Return Of The Obra Dinn: Investigating the 2 Constants

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Hello, people who may or may not like games with induction and deduction reasoning, this is for you. Check out my take on “Return of the Obra Dinn”.

Who made Return of the Obra Dinn?

3909 LLC, known for the game “Papers, Please” and Warp Digital, known for games like “Hue” and “Thomas Was Alone”.

What is Return of the Obra Dinn about?

Return of the Obra Dinn is a fascinating indie game where you play as an insurance agent. You must determine the fates of all those aboard. Armed with a notebook with all the crew names, pictures, a map, and a magical pocket watch looking into memories. Based on context clues, you must complete your objective.

How is it different from other games?

Pheonix Wright Comparison

It doesn’t work like Phoenix Wright. (Another one of my favorite game series of all time). In that series, you can guess your way through even if it means losing all of your health. In order to confirm anything, you must guess 3 people and their fates correctly. I liked this and I hated it. You have to pay attention to the accents in the flashbacks, the placement of where they are in the picture, and their relationships with other crew and passengers. Very rarely do you get a name drop so I found it particularly difficult.

Noir Aesthetic

The entire game is in black and white and I loved the aesthetic but sometimes found it difficult to determine exactly what was going on with some of the deaths. However, the aesthetic did kind of serve as a censor to all of the deaths. That coupled with the fact you are walking around in non-animated memories. You don’t see people getting crushed. You see their body under the cargo that fell on them.

Did I 100% complete the game?

Since I was so keen on trying to guess the who and how I had a hard time following the narrative. I consulted a guide on steam to figure out what the heck was going on overall and I can’t imagine the amount of thought put into this game. I did like the creativity involved in trying to figure out how everyone died in a way that was comprehensive. They had some deaths unused in the list that I would’ve like to see as they would have brought some interesting memories. Then again, I didn’t 110% complete this game. I failed to find the fates of two people which I’m ok with. After all, I found everyone else.

How’d you find this game?

Actually, I found this game from the Game Maker’s Toolkit. I have followed Mark Brown for quite some time and I love his analysis on all the games he does. This game tickled my fancy and so I put it on my wishlist and waited for the steam summer sale.

Is it ok for kids?

I didn’t find this game scary, there isn’t anything that jumps out at you and there’s no one on the boat with you. However, I would say the feeling of this game is ominous so if you don’t like horror games you’ll probably be fine but if you’re a kid ehhhhh might not want to do this game. Even though it is in monochrome, it does have blood and gore and you are looking at the remains of people.

Mark Brown’s take on Return of the Obra Dinn if you want to check out what he had to say about it:

Overall, I give this game a 10/10. It’d be a perfect way to spend a few hours on a night during the spooky season. Thank you for reading my take on “Return of the Obra Dinn”, I appreciate it. Comment below your favorite video game. If you like my content, consider subscribing to my mailing list and if you want a review on something similar, click here 

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