• Publisher: 3909
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2018
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 105
  2. Negative: 21 out of 105

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  1. Oct 30, 2018
    8
    It's like a child of Life is Strange (first one) and Sudoku. You have your chart to solve and magic maggafen to play with time. Graphics are... demanding. You will probably need a glasses after playing it but it's the legacy of sudoku games right?
    Overall it's a good game. Interesting and unique. My eyes hurt but I'm entertained (not in ancient Rome style, more like after a really good
    It's like a child of Life is Strange (first one) and Sudoku. You have your chart to solve and magic maggafen to play with time. Graphics are... demanding. You will probably need a glasses after playing it but it's the legacy of sudoku games right?
    Overall it's a good game. Interesting and unique. My eyes hurt but I'm entertained (not in ancient Rome style, more like after a really good coffee at obscure last minute shop waiting for a train).
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  2. Dec 1, 2018
    3
    This game might be worth a look for hardcore fans of maritime disaster epics, especially related to the age of sail. I found the interface difficult to master and the in-game help nearly nonexistent. It became quite a grind to find out 45 of the 60 fates, and not all of the problems are solvable. The ending was especially lame considering the work that went into a play-through. ReplayThis game might be worth a look for hardcore fans of maritime disaster epics, especially related to the age of sail. I found the interface difficult to master and the in-game help nearly nonexistent. It became quite a grind to find out 45 of the 60 fates, and not all of the problems are solvable. The ending was especially lame considering the work that went into a play-through. Replay potential is lacking. Expand
  3. Nov 13, 2018
    9
    Return of the Obra Dinn is incredibly smart, has an amazing atmosphere and tells its story with great intelligence. I liked the way it makes you think, learn more and deal with the puzzle. I think it would be boring in a long run, but for indie game it's awesome.
  4. Oct 23, 2018
    7
    A graphical wonder. An art piece. Looking and walking around the world scenes, I felt as if i was walking around some type of art gallery. The feeling you get when you piece together a non trivial fact is also amazing. But enough praise...let me talk about the things I personally didn't like.

    I didn't buy the main gameplay loop. It felt dragged out. Unnecessarily slow and time wasting,
    A graphical wonder. An art piece. Looking and walking around the world scenes, I felt as if i was walking around some type of art gallery. The feeling you get when you piece together a non trivial fact is also amazing. But enough praise...let me talk about the things I personally didn't like.

    I didn't buy the main gameplay loop. It felt dragged out. Unnecessarily slow and time wasting, especially nearing the end. You really don't have much to 'do' in the game, apart from walking and 'pressing e for a new chapter of the story'. The mechanics for finding out connections between different people and filling out your 'insurance notebook' was fun, but as I have said, revisiting some earlier scenes, walking around the ship, looking for that last body...It all felt like a chore and not like fun detective work.

    This might be considered a spoiler, as I will outline the main gameplay loop:
    1. Find body, press E.
    2. Travel in time, to see the moment of death of the body.
    3. Figure out some clues about the story. Your task is to name the person that died (based on logs, overheard conversions, place of death etc.) and how he died, but the latter usually is pretty obvious, as you can clearly see his moment of death.
    4. Find next body, repeat.

    As such, the first few times, this loop was jaw-dropping. Something completely new, fresh, meaty...but after the halfway point, I got really tired in the whole "slowly walk to the next body, and press E" business. And I mean really walking, as there is no sprint, fast walk or anything...So, if you want to revisit a memory (a death of one of the bodies), you have to each time walk up to it, and press E.

    And that very rapidly started to feel...unnecessarily slow. I loved the detective work, the assumptions, sometimes wild guesses that proved right, but it all felt a little bit buried under the monotonous gameplay.

    Have Papers Please as an example: Throughout the game, the loop is always the same: You either stamp ENTRY or DENY. But every day on the job is a little bit different. The rules constantly change a little bit.
    In Return of The Obra Dinn, the rules don't change. They are the same from the start, all the way to the finish. And I believe that there is a missed opportunity here, for an epic masterpiece.

