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Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge

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Title: Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge  
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Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge

Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) Her Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows

Mac OS X

Release date(s) October 19, 2010
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Shadow at the Water's Edge is the 23rd installment in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure game series by Her Interactive. The game is available for play on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms. It has an ESRB rating of E10+ for moments of mild violence and peril.[1] Players take on the first-person view of fictional amateur sleuth Nancy Drew and must solve the mystery through interrogation of suspects, solving puzzles, and discovering clues. There are two levels of gameplay, Junior and Senior detective modes, each offering a different difficulty level of puzzles and hints, however neither of these changes affect the actual plot of the game. The game is loosely based two books, Tour of Danger (1992) and The Thirteenth Pearl (1979).[2][3]


Nancy travels as an English teacher to Kyoto, Japan with friends Bess and George as a reward for solving the preceding mystery in the game series (Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister). Once she arrives at her ryokan, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. Strange events, supposedly caused by a woman who died there mysteriously, are scaring away guests. One by one, the guests leave the Ryokan Hiei, until Nancy is left only with the secretive family that own the inn. Unable to resist a mystery, Nancy works to discover who, or what, is haunting the inn.



  • Nancy Drew - Nancy is an eighteen-year old amateur detective from the fictional town of River Heights in the United States. She is the only playable character in the game, which means the player must solve the mystery from her perspective.
  • Miwako Shimizu - Miwako is the receptionist at the Ryokan Hiei. She is devoted to the ryokan and her family heritage, although, being the youngest daughter in the Shimizu family, she is not going to inherit the inn. She is a very shy, polite, and delicate person, unlike her sister Yumi. She is very upset when she hears anything about her dead mother, Kasumi. Her traditional views create tension between her and her older sister Yumi and her boyfriend Rentaro.
  • Yumi Shimizu - Yumi is the oldest daughter in the Shimizu family who runs a bento stand called Happy Bento in the inner city of Kyoto. As the eldest daughter, she is, by tradition, to inherit her family's ryokan, although she prefers to live in the city. She has a very strained relationship with her family, due in part to her unconventional views and over-bearing personality. Miwako considers her a brat, but Yumi thinks Miwako needs to have more fun.
  • Rentaro Aihara - Longtime friend and neighbor of the Shimizu's, Rentaro is also Miwako's boyfriend and the ryokan's handyman. He is into electronics, and bought a robotic cat, Suki, for Miwako. His goofy and quirky personality sometimes annoys the Shimizus, but for the most part, they get along well. Rentaro is a friendly but eccentric person. He dreams of one day moving to the city with Miwako, but Miwako feels too tied to the inn to move.
  • Takae Nagai - Takae is Miwako and Yumi's grandmother. Having grown up and lived in the ryokan her whole life, Takae has seen many things happen there, including the accidental death of her daughter, Kasumi. Still, she insists on following tradition, even if it's against both of her granddaughter's wishes. She believes Yumi should move back in order to take over the ryokan.

Phone Contacts

  • George Fayne - Nancy's athletic, tomboyish best friend and Bess's cousin. Her love of electronics leads her to spend the majority of her time in Japan at the Technology Expo.
  • Bess Marvin - Nancy's pretty, blonde best friend and George's cousin. Her time in Kyoto is spent mostly with George at the Technology Expo. She isn't quite the tomboy George is, and is more interested in Kyoto's creative fashion than the Technology Expo. Along with George, she has befriended Yumi.
  • Savannah Woodham - A former guest of the ryokan, but scared away by the supposed hauntings. Though now a journalist, she has also written a book which features the Ryokan Hiei. She is covering the Technology Expo for a technology magazine.
  • Logan M. - Savannah Woodham's somewhat rude assistant who has a crush on Bess. He is at the Technology Expo with Savannah.


  • Rentaro Aihara- Marc Biagi
  • Miwako Shimizu- Mikano Fukaya
  • Yumi Shimizu- Kira Lauren
  • Takae Nagai- Waylayn Sharples
  • Savannah Woodham- Adrienne Maclain
  • Logan Mitchell- Ryan Demerick
  • Additional Characters- Chris Maxfield, Naoko Nibu-Butler, Akika Tanaka, Adrienne Maclain, and Sana Watterson [4]


Fatal Errors

In each of the games, there are different points where Nancy can make "fatal errors." These points are usually when she blows her cover as a detective or gets seriously injured. At such points, the game will stop and give the player the option to try again before the fatal error occurred. If the player doesn't wish to retry, then the game is over. The fatal errors in Shadow at the Water's Edge include:

  • Asking Miwako about the newspaper article on Kasumi's death
  • Attempting to take the puzzle box too many times while Suki's in guard mode
  • Getting caught by Miwako when steaming open her password envelope
  • Not solving the mirror image puzzle in time and getting hit by a falling plank
  • Drowning when Nancy is pushed into the bath by the yurei
  • Letting the culprit escape

Gameplay Awards

Awards are given at the end of the game for completing special tasks that have no effect on the actual plot:

  • Easter Egg: For finding an Easter egg (there are four that may be obtained; see below).
  • Puzzler Pro: For completing all of Rentaro's puzzles.
  • Sous Chef: For filling a lot of bento orders.
  • Fashion Designer: For sending a lot of avatars to friends.
  • Souvenir Searcher: For winning all the prizes at the pachinko parlor.
  • Recording Artist: For recording all of the ghost sounds.
  • Squeaky Clean: For taking many baths in the hot spring.
  • Cat Whisperer: For giving Suki all the commands.
  • Mystery Seeker: For watching the DVD from Yumi's apartment.
  • Password Pilferer: For returning Miwako's password envelope to its original place.
  • Teacher's Pet: For always checking the students' homework.
  • Trivia Tamer: For answering the trivia question given at the end of the game correctly.
  • Gaming Guru: For playing the games a lot on Nancy's cellphone. (Special edition only)

Easter eggs

Easter eggs are left by the game developers to find in the game. They are often found by completing random tasks, but rarely have any effect on the plot of the game.

  • By printing out the blurry photo of an egg off Nancy's cell phone, an Easter egg is awarded.
  • An Easter egg is awarded if you open the puzzle box twice.
  • Record from the machine Retaro gave you while standing very close to the stone lantern in the garden by the entrance. Listen to the recording, go to the bath, and click the cracked tile (to the right of the bath).
  • Put 15–30 pachinko balls in the prize machine and the Easter egg will appear for purchase for one pachinko ball.

Take any of the Easter Eggs to Yumi's apartment and with the egg in hand, open the avater program for extra options.

References to Previous Games

References to previous games in the series include:


The game was officially released on October 19, 2010, though pre-orders began on September 20, 2010. Special editions of the game, which included bonus avatar outfits, games, commands for Suki, and outtakes, were sent out to those who pre-ordered the game directly from Her Interactive. Leading up to the game release, Her Interactive released a demo, a fictional blog for one of the game's characters, Yumi,[5] and a microsite featuring John Grey from Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.[6]


Critics and players had a generally positive response to the game. While the graphics, characters, and plot of the game were hailed as polished and intriguing, some of the puzzles were thought to be too difficult. The game is also considered one of the scariest in the series.[7]


Preceded by
Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Remastered
Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
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