In this 1-bit first-person mystery game, a merchant ship called the Obra Dinn has appeared at a London harbor, years after being declared lost at sea. As an insurance adjuster, the player must examine the ship for clues.
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I liked Papers Please a whole lot when I finally played it last year for the first time (holy shit does time fly) and I figured that it was only a matter of time until I played this game. I’m glad to declare that it completely lives up to the hype. The sheer level of detail in the storytelling here is nothing less than staggering, Obra Dinn conveying a deeply layered, richly complex, and utterly compelling mystery through a unique narrative structure that only pulled me into this world deeper as it went along. Learning more about this cast of diverse, colorful, and interesting characters is incredibly involving and engaging throughout, combined with the subtle and clever writing which deftly explores a handful of thematic ideas without ever feeling overwhelming or oversimplified. The core mechanics of investigation and puzzle solving are also nailed to perfection, creating a thoughtful, consistently rewarding, and addictively thrilling gameplay loop. That aforementioned depth (both in regards to its story and in its systems) is certainly part and parcel to what makes this game so special (and what elevates it beyond the majority of titles in the detective genre) but even the more surface level sensory elements are fantastic. The presentation and the production values are strong across the board, the art direction is refreshingly original and beautifully atmospheric, the voice acting is fucking outstanding and very believable, and the soundtrack (composed by Lucas Pope himself shockingly enough) is incredibly immersive and it’s always utilized to its maximum effectiveness. This game is an exceptional masterpiece that I would recommend to pretty much every gamer that’s worth their salt without an iota of hesitation. It’s one of the coolest games that i’ve played all year and it begs to be experienced going into it as blind as possible.