    As a side criticism...I didn't like to the story in the end. I would really love it, if it was grounded in realism, with a hint of fantasy. But it was the other way around.

    Pros:
    +Presentation: Unique graphics, music sound, voice overs, atmosphere 10/10
    +Cool detective work with the notebook

    Cons:
    -Unnecessarily slow gameplay, especialy near the endgame (no sprint, no 'fast travel to memories' etc.)
    -No gameplay progression. The first 10min of the game are the same as the last 10min, when it comes to mechanics.
    -Story. For me, to much fantasy, not enough pirates / swashbucklery.

    Summary: Worth a buy for the spectacle and visuals. Not the gameplay.
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  5. Oct 20, 2018
    10
    The art style of this game is amazing. People don't understand how much work went into this game. The story is great along with the puzzle mechanics of this game. Some of them get really hard at the end. To me, this game is worth 20 dollars. I spent more on not so feature-rich games at $60+. I strongly recommend this game if you like murder mysteries with a puzzle element.
  6. Oct 23, 2018
    10
    One of the best games I have ever played. It combines a beautiful aesthetic, wonderful atmosphere, a stunning story that constantly intrigued me and some very interesting and unique mechanics. When I spent almost three hours just trying to work out a few fates approaching the end of the game and then I suddenly picked up on something tiny I hadn't before and everything slotted together —One of the best games I have ever played. It combines a beautiful aesthetic, wonderful atmosphere, a stunning story that constantly intrigued me and some very interesting and unique mechanics. When I spent almost three hours just trying to work out a few fates approaching the end of the game and then I suddenly picked up on something tiny I hadn't before and everything slotted together — was a truly wonderous moment.

    I would highly recommend Return of the Obra Dinn to pretty much anyone who likes logic puzzles or working things out, and to anyone interested in mechanics or a story you uncover yourself. I personally game quite a bit and love this type of game, however I also know a couple who don't play many games and are running through this together and are having an absolutely brilliant time.

    I have given this review a 10 as I feel it is so close to perfect it merits no less, however it could be improved. Maybe it's the style I play but I found myself moving back and forth through the book more than I'd like. Once you have confirmed an identity, you can't use the sketch to find out information like crew number or nationality without going back to a different page. I also desperately wanted a way to print out the sketch and manifest to make my own notes on paper, as that would have made it slightly easier to keep track of my notes. These are minor improvements that would make the game faultless in my eyes however, so are not worth worrying about too much!

