[This week, Her Interactive, the creator of the Nancy Drew games, has launched its first iPad title, with Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow Ranch, and our own Christian Nutt talks to CEO Megan Gaiser about the company's philosophy. ]

The game is a hybrid storybook and adventure game, incorporating plain text with minigames, some of which flow directly and logically from the story and others which seek to relieve the boredom younger users might feel when confronted with prose.

The goal is to attract new players to Nancy Drew. And while the company could port its successful PC point-and-click games to the iPad, the first stop is something entirely different.

With the Mobile Mysteries series, Her Interactive is "looking to create an entirely new Nancy Drew mystery experience. It seemed like a great opportunity to blend the elements of game mechanics, interactivity, and books.

"The definition of games, much like the definition of books, is no longer black and white, and this gave us the opportunity to explore this new genre," Gaiser says. "We're storytellers, and mystery makers, so this is just another way of telling a story."

And while Gaiser is happy with this first effort, she's aware that there's still work to be done. "We're trying to find the right balance between the text and interactive elements, and game mechanics.

"Just like with our first PC game, Secrets Can Kill, when we finished it we were really excited and proud, but at the same time, we felt it wasn't complete. We're perfectionists. Our goal was to create a game that has the quality level that we believe in," Gaiser says.

The same holds true for Shadow Ranch. "We want to create something that can be a series... People want to be delighted enough to come back and buy a second one, and that happened with Secrets Can Kill. We hope that will happen with this one as well."

The important thing is retaining the core aspects of the Nancy Drew brand, says Gaiser, such as making sure the game is an "inspiring experience" for players, which can "arouse curiosity [so that] interesting thinking takes place." The title also includes visual elements that women who grew up with Nancy Drew will remember, while for girls it's "just cool, retro, hip and fun," Gaiser says.

And educational elements reinforced through both text and puzzles are part of the brand too. "We don't put that on the package because it's spinach to kids, but it's there. I think there are opportunities in the educational arena to create much more inspiring ways to teach, and something like this might engage a student more so than the traditional ways that we've been going about it.

"Basically, when someone is intellectual and emotionally engaged, it becomes passion or excitement, and that's when they begin to question, and wonder, and go deeper," says Gaiser.

Players don't have to worry that the point-and-click Nancy Drew is consigned to the PC only, however. It will also come to iPad. Says Gaiser, "we're working to make them more accessible first, to welcome a broader audience, because right now those games are challenging, and we have a hard core Nancy Drew user, but it wouldn't make sense to port them to this device until we've made a few changes."