Mini-Guide: Nancy Drew Codes and Clues

LQ: 9.2


Brain grade: 8.9
Fun score: 9.5

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , , LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Amazon  |  Android  |  iTunes

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues modernizes super detective Nancy Drew as a computer-coding middle-school student with a cute robot puppy. Nancy receives an invitation to a science fair, but when she and her friends arrive at the host school they discover a mystery: other students’ science fair projects are missing, tampered with, and covered in a sticky substance. The player assists Nancy in searching for clues using different mini-games. After the introductory mini-games, they will also use basic coding skills to program Nancy’s robot puppy. The game is free to download and comes with the first chapter unlocked. The player must make an in-app purchase, however, to unlock the remaining chapters. The ESRB gave Nancy Drew Codes and Clues an E for Everyone rating. We here at LW4K recommend this game for kids 8+.

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Nancy Drew Codes and CluesFocus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues is, at its heart, a mystery game. This means that the details are important. Because of this, the player must be able to ignore external distractions and focus on the game. At some steps of the game, that means paying attention to the words and voice acting of the storyline. However, there are also mini-games where the player must search for hidden objects in a messy room. During these stages of the game, it is important for the player to be able to ignore the real world in order to focus on the game. They must also be able to ignore the distractions within the game--all the extra items that clutter up the room--in order to locate the list of items they are supposed to be finding. Even when they are coding, the player must be able to ignore all the extra options for code and focus just on what the puppy needs to be able to accomplish. If the player can't use their focus thinking skills, the game will be much harder and the player may even reach a point where they can't advance the story.


Arranging and coordinating materials in order to complete a task.

Coding is all about organizing ideas and, since Codes and Clues is a game meant to teach coding skills, the player must be able to use their organizational thinking skills. When doing a coding level, the player needs to be able to look at the robot puppy's path and figure out what tasks he will have to accomplish. He may simply have to walk forward, but he may have to jump or crawl as well. The player must then organize this list into first, second, third (and so on) order. Finally, they must take that list of ideas and translate it into an organized list of code. If they cannot do this, the player will find that Nancy and her friends are unable to collect more clues and the player will not advance any further in the game.


As explained in the above entries for focus and organization, the benefits of teaching kids to code are many. Coding skills are about more than just employability, they teach a host of thinking skills and social emotional skills. Nancy Drew Codes and Clues makes learning to code engaging and fun for kids with any level of coding ability.

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