    Best to go in without any spoilers if possible, it will make what you work out yourself all the more sweet!
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  7. Nov 7, 2018
    0
    can't change the controls... unacceptable... can't play with the default ones.
    thank god for refunds
  8. Oct 21, 2018
    9
    Excellently told, non-linear narrative that shows the developers growth as both a writer and gameplay designer. Art style is unique and compliments the narrative and its allusions to old Macintosh adventure, mystery games. Game has surprising length and has replay value, absolutely worth the $20 asking price on Steam
  9. Oct 25, 2018
    10
    Amazing art, story and soundtrack, a must play if you like mystery/detective games
  10. Oct 20, 2018
    7
    You may think the art style is artistic, but the truth is, the art style is bad. You won't see much and get lost in a plain sight.
    The game is good, the story, the puzzles everything is worth playing. However, this game cost too much. It should cost 5$ instead. It really hurts because my expectations were high (after paper please) and this game is only good. I can't give it more than 7
    You may think the art style is artistic, but the truth is, the art style is bad. You won't see much and get lost in a plain sight.
    The game is good, the story, the puzzles everything is worth playing. However, this game cost too much. It should cost 5$ instead. It really hurts because my expectations were high (after paper please) and this game is only good. I can't give it more than 7 because it lacks something. I feel like I have paid too much for experience lacking something essential.
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  11. Oct 21, 2018
    9
    Paper's Please-style attention to detail meets Everybody's Gone to the Rapture-style storytelling but with an AMC's 'The Terror'-style setting. And you actually have to use your brain for once. It's a bit fiddly and tedious at times but it's still fantastic. Expertly crafted immersion - the kind of game that stops you being jaded at games.
  12. Oct 25, 2018
    5
    I cant recommend it to anyone. Unless you like bad games, then feel free to buy it.
  13. Nov 7, 2018
    8
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a triumph.
    A detective puzzle story very unlike any other I have played. The game requires close attention, the ability to sift through information and quite a bit of backtracking. If this doesn't sound like your cuppa tea, then give it a miss.
    I wish I could say I enjoyed every minute in the game, but the first hour was the most exasperating and frustrating
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a triumph.
    A detective puzzle story very unlike any other I have played. The game requires close attention, the ability to sift through information and quite a bit of backtracking. If this doesn't sound like your cuppa tea, then give it a miss.
    I wish I could say I enjoyed every minute in the game, but the first hour was the most exasperating and frustrating experience, however, once I got into a groove of how to negotiate between different scenes and gather information, I was totally overwhelmed by the intricacy and nexus of connections and I felt a part of an organic living system.
    Despite fantastic writing, a superb art style, great soundscape, and addictive gameplay, there are some shortcomings: the aforementioned cumbersome nature of finding information previously missed, and some of the wording of how the characters die, which you have to identify to progress in the game, can be confusing and down to interpretation; what is the difference between someone being "spiked" or "speared" for example. Once I got into the game, I felt it a little short as well.
    That being said, this is a strong contender for my Game of the Year
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  14. Oct 21, 2018
    9
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a refreshing and creative, narrative-driven puzzle game.

    You're given a book with 60 missing people and 9 empty chapters. Your job is to find out what happened to everyone onboard the Obra Dinn through investigating and filling out the empty chapters. Honestly, I didn't even bother reading the book when I first started, but by the end of the game, I memorized
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a refreshing and creative, narrative-driven puzzle game.

    You're given a book with 60 missing people and 9 empty chapters. Your job is to find out what happened to everyone onboard the Obra Dinn through investigating and filling out the empty chapters. Honestly, I didn't even bother reading the book when I first started, but by the end of the game, I memorized almost every name, face, and lives of those 60 people.

    Yes, each character is their own person—all with unique appearances; many with great voice acting (pay attention to accents!). Throughout the game, you'll see firsthand the actions, reactions, expressions, relations, and behavior of each character, all of which may or may not help you in your investigation.

    Where this game really shines is through its innovative method of story-telling and intuitive, logical world. Each scene is introduced with stellar dialogue and audio which encourages you to visualize the events leading up to the clue. Quite frankly, I've never heard more believable audio in any other game. Additionally, since the world is coherent and logical, real-life knowledge is easily applicable. Not once did I ever feel cheated or stumped by the game. Everything just makes sense, even when it might not seem like it.

    However, the game is not without flaws. Personally, there is a bit too much handholding. The game tells when you are right as long as you are right for 3 people. This isn't a problem at first, but near the end of the game, guessing becomes very easy. Also, the game tells you when enough information has been given to identify a character. It also tells you how difficult it might be. I was too immersed to notice these advantages during my playthrough, but in retrospect, it'd be nice if there was an option to turn off all hints.

    The ending of the game felt inconclusive as well. Hopefully a future update or DLC fixes this.

