CONWAY: DISAPPEARANCE AT DAHLIA VIEW
Connoisseurs of good English detectives, the gaming industry, to put it mildly, does not indulge. But in November, they were rewarded in many ways for their expectations. This is not only about Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, but also about Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View, a new game from the British studio White Paper Games – the authors of The Occupation (also a detective, but political) and puzzle Ether One. The main character here, of course, is not Sherlock, but he is also an excellent detective, and the game itself turned out to be quite good.
Who Kidnapped Charlotte May?
We play for Robert Conway, a former detective, and now a wheelchair user, whose work is continued by his daughter, who serves in the police. His measured and boring life in the town of Delia View (the only entertainment is newspapers and a camera with which you can watch the neighbors) is violated by a high-profile crime that happened right under his windows. Eight-year-old Charlotte May has been kidnapped from a house across the street, and all the neighbors Conway knows well have become suspects.
Or rather, he thought he did. Taking up the investigation (although his daughter urged him not to), Robert quickly discovered that everyone had their own and skeletons in the closet. A married couple, for example, at first swore for a long time, and then the husband takes out something in a large luggage (body?), Trying not to catch the eye of the girl’s father. An old woman who lives alone in a big house hides her toys. And a burly bald man generally beat the father of a missing child right at his house.
What are they doing there?
Conway himself will also receive in the process of investigation and threats, and on the head. Yes, and you will have to hide from your daughter, hiding that Robert nevertheless got into this business. But the more interesting. The further you go, the more complicated the matter becomes. It turns out that everyone had their own motives, but how to prove this and which motives are correct? The Charlotte May case kept me going until the end.
An apple from an apple tree (this is Robert’s daughter).
Dialogues became a sign of a thoroughbred English detective. Firstly, no swearing and personal attacks – everything is built on hidden meanings, tonality and internal tension. A burly bald man will come up, put out his cigarette, lean over the hero and say: “Mr. Conway, if you think that being in a wheelchair is your biggest problem, then you are deeply mistaken.” You immediately visualize these problems in your head.
Secondly, the setting of dialogues and the game as a whole. There are no “talking heads” here: the characters gesticulate, close the garage door, move around the apartment, approach the door, defiantly opening it to the exit, and so on.
No wonder the authors said that they were inspired by the films of the 50s – Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View really looks very cinematic. In addition, all the characters, as it should be in a good movie, are spelled out in detail. And Conway generally asks for the role of the hero of several detectives at once.
Information about the characters and their lives gradually appears in our diary.
Dialogues also play a big role in the gameplay itself. Having informed each neighbor that the father of the kidnapped girl asked him to act as a private detective, Robert Conway, in fact, conducts interrogations, but they look, again due to the above-described cinematic direction, not quite usual compared to standard quests. There are no usual dialogue topics and a list of prepared questions – the characters walk, talk, and we fish out the facts. Rather, the game fishes and shows at the top of the screen. And then he offers to choose one or two clarifying questions, although there are more of them. In the style of “You say you came home at 10:40? But excuse me, because it’s only 10 minutes from your work to your home, why did it take so long?
And we listen, and we inspect the apartment.
And, of course, observation and photography from the window of the detective’s apartment are of great importance. So we hear important conversations, and collect evidence – the main thing is to take the right angle and press the button in time. However, the game helps us and does not create any problems.
Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View: Overview
Even if we do not see something, the hero will tell.
Then we post these photos on the investigation board and turn on the deduction, trying to understand what the motive was and how it can be proved that, for example, one of the neighbors needed a lot of money (we found a hidden pack from him), which he could get for selling the child.
There is a help system, so you won’t get stuck in deductive puzzles.
Alone at home
At first, I thought that everything would be limited to this, as it was in The Flower Collectors, but Conway is a much larger quest. To collect information and evidence that can then be posted on the board, Robert Conway travels outside his apartment and visits each of the neighbors. And there everything is according to the classics: we collect and use objects in the right places, look for passwords and