Secret of the Old Clock is the twelfth installment of the Nancy Drew PC game series created by Her Interactive. The game was released on July 19, 2005. It puts the player in the shoes of the famous detective Nancy Drew. The object of the game is to solve the mystery by discovering clues, completing puzzles, and speaking with suspects. Secret of the Old Clock is based on a mixture of the first four books in the classic series and commemorates Nancy Drew's 75th anniversary. The year is 1930, the game attempts to create a feeling of authenticity by eliminating modern conveniences and allowing players to drive Nancy's famous blue roadster around the town.
The game is set in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression. Emily Crandall, a girl Nancy only knows through her friend, Helen Corning, asks Nancy to come to Lilac Inn to see her. Her mother died a month ago, leaving her to run the inn with only the help of a guardian, Jane Willoughby. When Nancy arrives at the inn, she encounters a mystery involving stolen jewels, a missing will, car chases, and plenty of adventure.
Some of the characters in this game are based on the book version of this game and other books in the series.
Seventeen year-old Emily runs the Lilac Inn with the help of her guardian while quietly mourning the recent loss of her mother. She is plagued by strange occurrences - objects on the wall move, whispers call from the shadows, and things mysteriously disappear and then reappear, she says. Could she be just paranoid, or is she guilty of something?
Gloria Crandall, Emily's mother, asked Jane to look after her daughter in case anything happened to her. She's doing the best to help Emily, but doesn't know much about raising kids or running an Inn. Is there anything that she's not telling?
A self-proclaimed expert on ESP and Telekinesis, Richard Topham lives near the Lilac Inn, in a house that once belonged to Josiah Crowley. It now serves residence to the "School for the Study and Development of Paranormal Powers". Interestingly enough, Richard was the one to inherit Josiah's estate and money, even when Josiah just about told Emily that they would be included in his will. Could Richard Topham be a fake, trying to destroy Josiah Crowley's other will, if there is one?
Jim Archer is a good-natured but secretly desperate businessman who is trying to make it through the Depression. Although he's always smiling, the bank he owns is teetering on the brink of failure. Would he forge a will, or steal Emily's mother's jewels, just so that he could save his bank?
Carson Drew is Nancy's father and an unseen character. Like Bess and George, he can be called for hints and information.
Bess Marvin and George Fayne
This duo play a part in almost all of Nancy's mysteries. Nancy can call them for hints. Unfortunately when Nancy calls them, Bess's neighbor, Mrs. Farthingham, tends to intrude on the calls.
- Mrs. Sheldon - The owner of the famous Twin Elms Mansion and a friend of Josiah Crowley's. Crowley gave his trivet to her. Borrowed Miss Jakowski her bridge cards.
- Mr. Wadell - The local jewelry store owner. Kind of a grouch and doesn't want to be disturbed. Jim Archer had the key to one of Josiah Crowley's clock appraised to him. Crowley also ordered a piece of quartz from him.
- Miss Jakowski - The local telephone operator. You can hear her voice on the phone and sometimes when you go to the Titusville Telco. She borrowed Mrs. Sheldon's bridge cards.
- Mrs. O'Shea - The caretaker and owner of the Turner Home for Orphans.
- Mr. Phelps - A printer who owns Phelps's Print Shop. He speaks with a boring drool. He loves stamp collecting and fishing.
- Pete "Zippy" Zimmerman - The owner of Zippy's gas. You can go there and fuel up your car if your gas is almost half. His prices for gas are a dollar,75,50, and 25 cents. The gas station's slogan is:Welcome to Zippy's, where zipless service is zippily zapped and zippy service is the zippiest.
- Tubby Telegram Guy - A friend of Carson Drew's. You need to go to his shop (Tubby's Telegram) to get some paper's from him. He gives Nancy a job to deliver telegrams to people in Titusville. He pays her 25 cents per telegram.
- Old Man Johnson - The owner of Johnson's farm and is a grouch. His tip to Nancy is Buy low, sell high.
- Phil Connors - The owner of Krolmeister Nails. He gave Nancy a nail as a tip in which Nancy refused because she got hurt by the tip of the nail.
- Rebecca - The 10 year-old girl in Sunnybrook Farms that befriends Nancy.
- Mr.Jones - The owner of Vache's Dairy. His tips to Nancy are dairy products in which Nancy all refused.
