Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia See the review

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Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View is a well-written and interpreted mystery, with its solid puzzles slightly hampered by its technical glitches.

It’s always impressive to see a video game that really creates an interesting mystery for the player to solve. Whether it is the charism of Phoenix Wright series or unique styles of Disco Elysee, there is real satisfaction in trying to unravel a well-crafted riddle. Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View from developer White Paper Games is the latest game to try and scratch that itch.

Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View focuses on the kidnapping of 8-year-old Charlotte May in Dahlia View plaza. Robert Conway, a retired detective, decides to look into the case, both from his window overlooking Dahlia View and by taking a closer look at the lives of the suspects. Along the way, he will discover that there is much more to his neighbors than he seems.

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One of the most important parts of telling an effective mystery is making sure it has a solid structure, and luckily Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View excels here. The game is skillfully written from the get-go, slowly revealing more details to the player as they open up more areas of investigation, with plenty of compelling Red Herrings to rule out along the way. White Paper Games doesn’t hide player details, leaving enough clues for the player to sort things out, but it’s likely its twists will always be surprising.

Conway Camera

Mysterious video games often struggle to introduce gameplay elements that make the player feel like a detective. Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View succeeds here too, with its Rear window-esque voyeurism appropriately corresponding to his field detective. A nod to the Hitchcock classic, Conway himself is a wheelchair user, and it’s a refreshing change of pace for a video game protagonist and one that is well managed.

In addition to having to piece together parts of the mystery of Charlotte May’s disappearance, the rest of the gameplay of Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View looks more like a classic adventure game than games like The blackfocuses on detective work. The player will have to fight their way through static environments, collect items and solve puzzles, and luckily the puzzles will find the right mix of challenge and logic. He even manages some pretty fun QTEs, like his approach to lock picking with a mini-game that looks a bit like Surgery.

Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View delves into a few tropes of detective fiction, although for the most part it manages to do so in a slightly unique way. The usual friction between a private investigator and the police has a personal advantage, as one of the police officers involved in Conway’s daughter, Catherine, and the relationship between the two is handled with sensitivity, which lends an emotional weight to the game. This is helped by the title’s excellent vocal performances, with all of the actors bringing their characters to life.

Conway's Neighbors

That said, Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View is held back by a handful of technical issues. Some of these are minor video game issues like Conway’s camera and tape recorder vibrating and moving randomly as the player moves. However, these will sometimes have an impact on gameplay as well, with the lockpick minigame at one point not being able to be completed with a mouse and keyboard during the portion of this review.

Despite his problems, Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View is a well-made video game mystery. Its main plot is well written and its characters expertly interpreted, while its gameplay truly makes the player feel like a detective. It’s not perfect, but Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View is a successful, small-scale puzzle well done.

More: Best Detective Games For People Who Want To Be Sherlock Holmes

Conway: Disappearance in Dahlia View is now available on PC. Screen Rant has been given a PC download code for the purposes of this review.

Our assessment:

4 out of 5 (Excellent)

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