Impressions: Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting to Danger

The Nancy Drew Dossier Games are two – there was a planned but then canceled third – games that sort of break the mold from the other Nancy Drew games. The Dossier games were meant to be faster to complete and easier to pick up and play a little at a time. This worked out in some ways, but in others felt pretty disappointing. Also, notably, the story of this game is not based on any of the books from what I can find.

Nancy Drew is hired to help stop a bomber at the Redondo Center for Rejuvenation. The bombs aren’t actually harming anybody but rather damaging rooms and making life generally uncomfortable for the extremely wealthy clientele. I know this is going to sound weird, but them being “non-dangerous” bombs was already one of my first issues. Not that Nancy Drew games should have people dying. I get it, they are kids’ games, they need to stay in a safe realm, but rather the stakes are just so darn low in this game. The point-and-click games are kid-friendly while actually managing to add a sense of urgency and need to them. Hell, you can even straight-up get Nancy killed in some of them. “Make sure to stop this bomb that won’t hurt anybody if it goes off” feels a little… eh?

Anyhoo –

Nancy has to investigate the mystery, defuse bombs, and also serve the customers and other staff at the Redondo. This provides a variety of puzzles to do, and you will be given them constantly. There are hidden object puzzles, word puzzles, as well as things specific to the spa. There is a lot of variety which is nice, as is the fact that there are many of them. This aspect of the game I really did like. The point-and-click games, because they are point-and-clicks, can have some wandering and tedium. Resorting to Danger keeps you moving and keeps giving you puzzles to do.

The puzzle types can also be challenging, but none of them are confusing. You might take several tries to get something, but once you learn how to do it, it should be fairly straightforward. It makes the game very approachable. And to the quickness of it, each chapter is fairly short, so it is easy to complete a couple of chapters in an hour or two and then walk away if you don’t have time for more. It is easy to pick right back up and keep going. The overall game itself is not all that long as well.

The voice acting is decent, what you should expect from the games. The look, however… the characters are pretty bland. Like hidden object puzzle games, this game has almost completely static backgrounds with specific parts you can interact with. It looks okay, just not the most dynamic.

And speaking of not being very dynamic… the mystery. There isn’t one. By that, I mean the game boasts having six different endings, the reason being you, the player, pick who the bomber is. Like other Nancy Drew games, you will meet a number of people, all of whom have a motive. Unlike other games, you aren’t working through the various suspects to ultimately find the one. Rather at a point in the game, you will be asked to name your prime suspect, and that’s who it is. It’s pretty depressing to take all of the mystery out of these games. Even if, as an older player, the mysteries of the other games aren’t the most in-depth, at least they exist.

The game is also more linear than the pretty non-linear point-and-click games. That at least makes some sense, just by the nature of the gameplay, but it’s still a bit limited in comparison.

Limited is kind of the word I would use overall. This game wasn’t bad, in fact, I had fun with it. However, it feels almost like a mobile game, and I just wanted to get back to normal Nancy Drew fun.

So bottom line? I am actually kind of bummed there aren’t more of these. For all my issues, overall it was a fun experience and one that was more play a little here and there than the other Nancy Drew games. However, in just a straight comparison, stick to the point-and-clicks. I get the appeal of these games, but the point-and-clicks are just better in practically every way. I will likely play the other Dossier game someday, but I am unlikely to do another piece on it. They are small little bursts in a series that is overall just larger and better in so many ways.

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5 thoughts on “Impressions: Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting to Danger

  1. I doubt the “non dangerous bombs” were done to protect kids. And I have never heard of a non dangerous Bomb before. Unless it was a balloon or a whoopie cushion. I just love the ridiculous Meta Text that this game gives to children.

    Police Chief :

    “Nancy, you have to stop these bombs, not because they will hurt anyone, but…but….but,”

    Nancy :

    “Sir, you can tell me. How bad is it?”


    Nancy :

    Audible Gasps*

    (Because you know, not all gasps are audible) Nancy also clutches her pearls*

    “That’s horrible!”

    Police Chief :

    “Nancy, these filthy Communists are destroying private property which as you know is a sin worse than murder! We need our wealthy elite to continue to come here and be well rested so they can rule us stupid shee- I mean good citizens! And to make it worse….”

    Nancy :

    Nancy holds the extremely large masculine mustached man while he cries gigantic crocodile tears*

    “It’s okay Sir, tell me what else?”

    Police Chief :

    “Donald Trump won’t be able to have his perm done!”

    Nancy gasps even MORE audibly now*

    Nancy :

    “That’s even worse than kids reading books or smoking weed! We have to put a stop to this NOW!”

    Just remember kids, Bombs are more dangerous when they destroy rich people’s property



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