Review – The Vandermist Dossier by Diorama
Website Link – https://diorama.games
Price – €59,29 (approximately ~65ish US dollars)
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
The Vandermist Dossier is a narrative driven puzzle experience that will have players working on a cold case from the 1970s. Helena Vandermist is reaching out for help solving the disappearance of her sister, Abigail. It should also be mentioned that Abigail was known for being quite the puzzle solver and creator herself. Not only that, but Abigail went missing while investigating some disappearances as well. What happened to her and what was going on with that mystery? Maybe you can put the pieces together to find out more.
In game, The Vandermist Dossier is a collection of items and artifacts collected by Helena over the years. Abigail has left a large number of clues behind for Helena, but they have proven to be little help for far too long. Players will need to succeed where Helena has been unable to all these years. What importance do these items hold? What was Abigail trying to say to Helena? What happened to Abigail?
Do you have what it takes to heat this case back up or will the Vandermist family mystery stay unsolved forever?
The Vandermist Dossier took us between two and three hours to solve completely. Along the way, we had to put in quite a bit of thought, but we were rewarded with a lot of fun in exchange.
The story of a missing sister, two other disappearances, and some mysterious family history provided a strong narrative. We enjoyed getting more information as we went and the details were paced well within the world of the game, with breadcrumbs of knowledge slowly piling up into greater understanding. The letters, newspapers, and more created an immersive experience, which left us feeling like we were dealing with real people and not just stock characters in a standard mystery.
As for the puzzles, they delivered completely. The game did a good job of incorporating unique puzzles and clues that didn’t’ feel like ones we’ve seen in every other puzzle box we’ve done. Instead, the game took advantage of its story and characters to craft experiences exclusive to this adventure. Each puzzle was different, keeping the game fresh. The puzzles were also tied together well, making them feel like one larger mystery feeding into each step and not just a bunch of smaller set pieces to solve.
We also appreciated that the puzzles didn’t feel like puzzles for puzzles sake, but had narrative purpose, while still creatively put together and fun to engage with. They also seemed like clues and messages that a real person could conceivably leave behind, with the hope that most people wouldn’t notice them but the right person could discover and crack the clues.
Overall, The Vandermist Dossier proved to be a challenging and rewarding experience. We look forward to seeing what’s next in The Vandermist Trilogy by Diorama.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4.5
Final Averaged Rating: 4.7