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#10 Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch


Game Story

Nancy Drew®: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

Take a Wild Ride into Terror and Trickery to Rein in a Ghostly Secret!

Ropin’, ridin’ and revenge. A ranch vacation takes a terrifying turn when a ghostly horse appears in this mystery game. Is it driven by the vengeful commands of its long-dead master, Dirk Valentine? Or is a living villain behind the ranch’s string of bad luck? It’s up to you, as Nancy Drew, to figure out who’s wearing the black hat before your investigation is ambushed in Nancy Drew: Secret of Shadow Ranch!

Bonus strategy guide for mystery adventure game: The Secret of Shadow Ranch





PLEASE NOTE: At HeR Interactive, we are committed to sustainability practices focused on building a better world for future generations. Thus, we only offer digital versions of our strategy guides.


Need a walkthrough? Purchase the strategy guide!

Game Features

  • Care for and ride a horse to visit other locations such as the store
  • Work on a dude ranch harvesting vegetables, feeding livestock, and baking cakes
  • Try your hand at barrel racing and lasso practice
  • Choose from junior or senior detective difficulty levels in this mystery game
  • Learn about horses, trivia, and their care
  • Learn how to build a fire
  • Use tuning forks
  • Hunt for petroglyphs

Game Characteristics


  • Point & Click Gameplay
  • Mystery Adventure Genre
  • Interactive Storyline
  • Strong Female Protagonist
  • Rich and Intriguing Characters
  • Single Player Game
  • First Person POV
  • Subtle Hints System
  • Challenging Puzzles
  • Gorgeous Environments
  • Detective Investigation
  • Immersive Controls
  • Realistic Settings


Available On



Windows Physical Sold Out







ESRB Rating:







10 to Adult



Retail Release June 2004


Operating System:

Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10


Additional installation instructions may be required for Windows Vista/7. Click here for more information.


Minimum System Requirements:

  • 400MHz Pentium
  • 64MB RAM
  • 300 MB hard drive space
  • 16-bit color graphics video card with at least 16MB of VRAM
  • 16-bit Windows-compatible stereo sound card
  • 12X CD ROM
  • Mouse and Speakers





Game Assets

“A wonderful mystery for the whole family! The best in children’s games always tries to meld education with fun, and this game does that superbly, with a smooth integration of factoids about various things coupled with critical thinking activities and a fun adventure. Male or female, Nancy Drew fan or no, get this game!” ~PC GameZone


“Her Interactive has set itself the goal of providing well rounded, well crafted family fun — with an eye for a solid story and familiar gameplay coupled with a versatile challenge mix. Here they have scored a success on all points. Now the only sad part is I have to wait til October for the next Nancy Drew game to come out. Happy sleuthing.” ~GameBoomers

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“In fact, as mysteries go, this case is one of the best. It’s got plenty of puzzles, suspicious activity, sidetrails to investigate and interesting characters, both current and past.” ~GamersInfo

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Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Average rating:  
 48 reviews
by Allie on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Secret of Shadow Ranch

Secret of Shadow Ranch is the best orientation to Her Interactive's products due to it's wide appeal, engaging plot, pleasing graphics and mid-level challenges. The puzzles are not repetitive despite the brain breaks during horse back riding.

The interactive experience is factually informative of the time period and setting in such a passive manner that players don't realize they're learning. It's an asthetically beautiful experience reflective of reality that's both educational and fun and not easily replicated elsewhere.

It's a game that's fun to play again and again. Of the Her Interactive I've played, Secret of Shadow Ranch is in the top 8, which is why I like to use it to introduce new players.

by Cate on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Secret of Shadow Ranch

Fun game. I like how its kind of based on the book and the characters are the same. Music is awesome. puzzles a little hard. Chores are fun (vegetable picking and baking the cake and getting the eggs) its exciting when you finally get to the cook out and see the ghost horse. getting to the ghost town was also exciting. Ending was good. definitely one of my favorites. SPOILER: I suspected shorty all along 🙂

by Jillian Laura Mathews on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Secret Of Shadow Ranch

Ever since I was 5 years old I have always loved horses! Hidden Staircase is my first favorite ND book but the book version of SHA is my second favorite book! I just got this one from my brother and my sister-in-law and niece and nephew for Christmas and I love it all ready!

by Geavonna on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Oldie but GOLDIE

One of my firsts and one of my favorites. Setting is eerie and haunting though the game and story itself isn't scary. I loved traveling through the desert and talking to the natives and all the other characters. Wonderful aesthetic.

by Storm on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
A bit extensive

Loved the plot, characters, and scenery. Riding a horse was cool, too. The puzzles got a bit relentless after a time - this was the first game of the series where I needed online help. Still enjoyed it and would not discourage anyone from playing, unless it's your firs ND game. Definitely not for beginners.

by Sherinne on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Play Again and Again...

I love this game. Although I played it before but this game is so fun that I don't mind playing it again and again. Nice work Herinteractive!

by Em_Jo on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
My Absolute Favorite!

This is Herinteractive at its finest. This game has some of the best puzzles, characters, and settings; as well as a fun soundtrack. The story-line is just a whole lot of fun, and it's the most enjoyable game I've played in the entire Nancy Drew series (and I've played them all!). The western theme is really fun but not over-done, and I honestly wish I had the recipe for Frances' cake. It looks so tasty in the game!

by c on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
So Fun!

This game has everything you would want: daily tasks, funny characters, beautiful setting, a ghost town, and HORSES! Learning to ride and care for the horses was a neat addition to this game. I really enjoyed following the love story between Dirk and Frances while solving the present-day mystery. I totally wish I could shop in Mary Yazzi's shop for real! RIP Charlie the mule.

by Marina on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Love this game but Please make it for Mac OS!

I love this game and it is the most played game of all the Nancy Drew games that I have played.

Only downside is that it is not available for Mac OS.

Please make it for Mac OS!

by Shannon on Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

This has been one of my favorite Nancy Drew games to date! Great puzzles, interesting characters, and lots of cool places to visit!

I would highly recommend this game, as well as all the others!

Only downside: I'm not able to play this particular game on my MacBook.

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Dave Gregory

Dave is the ranch foreman. Always polite, somewhat shy, Dave is a man of business and frustratingly few words. He is truly a “modern” cowboy, into sports, music, and the outdoors. He is not above trying to use his looks to charm his way out of awkward situations.


Dave Gregory, ranch foreman



Tex Britten

Tex is an old-fashioned cowpoke. His cynical attitude reflects the fact that he feels much more at home with horses and cattle than with humans. He’s a terrible conversationalist (his favorite word is “nope”), and he not-so-secretly enjoys putting Nancy in situations that he thinks she can’t handle.


Tex Britten, old-fashioned cowpoke



Shorty Thurmond

The ranch cook, Shorty, is more talkative than the other two ranch hands combined. He also loves to cook, and takes great pride in the food he serves. So criticizing his meals is a recipe for disaster.


Shorty Thurmond, the ranch cook



Mary Yazzi

This single woman is part Native American and runs a store on land that is adjacent to Shadow Ranch. Mary knows all about the history of the area and she is interested in purchasing the Ranch for herself. Is she trying to scare away the ranch owners so they’ll agree to sell it to her?


Mary Yazzi, woman interested in buying the ranch





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