Beginning with this game, Her Interactive began distributing their own games.
Expose buried secrets and catch a thief red-handed!
Between cases, Nancy has taken an internship as Deputy Curator at the Beech Hill Museum in Washington D.C., where her father's friend, Franklin Rose, works on the board of directors. The museum is about to open a new exhibit about the Mayans, with the centerpiece being a huge and mysterious monolith excavated in Palenque, Mexico. However, a few days later, one of the museums's most prized artifacts is stolen, with only a red handprint left in its place! The theft seems connected to others across the country, and Nancy begins to investigate to find out the truth. Will you be able to put the pieces of this ancient puzzle together? Or will the mystery remain entombed forever?
- Learn about the Mayan civilization and its culture
- Take on the role of a deputy curator for a prestigious museum
- Ride the subway and visit sites around Washington D.C.
Joanna is the museum's curator. She's extremely proud that the museum managed to obtain the monolith.
Henrik is a researcher working for the museum. His specialty is the translation of glyphs.
Alejandro is the head of the Mexican Consulate. He seems quite patriotic and feels strongly about artifacts' provenance and they're being displayed in other countries.
Taylor is an art dealer who works with the museum. He's very worried about the recent thefts in other parts of the country.
The phone is located in Nancy's hotel room. There is also one at her desk in the museum; there she can call several numbers, including Franklin Rose, and receive voice mail.
Bess and George are cousins and good friends of Nancy who can give her advice and hints.
Frank and Joe are friends of Nancy's, detectives and brothers. At some point in the game they stop by Bess's house and she gives Nancy their cell phone number. They can give her advice and hints.
- This game is a milestone in the series, as it includes many firsts:
- It is the first game in which Her Interactive became an independent distributor.
- It is the first game to feature the new logo for the series.
- It is the first game to have mention/appearance of The Hardy Boys, Sonny Joon, and Krolmeister.
- It is the first game to have a task list and notes (besides for the journal in Message in a Haunted Mansion).
- It is the first game to feature a trailer for the next one at the end (although Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake was not specifically titled).
- A first box cover design was discarded, presumably when Her Interactive discontinued distributing with DreamCatcher. The design was later revealed on the Amateur Sleuth blog on March 6, 2012.
- Mildred Wirt Benson, who was the first Nancy Drew ghostwriter, died two weeks before this game was released (on May 28, 2002).
- Joanna has the same coat as Mattie Jensen (Stay Tuned for Danger), Abby Sideris (Message in a Haunted Mansion), and Professor Hotchkiss (Treasure in the Royal Tower).
- The maze game was previously used in Message in a Haunted Mansion.
- Joanna's mug has this game's logo on it.
Main/recurring character revelations
- Carson Drew is on an extended trip in Africa.
- Nancy, Bess, and George are friends with Frank and Joe Hardy.
- Nancy complains about how heavy the stones are, and if she tries going to the rotunda, she will drop them. However, this is a shorter distance than to the Monolith.