goes undercover as a transfer student to the Waverly Academy for Girls. This is an elite school in New York, and she’s there to investigate the “Black Cat” criminal hiding within the upstate girls.
The Model Mysteries – 2010 (Nintendo DS)
The last Nintendo DS third-person Nancy Drew game debuted in 2010. It has 6 mini-games, 15 suspects, and 3 mysteries. As before, players use the tactile screen to interact with areas, clues, suspects, and witnesses.
Trail of the Twister debuted in 2010 for Windows and macOS. The amateur detective comes back for a new set of suspects, puzzles, and clues.
Its plot is loosely based on The Mystery in Tornado Alley book (2000). Nancy is investigating a series of equipment meltdowns in Oklahoma. There, she uncovers a saboteur and battles against angry tornadoes.
The 23rd entry debuted for Windows and macOS X in 2010. Its plot loosely follows two Nancy Drew books.
Nancy Drew travels like an English teacher to Kyoto, Japan. Her friends Bess Marvin and Geroge Fayner are going with her. This is a reward for solving the previous mystery in the series. Still, once she arrives, a series of strange things lure her to a mysterious family, owners of the Ryokan Hiei inn.
Nancy Drew Mobile Mystery: Shadow Ranch – 2011 (Mobile Game)
Shadow Ranch was a story-based visual gamebook for iOS. Players could choose their paths, solve puzzles, and unveil the mystery of the Shadow Ranch.
The Captive Curse debuted for Windows and macOS in 2011. The book Captive Witness (1981) inspires the newer plot.
The young detective is investigating a legendary monster that terrorizes the residents of Castle Finster in Germany. She’s to discover the truth behind the story before the monster strikes again.
The next entry debuted in 2008 for Mac OSX and Windows. The point-and-click adventure loosely follows two Nancy Drew books.
Nancy Drew returns to her hometown (River Heights). She wants to complete the town’s annual Clues Challenge with her boyfriend Ned and friends George and Bess. However, the town’s hall burns to the ground, and Nancy and co. must find the culprit.
Tomb of the Lost Queen debuted in 2012 as a loose adaptation of 1995’s Secrets of the Nile book. It debuted for Windows and Mac OSX.
60 years before the game, a sandstorm uncovered an ancient tomb outside Cairo, Egypt. Nancy Drew joins an archaeologist expedition to find the lost researchers who were studying the tomb.
In 2012, Her Interactive released The Deadly Device for Windows and Mac OSX. It’s loosely based on two books of the franchise.
Nancy Drew receives a mission to investigate the death of Niko Jovik, a theoretical physicist. He died electrocuted in a Colorado laboratory, and there seem to be no clues.
The next main entry debuted for Windows and Mac OSX in 2013. It takes inspiration from Uncivil Acts, a 2005 Nancy Drew book.
The plot happens in Georgia during a pre-wedding celebration. The bride, Jessalyn, disappears, and her friends and family summon Nancy Drew so she can find her.
The Silent Spy debuted in 2013 for Windows and Mac OSX. It’s loosely based on The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes book (1964).
A decade ago, Agent Kate Drew went on a mission to neutralize a biochemical gun in Scotland. She died after completing the task. Now, Nancy sets out to discover the truth about her mother’s demise.
The 30th installment of the point-and-click series debuted in 2014 for Windows and Mac OSX. 2007’s Real Fake book slightly inspires the game’s events.
The plot follows Nancy and her friend George Fayne on a reality show in New Zealand. They participate in a series of physical challenges for the award, but Geroge gets injured during the show. So, Nancy and some of her friends must investigate George’s injury.
Labyrinth of Lies debuted for Mac OSX and Windows in 2014. It’s based on 1981’s The Greek Symbol Mystery.
The game introduces Melina Rosi, curator of a cultural center in Greece. She hires the amateur detective to assist in a special event. However, some artifacts go missing from the museum, and Nancy Drew must find them before it’s too late.
Sea of Darkness is the 32nd entry in the series. It debuted in 2015 for Windows and Mac OSX. Particularly, it’s the last game featuring Lani Minella as the voice of the titular character. It’s also the last to use Her Interactive’s game engine.
The plot happens at the Heerlijkheid ship. The captain disappeared, and detective Nancy Drew must find him.
Nancy Drew Codes and Clues – 2016 (mobile game)
The 2016 Nancy Drew mobile game is an educational app. It teaches kids about writing, math, and coding through mini-games that spark their interest. It’s available for Android and iOS.
The latest game in the series debuted in 2019 for Windows and macOS. It introduced the ability to play with a controller as well as a mouse. It also uses the Unity game engine, so the graphics and performance are quite different from previous games.
Its plot happens in Salem, where a series of crimes created a dangerous environment. Nancy Drew must interrogate the suspects, search for clues, engage in 3D puzzles, and explore multiple sites within Salem to find the criminal.
Every Nancy Drew Game in Chronological Order
- Secrets Can Kill – 1998
- Stay Tuned for Danger – 1999
- Message in a Haunted Mansion – 2000
- Treasure in the Royal Tower – 2001
- The Final Scene – 2001
- Secret of the Scarlet Hand – 2002
- Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake – 2002
- The Haunted Carousel – 2003
- Danger on Deception Island – 2003
- The Secret of Shadow Ranch – 2004
- Curse of Blackmoor Manor – 2004
- Secret of the Old Clock – 2005
- Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon – 2005
- Danger By Design – 2006
- The Creature of Kapu Cave – 2006
- Nancy Drew: The Deadly Secret of Olde World Park – 2007 (Nintendo DS)
- White Wolf of Icicle Creek – 2007
- Legend of the Crystal Skull – 2007
- Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society – 2008 (Nintendo DS)
- Lights, Camera, Curses! – 2008 (Dossier series)
- The Phantom of Venice – 2008
- The Haunting of Castle Malloy – 2008
- The Hidden Staircase – 2008 (Nintendo DS)
- Resorting to Danger – 2009 (Dossier series)
- Ransom of the Seven Ships – 2009
- Warnings at Waverly Academy – 2009
- The Model Mysteries – 2010 (Nintendo DS)
- Trail of the Twister – 2010
- Secrets Can Kill Remastered – 2010
- Shadow at the Water’s Edge – 2010
- Nancy Drew Mobile Mystery: Shadow Ranch – 2011 (mobile game)
- The Captive Curse – 2011
- Alibi in Ashes – 2011
- Tomb of the Lost Queen – 2012
- The Deadly Device – 2012
- Ghost of Thornton Hall – 2013
- The Silent Spy – 2013
- The Shattered Medallion – 2014
- Labyrinth of Lies – 2014
- Sea of Darkness – 2015
- Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues – 2016 (mobile game)
- Midnight in Salem – 2019