Genre Adventure, puzzle
Publisher 3909
Developer Lucas Pope
Minimum requirements Windows 7 or macOS Sierra and higher, processor Intel Core i5 2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, discrete graphics card, 2 GB hard disk
Recommended requirements Intel Core i3-3240 3.4 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 40, 6 GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6770 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 with 2 GB VRAM
Release date 18 October 2018
Age limit Not defined
Platform PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Official website

The game is tested on PC

Empty deck if the sun is trying to burn — walking in this solitude, the creaky boards, I began to believe that everyone here just incinerated without a trace, without a handful of ashes. But, not yet having reached a cherished question — “how, then, returned to the ship?”, — I notice swarming near the captain’s cabin of the flies. They dance their sultry waltz over someone’s bones and then St. Vitus dance comes pocket chronometer. It was issued to me along with a book — ship’s log, which I somehow have to fill. Not a trivial task, but I’m starting to understand that meant the person who gave me this equipment, — sees the events that left “Obra Dinn” without a crew.

I hear voices, I hear the shot and see the scene that led to the appearance on the flooring of the upper deck of the corpse. But who is it? What motivates a person razraditi musket? Where are the others? In my hands a list of the crew, a couple of paintings of marine artist (you can find everyone who participated in the flight), the layout of the ship and a map of its route — it seems to be to answer these questions yourself.

Reverse chronicle of events

Passing through the deck from top to bottom and back, following razmalyvanija a ball of time that does not flow in Return of the Obra Dinn in one direction, and wobbles like a sailor in a storm, we slowly get new information. Watching static scenes, listen to a short audio recording that accompanied the events, make notes either in the game journal, or notebook. We can move both in the present tense, and within these scenes, by studying not only the epicenter, in which the event occurs, but also the periphery: noticed that everybody does, and try to discover new signs, which will help us to identify all of them in the logbook. And learn their fate.

To find equivalents Return of the Obra Dinn in the world of video games it’s almost impossible comes to mind is that grooper Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, similar to the same search for “traces” of the past, manifested in the form of short scenes. But this is only part of the game, and not the most important. Basis you can try to compare with Her Story, where we also recovered pieces of the story of the past, but it is not quite right. The process is similar to solving a Sudoku — the game confirms the correctness of our assumptions immediately, as they are made, but only in the presence of three faithful (in the end two). And we start to make final solutions of the ranks, which gradually fill the entire field, helping to fill out the rest by process of elimination. Only instead of numbers here — people’s lives.

In carrying out these cards and there is a big part of the game

You have the role not of a detective seeking the perpetrators, and not even a person close to some of the crew members and is now seeking answers to the nagging questions of the soul. No, you’re an insurance agent. And the problem is not in finding right or wrong, and a thorough investigation of the truth for the subsequent transfer of funds to the families of the victims. Or foreclosure from the account of those who have shown themselves not the best way. To certify and seal.

In Papers, Please paper work was accompanied by bouts of sympathy, anger, despair and attempts to change the broken order of things. In Return of the Obra Dinn we have no influence on the fate of all those who have already written in the book of Fate, — but we feel all the same flashes of sympathy and anger. And really know many of those who fell into the meat grinder. We already know what end befell the boatswain, but he fights with the elements on the deck, showing enviable restraint, but he just stands and stares into the distance. What was he thinking? But painted Mars, full of bravado, his death is horrible, but where was his bravado when it was needed to be brave? If he is hiding behind that box while others are fighting?

Op, fella!

At some point, Return of the Obra Dinn, which captures its mystery and original service from the start, just starts to hit and reasonableness (the fate of each crew member can solve it without resorting to the simple search, — let me have it and did not work), and how with terse expressive means Lucas Pope again avoids mechanical dry process. At some point I caught myself on the fact that I not only had the events on “Obra Dinn” (this is if you were heavily immersed in something before bed), but the next morning came up with new solutions to puzzles.

Universal man

Lucas Pope cannot change himself. Return of the Obra Dinn is made, in fact, alone. The only help, in addition to the moral, which took Lucas on the way to the realization of their longstanding dream, is the actors who have voiced crew members. To ensure that speak dozens of voices, both male and female, and even in different languages and with different dialects, talent Lucas is not enough. The rest is programming, gaming and visual design, music, testing and everything else required to create a finished game — with a vengeance.

Armed with the Unity engine, the author has created a model of the ship with all the dramatic (and moving) scenes in full 3D with single-bit graphics. In the beginning you can choose the style of picture: Return of the Obra Dinn allowed to disguise the game with a Commodore 1084 or is there a Macintosh. And Yes, this style really is to recognize a kind — to understand everyone who complains about the “leaked in the game’s eyes”. Help breaks — go Obra Dinn and in one eight-hour marathon, but then tired the optic nerve may in the end spoil the impression.

Graphical settings that we deserve

Another side effect of the graphical solution — the difficulty in distinguishing separate characters. If they don’t have any bright signs (hats, tattoos or distinctive beard), sometimes to determine the race is not easy — despite the fact that it’s necessary. At some point I got stuck because I counted six Chinese among those whom he has met on his journey deep into time, while in the crew list there were only four! This situation helped just good old brute force — one extra was a Scot and the other an Englishman. In technical terms too, not all smooth — at some point I ran into a nasty bug that made me an extra hour to look for the end of the previous scenes, which should have been disclosed automatically; however, overall complaints of instability Return of the Obra Dinn quite a bit.

With music and sound Lucas Pope managed without reservations brilliantly — maybe the new anthem Rostotski we did not wait, but step title-track immediately sets the right tone and musical themes of a particular Chapter create a thick atmosphere.

The game, incidentally, unexpectedly translated into several languages, including in Russian — sometimes very clumsy (for example, the word “gun” is translated as uncontested “gun” that can in some moments to confound), but generally tolerated.


Unravelling the mystery of the ship “Obra Dinn”, it makes no sense to get on the Board again, there’s twenty endings — she’s the only one. But mentally, no doubt you again and again you return to empty on long journeys sailboat.

Return of the Obra Dinn is a skillfully woven web of events and destinies, to unravel which is not only a great workout for the mind, but a real pleasure. Lucas Pope again masterfully melted routine processes in an exciting and never to repeat, and easily escaping from the “syndrome of the second game.”


  • a unique gaming experience;
  • the dense atmosphere of the ship, pursued by the Rock;
  • excellent coherence and consistency of the investigation — never feel so much Sherlock Holmes as here.


  • the peculiar visual style, which sometimes interferes with the elementary investigation.


Return of the Obra Dinn, of course, performed stylishly and with a great taste, but someone this one-bit approach may simply push away from the game.


Signature music by Lucas Pope, a full and high-quality voice dozens of characters, live sound events — there is even no need to speak about the minimalist approach. All on the highest level (for indie games, of course).

Single game

Ship “Obra Dinn” arrived in port without a crew, and our task is to find out what happened with everyone who was on Board, and it turned out that the ship came back at all. This is done through a number of comparisons, reconciliation, reflection and insight to work as an insurance agent is both challenging and exciting.


Not provided.

Overall impression

Return of the Obra Dinn is a full — fledged masterpiece, a precious sample of the crystal clear the author’s approach to the art of creating games. Though done masterfully and not a little exciting.

Rating: 9,0/10

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Return of the Obra Dinn

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