    All in all, Return of the Obra Dinn is a fantastic game with elegant story-telling and great immersion. To those complaining about graphics, you'll forget about it after your first clue.
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  15. Nov 28, 2018
    9
    I Highly enjoyed Return of the Obra Dinn. It was a very unique experience - the twists and turns of the plot were engrossing, and the gameplay loop of observing scenes and piecing them together was inspired. I also thought the music and sound effects including voice acting were top notch; and even though it's not a horror, i found the game to be both spooky and bleak. With all it'sI Highly enjoyed Return of the Obra Dinn. It was a very unique experience - the twists and turns of the plot were engrossing, and the gameplay loop of observing scenes and piecing them together was inspired. I also thought the music and sound effects including voice acting were top notch; and even though it's not a horror, i found the game to be both spooky and bleak. With all it's positives I strongly feel like it needed some quality of life features added to it. Replaying certain parts of the storyline is necessary to 100% or come close to 100%ing the game, and yet it's quite cumbersome to go back and find the scenes due to the sheer amount of places they start on such a small map. There was also too much time allotted and wasted in the observation sections for the most part, and similarly for following the gas. It's also a little bit painful having to figure out which characters appeared in which scenes - the game will only tell you their first and last appearances (you need to figure out the in-between part for yourself for some reason). If it were up to me I would make it so that you could simply begin a scene via the book to replay it, and only trek around the ship to find new scenes so that they could be replayed later if need be. overall probably somewhere around an 8.8/10 for me. You'll either love or hate the visuals, and if its the former I say go for it. Expand
  16. Nov 1, 2018
    10
    Awesome game. The best PC game of the year!
    Papers please is awesome. I don't think it could be better than it
  17. Nov 28, 2018
    10
    Как играть в это дерьмо? Я не понял. Кругом расчленёнка и голые сиськи. Крайне рекомендую больным биполярным расстройством и прочим инвалидам.
  18. Nov 3, 2018
    10
    Easily one of the best experiences I had this year. People saying that game "drags" more than it should, but after finishing it I only wish if i could erase my memory and replay it again without bruteforcing certain characters/fates, and took more time with it. Every single soul in this game is a separate puzzle and everything fits in place perfectly if you're observant enough. Music isEasily one of the best experiences I had this year. People saying that game "drags" more than it should, but after finishing it I only wish if i could erase my memory and replay it again without bruteforcing certain characters/fates, and took more time with it. Every single soul in this game is a separate puzzle and everything fits in place perfectly if you're observant enough. Music is beautiful, sound design, mixing and voice acting are just perfect. True indie Gem. The only sad thing is that you have to wait for at least another couple of years until Pope comes out with another Game...hopefully. Expand
  19. Dec 2, 2018
    3
    Unique art style, interesting premise, and a clever main mechanic; but I didn't have a good time with the experience at all. Especially disappointing given my love of Pope's previous work, as well as detective games and sudoku.

    I completed the game after about 8 hours, but forced myself through to the end. My primary issue with the game is that the majority of the time, playing through
    Unique art style, interesting premise, and a clever main mechanic; but I didn't have a good time with the experience at all. Especially disappointing given my love of Pope's previous work, as well as detective games and sudoku.

    I completed the game after about 8 hours, but forced myself through to the end. My primary issue with the game is that the majority of the time, playing through it felt like busy-work - on multiple occasions I'd deduced what was needed to find someone's identity/death, and from then on it was a matter of piecing it all together by traveling through various memories. This doesn't happen quickly, nor seamlessly. I feel like I wasted about 2 or 3 of my 8 hours purely in traversal in pursuing this busy-work, and found it extremely frustrating.

    On a personal note, had I known it was a lovecraftian story going in I definitely wouldn't have played it at all, as that is not something I ever enjoy; but I can't fault the game for that, and arguably it was my fault for not having researched enough beforehand to know.

    Regardless, I recognize why some people may love Obra Dinn; but I was extremely disappointed by the game.
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  20. Nov 15, 2018
    9
    This is an excellent choose your own pace, murder mystery/puzzle game. The simple aesthetic fits in well with the setting, muting some of the gruesomeness to more clearly show you what is actually going on in each scene. The little details can end up being very important and something as simple as a turn of phrase used in a scene can end up being the difference between identifying a victimThis is an excellent choose your own pace, murder mystery/puzzle game. The simple aesthetic fits in well with the setting, muting some of the gruesomeness to more clearly show you what is actually going on in each scene. The little details can end up being very important and something as simple as a turn of phrase used in a scene can end up being the difference between identifying a victim and not. My only complaint about this game is that there doesn't seem to be a way to go directly into a previously viewed memory directly from the log book. If it's there, it is not obvious how to do it. It would save a lot of time. Expand
  21. Oct 22, 2018
    10
    A game that is 1/2 murder mystery, 1/4 Myst and 1/4 horror all done in a CGA/Monochome Mac demake style with a rich and complex tale behind it. It is an absolute steal at 20 dollars, with shocking twists and turns as the story of this cursed ship slowly reveals itself.

