The Nancy Drew Mystery Game

The Nancy Drew Mystery Game

Nancy Drew Board Games
The Nancy Drew Mystery Game (1957) cover art
Nancy Drew Board Games
The Nancy Drew Mystery Game (1957)

In 1957 and 1959, Parker Brothers released The Nancy Drew Mystery Game, a board game based on the characters, locations, and titles of some of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories.

Playing Instructions


Nancy Drew is the ingenious daughter of a famous lawyer, and she herself is deeply interested in his mystery cases. Her interest often involves her in dangerous and exciting situations. In this game she is working on one of her many cases. The players in the game try to locate her and find out which case she is trying to solve.


The object of the game is to be the first player to discover Nancy’s whereabouts. This is done by filling in the word NANCY with five markers of the same color on any one of the eight sites on the board. The first player to do this has located Nancy and wins the game.


A set of Mystery Cards, four cars, a quantity of colored markers, and two dice.


The Mystery cards are shuffled and placed face down on the space on the board marked “Mystery Cards.” Each player selects a car and the markers of the same color. One of the players is chosen to start the game.


The starting player places his car on the space marked “Start.” He throws the dice and moves his car the number of spaced indicated on the dice. He must move the total number shown on both dice. If he lands on a space that has no special marking, his turn ends. The player to his left then plays in the same manner, and other players follow in turn in a clockwise direction around the board.

There is no end to the path around the board, and players may make several circuits before the game ends. The purpose of moving is to gain opportunities to place markers at the various sites, as it is the proper placing of markers that wins the game.

The Nancy Drew Mystery Game
Playing Board
The Nancy Drew Mystery Game
Playing Board


When a player lands by exact count on a space marked with a Star, he draws the top card from the pile of Mystery Cards, follows the instructions on it, and then places it on the space marked “Discard.” His turn ends when he has carried out all the instructions on the card. When the pack has been exhausted, reshuffle and place face-down again on the board.


Whenever a player lands by exact count on a space marked “Go to Moon Lake Bridge,” he immediately moves his car to the Moon Lake Bridge space. Any player landing on, or being sent to, Moon Lake Bridge is entitled to place one marker on any vacant circle at any one of the eight sites he may select. However, a player who changes places with an opponent already on Moon Lake Bridge is not allowed to place one of his markers on the board.


A player who lands by exact count on a space or draws a card that directs him to “Go to the Spider Web” moves his car directly on to the Spider in the center of the Web, and his turn ends. On his next turn he moves around the Spider Web in a clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrows. After completing one circuit, he moves out of the web and continues along the regular path.


Players frequently land on a space already occupied by an opponent’s car. When this happens the car already on the space is bumped ahead to the next BLANK UNOCCUPIED space. If the bumping player’s car lands on a Star Space, he draws a Mystery Card and follows instructions. He also follows any other instructions printed on the space on which he lands. Any number of cars may occupy Moon Lake Bridge or the center space in the Spider Web; and therefore, cars may not be bumped from either of these two spaces.


Any player whose car is resting on Moon Lake Bridge may, on his next turn, continue along the regular path or may take the Detour. If he follows the Detour, he uses only one die. The Detour is the slower route, but a player using this route has additional opportunities to place his own markers and to remove those of his opponents.


A Player drawing a Mystery Card which reads “change position of your car with that of any other player” follows these instructions immediately. He changes places with the car which he believes will put him in the most advantageous position, and his turn ends. If any car, as a result of this exchange, lands on a Star Space, its owner does not draw a Mystery Card. A player who lands on Moon Lake Bridge as a result of changing places does not place a marker on the board, but he may, on his next turn, take the Detour if he wishes.


Whenever a player’s car lands on or passes over the last space before “Start,” he may place a marker on any vacant circle on the board. He then continues to follow the regular path around the board.

Nancy Drew Board Games
The Nancy Drew Mystery Game (1959) cover art
Nancy Drew Board Games
The Nancy Drew Mystery Game (1959)


Players continue to move their cars around the board and to place markers o the circles until one player succeeds in placing five markers in a row on any one of the eight sites. That player has discovered Nancy’s whereabouts and wins the game.

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