One of the most criminally overlooked games of 2018 is finally coming to consoles. Return of the Obra Dinn sets sail on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 18.
Even when it first released on PC, the game didn’t exactly light the world on fire. If you’re unfamiliar with Return of the Obra Dinn, you’re set loose on a ship that has mysteriously appeared with the entire crew missing. Your job is to figure out exactly what happened to each crew member down to the last detail. If you think they died, you have to not only denote that, but also who and what did the deed. This is made more difficult by the game’s distinct art style, which obscures details on faces. It’s one of the best detective games released in recent memory, and now you have no excuse not to try it out. It’s also made by Lucas Pope, the same person behind 2013’s indie hit Papers, Please.
The only tools you have to solve the puzzle are a log with the names of each crew member as well as some group photos. No names are linked to any faces, so it’s up to you to put two and two together. Using a special watch, you can relive the last moments of any corpse you see, allowing you to walk through a frozen diorama of the exact moment of death. These scenes almost always involve multiple people and sometimes multiple deaths, and any dialogue is played against a blank background prior to the scene being visible, so you’ll have to examine every detail of the grisly scenes to determine exactly what happened. The game only tells you if you’ve correctly determined someone’s fate in threes, so you won’t know if you’re right until you accurately deduce what happened to three people, meaning you can’t just guess random combinations for random people.
Return of the Obra Dinn is a fantastic game and I hope more people give it a chance when it launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 18.