IGN Preview of Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Track
The Hardy Boys have appeared in some computer games, and have made guest appearances in the Nancy Drew games, but later this year Her Interactive will release a Hardy Boys game for the Nintendo DS. The Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks takes the same adventure style gameplay as Nancy Drew, and injects it with a Y chromosome.
Gamers are getting a completely new adventure, so don't expect to solve this case if you're an avid fan of the books. Of course if you're a kid playing the DS, you're kind of young to be an avid fan of the Hardy Boys. Go ask your dad about them, they were awesome back in the day.
In Treasure on the Tracks, Frank and Joe Hardy are trying to solve the mystery of the Golden Train, and the Romanov's lost treasure. The Hardy Boys have been updated for the 21st Century and now sport things like PDAs to help them solve the case. Of course most of the work seems to be good old fashioned sleuthing and puzzle solving.
The first hour or so of the game offers a few different minigame puzzles to solve. Players have to find out where to go on a map by filling in grids, Picross-style. They piece together a map from discarded pieces. Players even look at paintings and find hidden clues, ala Mystery Case Files.
The game is all touch screen based, and there seems to be very little on the screen to highlight interactive objects. Players will have to click around, and figure out where they should be looking. There also seems to be plenty of things (like extra paintings, tabletops, etc) that have no clues, and are merely red herrings, so randomly clicking won't work very well. And much like the books they're based on, there is a ton of reading in the game. Nearly every character has a lot to say, and of course they're all suspicious. Which is why in the first few minutes of the game our protagonists broke into other people's rooms and went through all their stuff. That's good detective work, boys!
The artwork for the game is pretty simple when it comes to character designs, but the environments are pretty detailed. Since a lot of the game involves studying artwork there are numerous paintings in various styles.
From what we've played, these puzzles are really simple. The game is clearly being developed for a younger crowd, so don't expect to get stumped by anything here if you're over 13.
The Hard Boys: Treasure on the Tracks comes September 1. Check below for some more screenshots.
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