Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View
Conway is a mystery game where you find clues to locate a missing girl. While its graphics are a bit rough in places. Conway is full of suspense and fun to play. It has some of the thematic ideas from Hitchcock’s Rear Window because both of the main characters are stuck in wheelchairs and can see their neighbor’s apartments. However, Conway creates its’ own unique narrative.
Developer: White Paper Games
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Conway is a retired investigator who was sleeping when a child was kidnapped in his neighborhood. You explore various environments to find clues and investigate neighbors. There are five suspects to ask questions of and investigate their living and working spaces while they are gone. Although Conway’s efforts aren’t exactly legal, his investigations move the plot forward. The story is quite engaging and can be surprising at times. I had loads of fun with this game as the suspects are narrowed down.
The gameplay of Conway is quite nice, if difficult at times. Connecting evidence is probably the most challenging part of the game. Furthermore, you can only connect one pin to one piece of evidence. Fortunately, there is a hint system within the game. I made use of hints to connect the second piece of evidence to my questions to get further in the game. Unfortunately, I later realized I had previously connected the wrong pieces. This trial and error match the guesswork of Conway’s investigation.
Conway interacts with his surroundings looking for clues. You can examine specific items such as magazines, notes, and even makeup. You can observe tables, pick locks, and find passcodes. I loved finding an important clue like a love letter, or an apology letter. These reveal so much about the character who sent it, as well as the character who received it. While it is so satisfying to find something important, I do feel that I am intruding on the suspects’ personal lives. When picking locks it is recommended to use a controller because as you find out where to move your cursor you have to hold specific buttons and keep holding them as you move from area to area within the lock. Unfortunately, one feature Conway lacks is the ability to replay a specific moment or restart a level.
Graphics and Music
Conway’s graphics are good for the background and objects, but the faces lack detail. This lack of definition may be so that you cannot read their faces as well to tell if they are lying. The most detailed face is Conway’s. He is very clear and he is elaborately defined, making it easier to connect with the character. The suspects look somewhat blurry and the faces are extremely shiny. However, it is easy to see and identify the objects and items that can be picked up and inspected. You can even see them move as you examine them.
Some graphic touches are missing, like seeing the character in the majority of mirrors. However, this is inconsistent. Conway is seen in one mirror in Annabelle McKee’s bedroom. Even then, the image was very stretched and blurry to a faint shape. Other than these minor flaws the graphics are incredible. Every detail in the environment is amazing. Fortunately, the music always fits whatever may be going on at the moment. It can be suspenseful, mysterious, and sad.
While Conway started slow, the excitement increased as you progress through the game. If you get stuck, give yourself time to think, lots of time. Finding clues can be challenging and sometimes even aggravating, but they are usually fun and satisfying to find. The developers did a good job and accomplished their goals of creating a suspenseful mystery to solve. I loved playing this game.