- Counselors Alice and Jason - The counselors of Camp Avondale. Jason always pranks Alice.
- Check-in Manager - The check-in manager of the Deer Mountain Resort who gives the telegrams that Nancy delivers to the person who needs the telegrams.
- Librarian - The librarian at the Public Library who always want silence in her library but when someone talks to her she can't hear a thing. An example of her deafness is when she mistakens Helen C. White as Bill and Steve Wright and mistakens JJ Pickle as Kay's fickle
If you do any of the following, you will be sent back to the menu screen where you will get a chance to prevent making the same mistake:
- Falling off the bridge trying to catch the paper flying across the screen
- Being caught by Mr. Topham while trying to sneak/search his house
- Not tightening the bolts on the wheel of the car
- Not catching the culprit at the end of the game
- Nancy Drew -- Lani Minella
- Carson Drew -- Dennis Regan
- Jane Willoughby -- Sarah Papineau
- Emily Crandall -- Walayn Sharples
- Richard Topham/Additional Voices -- Tim Moore
- Jim Archer -- Ben Laurance
- Mrs. O'Shea/Additional Voices -- Amy Broomhall
- Miss Jakowski/Additional Voices -- Megan Hill
- Mr. Phelps/Additional Voices -- Chris Spott
- Tubby Telegram Guy/Additional Voices -- Jonah von Spreecken
- Bess Marvin -- Alisa Murray
- George Fayne -- Patty Pomplun
- Uri the Cat -- Cory (Cat)
- Many of the locations in Titusville are taken from film and books.
- Twin Elms is a mansion haunted by a so-called-ghost in the Nancy Drew book, "The Hidden Staircase" and in the movie "Nancy Drew" is the spa with the criss-crossed palm tree logo.
- The picture shown when Nancy visits Twin Elms is an actual picture of Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Seymour and Audrey who work at the nursery are names from The Little Shop of Horrors.
- Bogart's Pond is named after the pond in Westwood, New Jersey.
- Miss Temple, Mr. Brocklehurst, Madame Pierrot and Miss Scatcher at the Lowood Academy are all found in Jane Eyre.
- The names of the counselors at Camp Avondale are names of characters from the Friday the 13th movie.
- Dr. Aikerman, Margaret Judson, Mrs. Brownell and Betsy Howard at the Deer Mountain Resort are characters from the Nancy Drew novel, The Haunted Bridge.
- The workers at Krolmeister Nail Factory, Phil Connor, Dede, Jurgis and Ona, are characters in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
- The names of the characters at the library are people for whom the libraries at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Washington were named.
- The names of the characters at Sunnybrook Farm refer to characters from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
- The character names at Vache's Dairy (vache is French for 'cow') are taken from George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm.
- The company name "Krolmeister" turns up many times in future and past games, usually the brand name of ovens and microwaves.
- All of the telegrams delivered to the Deer Mountain Resort are all characters in the book The Haunted Bridge.
- The girls at the railroad station and their friends are named after characters on the television show "Petticoat Junction"
- Emily has a record of the instrumental version of "Ballad of Brigitte" from Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
- If the player straightens the picture from Emily's room 10 times, it will talk.
- While walking down the stairs from Emily's room, the portrait of Edward Stratemeyer, the creator of Nancy Drew, is seen on the wall. This is probably shown because Secret of the Old Clock was the first Nancy Drew book written and it was one of the few actually written by Edward Stratemeyer.
- The carousel horse in the Josiah's house is one of the horses that were sold in The Haunted Carousel
- In this game, The character Topham was a man while Topham is a family in the book.
- Nancy has no cellphone yet because the game is set in 1930.
- The name of Emily Crandall's inn is taken from the Nancy Drew book, "The Mystery at Lilac Inn".
- Jim Archer is the name of Helen Corning's husband in the Nancy Drew books
- The Nancy Drew books The Hidden Staircase, The Bungalow Mystery and The Mystery at Lilac Inn are combined in this game because there is a hidden staircase at Lilac Inn just like in The Hidden Staircase but its in Twin Elms, the carriage house beside Crowley's house looks like the bungalow in The Bungalow Mystery, and there are stolen jewels in Lilac Inn.
- Richard Topham said he has ESP. Abby from Message in a Haunted Mansion also has ESP.