Poor Nancy. One would think that after solving the mysterious accidents in Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses!, she would have easily earned herself a little break. But our plucky investigator gets no such respite and is already working on another case. This would be bad enough on its own, but having her next case take place in an ultra fancy spa/resort for the social elite where she is teased with the finest luxuries around, well, that's just beyond the pale. Having to pretend to be one of the serving staff, we like to call that salt, lemon juice, and battery acid in the wound.
Yet in Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting To Danger, our Miss Drew takes it all in stride. Okay, maybe she's a little put off by some of the comments that get tossed her way, but she shrugs them off like a trooper and gets down to the business at hand. And what is the business at hand? Well, this high end relaxation spot for the wealthy has fallen victim to a series of almost-harmless bombings. Yes, bombings, and because the Rodondo's manager is more afraid of bad publicity than he is of, you know, explosions, he's hired Nancy to take on the case as opposed to calling in the cops. If she could just use the phrase "construction accident" in lieu of "explosion" that would be just fabulous.
You take control of Nancy in this hidden object adventure and your responsibilities are twofold. Obviously you need to get to the bottom of the bombings. You'll look for clues, solve puzzles, play mini-games, and talk to people to get information out of them. Oh, and you might just be required to actually disarm a bomb or two every now and then, no big deal. But, remember, you're trying to solve this problem on the QT, so to speak, so you can't let the upper-crust guests find out that you're a detective. Thus, while you are tracking down a mad bomber, you'll also be spending quite a bit of your time giving facials, fetching beloved pets, etc.
The core gameplay remains largely unchanged from the first Nancy Drew Dossier game. For each setting you'll be asked to achieve one or more goals and to do this you will have to find and match up pairs of objects in the background. You won't have any item lists to contend with, or random items that have nothing to do with anything. Also, pay close attention to the clues you receive as you will often be quizzed on them during later conversations.
So, if you're ready to once again don the guise of Nancy Drew, could you please report to the reception? There are some... um... towels that need folding. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Analaysis: With only two installments thus far, the Nancy Drew Dossier series is proving to be quite strong indeed. The key to its success is finding a perfect balance between the often hybridized point-and-click adventure and hidden object genres. What results is a game that provides a faster, more casual experience found in most adventures, while at the same time giving you a HOG with a bit more depth and purpose than usual.
In fact, Resorting to Danger manages to improve upon an already stellar formula, though only in subtle ways. Perhaps most notable is the fact that this time puzzles and mini-games are better integrated with the ongoing story. The bonus game from the first Dossier has been axed in favor of a different bonus game that is a direct part of the storyline. Also, small changes and adjustments to the interface allow for modest improvements in interacting with your environment.
Another thing I can't help but appreciate is the variety and quality of puzzles and mini-games, none of which seem to have been brought over from Curses. Of particular note here is the facial puzzle which is remarkably similar to Bart Bonte's Factory Balls.
The artwork, as one should expect, is superb. On top of that, the cut scenes have a more dynamic feel to them, most likely from an increase in the amount of animation. Unfortunately, Danger falls victim to its setting, and in this regard comes up a little short compared to its predecessor. Compared to a movie set/theme park, a spa/resort is nowhere near as intriguing and it shows. This is not to say that the backdrops don't look good, mind you, they just aren't as exciting.
Don't let that scare you off, though, as that's just about the only weakness Danger has. Given that for a resort there are still some pretty interesting rooms to comb through, this isn't much of a weakness at all. Beyond that, Resorting to Danger is most definitely a credit to the series. Excellent side games combine with that unique Nancy Drew brand of object finding to create yet another gaming experience that is tough to put down.