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#10 Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

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About Game

10 to Adult
Retail Release June 2004

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!

Free Strategy Guide with Game

You’ll get this free strategy guide walkthrough with your purchase of the game from Her Interactive.

Already own the game? You can purchase the Official Digital Strategy guide here!


“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

“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:  
 52 reviews
 by monique g

This is def in my top 3 fav Nancy drew games to date!! I got this game years ago and beat it and recently played it again because I loved it so much. the storyline is amazing and about a puppy love teenagers, heartbreak, treasure, and outlaws! plus has a bunch of cute animals. the puzzles are quite fun, even though its just chores mostly. I would play this game over and over its soooo fun and interesting

 by Sondra
The Secret of Shadow Ranch

My daughter bought me this game to play on my first computer in the early 90s. It got me hooked on Nancy Drew games. The Secret of Shadow Ranch has always been a favorite. I just played it again this past week and enjoyed it so much. I still think it's one of the best of the Nancy Drew games. I'm 72 years old and still a fan of the Nancy Drew mysteries. You never get too old to "Dare to play." I recently played her latest release--Midnight in Salem--and thought it was very good. I hope they keep right on creating new games for many years to come.

 by Elissa
One of the best Nancy Drew games I've played!

Flashback to middle school years when I was 13 years old. I was at Fry's with mom and I discovered this game sitting on the self. I was looking for horses pc games to play and seeing a glowing horse on the front cover sold me. Little dod I know this was a mystery game, but I continued playing it. My brother would sir next to me and watched me play. This game got me hooked right from the start when playing and even introuduced me to play other ND games. This game is a classic and definitely one of the best. This game also introduced me to play more Nancy Drew. I still have the cd, but sadly I have mac and would love to get a copy of this game so I can play it again.

 by Julia
The Secret of Shadow ranch

i Really enjoyed this game!! it was almost just like the book, and i liked riding the horse, and doing the chores especially baking the cake the cookout was fun,the ending was fun this is one of my favorite Nancy drew Games!

 by Allie
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
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
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
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
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
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!

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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
  • 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

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

#10 Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

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