Secrets Can Kill is a first-person whodunit from the viewpoint of Nancy. The game is cartoon 3D, but unlike later games, the characters are 2D.
The game is based on the book "Secrets Can Kill", the first book in the Nancy Drew Files Series. It is set in first person view of Nancy Drew and takes place in the fictional town of Paseo Del Mar, Florida. This game is also the first and so far, only, Nancy Drew Game where Nancy is called in to investigate a death.
Secrets Can Kill Remastered, a remastered version of the game was released on August 24, 2010.
Jake Rogers -- A very unpopular student who was found murdered at the bottom of a set of stairs at the high school. He's not liked by anyone and seems to have an affinity for blackmailing people. Could one of his victims have turned the table on him?
Daryl Gray -- Daryl is an informant. He can be found at Maxine's Diner, where he works. He found the victim's body. His father is former US Senator Eugene Gray and as such his family is considered to be rich. He tends to be a bit of a flirt, but is he as wholesome as he seems?
Hal Tanaka -- Hal is a foreign exchange student from Japan. He's very focused on getting a scholarship so he can go to college and become a doctor. He is always in the study dome at the school. He seems intelligent, but is he smart enough to plan the death of the devious blackmailer known as Jake Rogers?
Connie Watson -- Connie is a tough girl who is secretly very adept at judo. You can always find her in the Student Lounge. She seems like a nice normal teenage girl...or is she?
Hector "Hulk" Sanchez -- Hulk Sanchez is a stereotypical jock who hopes to play college football, and eventually for the Miami Dolphins one day. However, Hulk needs an athletic scholarship to reach that dream. Are his future plans as stable as he says?
Mitch Dillon -- Mitch is the school's boiler serviceman (but only in the book) and is not seen much in the game. He's as shady as they come....did Jake get mixed up with him?
Nancy goes to Florida to visit her Aunt Eloise. Though it isn't clear when it happens, a student at the high school where Eloise works as a librarian is murdered. Eloise asks Nancy to investigate, and Nancy goes undercover as a new student. She then meets the characters of the game (as seen above).
The characters are familiar to those who've read the books. In the game, Nancy calls them for hints and fun. These are:
- Bess Marvin - one of Nancy's best friends.
- George Fayne - Nancy's other best friend and Bess's cousin.
- Ned Nickerson - Nancy's boyfriend.
Jake and Aunt Eloise are two characters you hear of but never meet. You can hear Jake's voice when you call 555-JAKE and Jake says "You have reached Jake's locker." You can hear Eloise's voice by calling the number on the phone card.
Throughout the game you will find phone numbers on various things. Bess, George, and Ned all can give Nancy hints. Their helpfulness depends on the level of difficulty that is played; hints in Junior mode may provide some insight while hints on Master mode are pretty much useless, if not non-existent. The others are merely for fun, and none necessary to complete the game. These are:
- Ned Nickerson - 1-523-555-4357
- Aunt Eloise (The number on the phone card) - 555-1204
- Drug Depot - 555-3784 (555-DRUG)
- The Pizza Place - 555-8669 (Tony's Pizza - 555-TONY)
- Judo Club - 555-JUDO
- Police - 555-4855 (555-HULK) Even though Hulk has nothing to do with the police, this is just a cute coincidence.
- Maxine's - 555-2700
- Save the Manatees Club - 1-800-432-JOIN
- Jake's Locker - 555-JAKE
Within Secrets Can Kill and other Nancy Drew computer games, there are a number of fatal mistakes you can make, such as falling down stairs or setting something on fire. The "Second Chance" option can be used to correct these mistakes. Here is a list of the mistakes you can make:
- Fail to replace the bolt cutters with a ladle and create a gas leak at the diner and start an explosion.
- Not fixing the boiler in time and explode Paseo Del Mar High.
- Not pointing the weapon at the culprit in time.
- Nancy Drew/George Fayne -- Lani Minella
- Connie Watson -- Donna Rowry
- Hal Tanaka -- John Truong
- Voices -- Rick Calvert, Bill Corkery, and Kenton Leach