    Highest Possible Recommendation.
  22. Nov 16, 2018
    10
    This game will let your imagination run wild. Explore the ship, the story, enjoy the music, the atmosphere. Let yourself be enveloped in this immersive mystery on board the Obra Dinn.
  23. Oct 23, 2018
    10
    Absolutely loved it!

    The visual treatment, the excellent atmospheric voice performances and audio design, beautiful posing and modelling... But above all... what an achievement in narrative puzzle design. I can't imagine how much work it was to create this. Well, it took 4 years apparently, and it shows. It's just an immaculately crafted puzzle box that rewards observation and
    Absolutely loved it!

    The visual treatment, the excellent atmospheric voice performances and audio design, beautiful posing and modelling...

    But above all... what an achievement in narrative puzzle design. I can't imagine how much work it was to create this. Well, it took 4 years apparently, and it shows. It's just an immaculately crafted puzzle box that rewards observation and attention to detail.

    Plus the telling of the story is so well done, with twists and turns... just a phenomenal achievement.

    I spend 17 hours playing and it felt like about 9. Once I picked it up I had to see it through to the end. It seems insurmountable at the start but the game design is so good it unfolds layer upon layer of difficulty organically based on how much you've solved.

    A truly stunning achievement.

    Plus I just read that Lucas Pope, as well as creating 'Papers, Please', also created one of my favorite iOS games of all time (Helsing's Fire) - makes sense now! Especially the music and setting.

    Highly recommend it - I paid full price it it was worth every dubloon!
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  24. Dec 12, 2018
    7
    Juego de investigación con un estilo que emula a los ordenadores antiguos. Trata de resolver las muertes que ocurrieron en el barco Obra Dinn, tenemos un cuaderno y deberemos rellenar los destinos de todos los tripulantes. La estética es bastante original aunque personalmente no se si le aporta algo al juego más allá de llamar la atención por ser diferente. Tiene una gran jugabilidad y laJuego de investigación con un estilo que emula a los ordenadores antiguos. Trata de resolver las muertes que ocurrieron en el barco Obra Dinn, tenemos un cuaderno y deberemos rellenar los destinos de todos los tripulantes. La estética es bastante original aunque personalmente no se si le aporta algo al juego más allá de llamar la atención por ser diferente. Tiene una gran jugabilidad y la historia nos mantiene atentos cada vez con más interés a medida que vamos descubriendo los acontecimientos. Arte 7, Jugabilidad 8, Historia 7. Expand
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Dec 13, 2018
    89
    Return of the Obra Dinn is simply gorgeous, from the idea to the execution. Finally a gem in which your deductive skills, your logic and your patience are really important: this game doesn't help the player. With an amazing graphic art and a strong gameplay, another great game from Lucas Pope.
  2. Dec 10, 2018
    86
    Although a weak ending and a frustrating lack of tutorials up front limit Pope's latest release, the vast majority of his work more than makes up for these setbacks. Whether you're looking for something truly unique, thick vibes, or an excellent mystery, Obra Dinn is for you.
  3. Dec 5, 2018
    95
    The only downside to Return of the Obra Dinn is that I foresee someone attempting to copy this game’s formula, and it will fail. There is not a single piece of this game that can’t be deduced from the information the game presents. I feel copycats will understand the general concept but not succeed in tying up every loose end like Pope did here. All four years of development are on display. Return of the Obra Dinn is a unique experience worth every penny. I can’t recommend this game enough. There is nothing quite like it.