User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 226 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 226

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  1. 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
  2. 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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  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 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Oct 25, 2018
    10
    Amazing art, story and soundtrack, a must play if you like mystery/detective games
  8. 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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  9. 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.
  10. 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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  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Mar 10, 2019
    8
    Favorite Thing: It's an incredibly creative game with a great story ... involving monsters!
    Least Favorite Thing: Some of the identifications are a little too vague.

    Date Completed: 2019-03-04
    Playtime: ~ 7h
    Enjoyment: 8/10
    Recommendation: It's definitely a game to be experiences.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. Mar 30, 2019
    9
    Pretty good. The only reason it doesn't get a 10 is that some assumptions that are asked from the player to make are kinda far-fetched or they require prior knowledge on specific exotic cultures.
    Otherwise, any problems are rare, the game is near perfect.
  17. 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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  18. May 8, 2020
    10
    K teto hre jsem se chtel dostat uz dlouho ale nejak na to nebyl cas. Konecne se zadarilo a po 8 hodinach a 45 minutach dohrano. Byla to pecka.

    Svezi napad, svezi hratelnost (i kdyz nektere kroky v UI jsou trochu krkolomne), paradni atmosfera, super hudba, zajimavy a strhujici pribeh. Vsechno zde bylo vyborne. Takovehle hry mam moc rad. Hry ktere jsem "jeste nikdy nehral". Hrat si na
    K teto hre jsem se chtel dostat uz dlouho ale nejak na to nebyl cas. Konecne se zadarilo a po 8 hodinach a 45 minutach dohrano. Byla to pecka.

    Svezi napad, svezi hratelnost (i kdyz nektere kroky v UI jsou trochu krkolomne), paradni atmosfera, super hudba, zajimavy a strhujici pribeh. Vsechno zde bylo vyborne.

    Takovehle hry mam moc rad. Hry ktere jsem "jeste nikdy nehral". Hrat si na vysetrovatele na jedne lodi.

    Hrali jsme to ve 2 lidech a casto jsme si nadhazovali napady, spekulovali a zkouseli. Neskutecna zabava.
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  19. Feb 17, 2019
    9
    Gameplay/Mechanics: 9.5
    Sound/Music: 9
    Graphics/Art: 9.5
    Story/Atmosphere: 10
    OVERALL: 9.5/10
  20. Sep 3, 2019
    9
    Impresionante experiencia este "simulador de detective". Te obliga a estar completamente concentrado para descubrir todos los detalles que las escenas esconden. El estilo visual a mi me ha parecido incómodo de jugar por los contrastes de oscuro/claro que al final cansan la vista, pero comprendo la elección. Consigues que un juego con gráficos sin gracia tenga muchísima personalidad, yImpresionante experiencia este "simulador de detective". Te obliga a estar completamente concentrado para descubrir todos los detalles que las escenas esconden. El estilo visual a mi me ha parecido incómodo de jugar por los contrastes de oscuro/claro que al final cansan la vista, pero comprendo la elección. Consigues que un juego con gráficos sin gracia tenga muchísima personalidad, y además ayudas al jugador a centrarse en los datos importantes. Superdivertido descubrir la historia que esconde. Expand
  21. Jun 21, 2020
    10
    I think that this is truly a unique game and I would recommend that if you are a fan of this type of genre then I think you should give this game a try.
  22. Ypp
    Jan 24, 2019
    10
    I went into this game thinking it would be a crossover between Phoenix Wright and Sudoku (murder-solving + puzzle-solving). Boy, was I wrong. This game is its own genre.

    You get a taste of the gameplay from the first bodies you encounter, and as soon as you understand the basics, the game throws you into a spiral of memories that will make you wonder about the fate and motivations of
    I went into this game thinking it would be a crossover between Phoenix Wright and Sudoku (murder-solving + puzzle-solving). Boy, was I wrong. This game is its own genre.

    You get a taste of the gameplay from the first bodies you encounter, and as soon as you understand the basics, the game throws you into a spiral of memories that will make you wonder about the fate and motivations of each crew member as well as the ship herself.

    Graphics serve the purpose of the game perfectly : high contrast and blurred faces force you to make deductions based on assumptions and fragmented information. Making a correct guess is very rewarding, much more than I would have thought from the reviews.

    The music and the sound design are very engaging (although not to everyone's tastes, I suppose). The little music of confirmation when you guess the fates correctly is a motivation in itself.

    As a non native English-speaker I can't judge the different accents but the voice acting is very good.

    Like I saw someone else comment about, my greatest regret is not being able to forget about the story so I can discover it once more...
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  23. Jan 13, 2019
    10
    This might just have been the best game I've ever played. It is so different from everything else but if you like the feeling of being a detective and actually investigating and solving stuff (much like in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment - just even more in-depths) this is the ultimate gaming experience for you. Right now I am desperately looking for anything else that is remotelyThis might just have been the best game I've ever played. It is so different from everything else but if you like the feeling of being a detective and actually investigating and solving stuff (much like in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment - just even more in-depths) this is the ultimate gaming experience for you. Right now I am desperately looking for anything else that is remotely similar to Obra Dinn.

    Really - play it. I hope Lucas Pope does another game like that. It is a masterpiece
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  24. Mar 5, 2019
    10
    TOP D+ TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+TOP D+
  25. Jun 27, 2020
    9
    A-
    Unique and magnificent art style makes the game one of the best experiences of gaming.
    If you like puzzle games its a must play but still good for other people too.
    Recommended.
  26. Dec 23, 2018
    10
    É difícil encontrar falhas em Return of the Obra Dinn. Tudo é tão polido e bem-planejado, completamente novo e familiar ao mesmo tempo. Não há nada parecido com este jogo no mercado, e ao fim eu só queria poder continuar investigando destinos de desconhecidos por mais horas a fio.
  27. Jan 13, 2019
    8
    It's a nice game of observation and deduction. The artistic style is interesting and original, but starts to hurt your eyes after a while.

    What you see is what you get - a one-off mystery to solve, with no replayability. However, there's enough content for you to feel like you're getting your money's worth. The interface, and way you "navigate between memories" are more cumbersome
    It's a nice game of observation and deduction. The artistic style is interesting and original, but starts to hurt your eyes after a while.

    What you see is what you get - a one-off mystery to solve, with no replayability. However, there's enough content for you to feel like you're getting your money's worth.

    The interface, and way you "navigate between memories" are more cumbersome than they need to be. To explain what I mean by "navigating between memories": suppose you're looking at the scene where crewmember A dies, which contains a link to the scene where crewmember B dies. Here's what the game makes you do to reach it:

    (1) You find B's corpse and use your watch to go into a strange "wireframe mode".

    (2) You find B's corpse again (for some reason) and sort of 'activate' it in a way that exits wireframe mode.

    (3) You're now paralyzed for some reason until you 'activate' your watch yet again.

    (4) Then you follow a ghostly trail around the ship, back to B's corpse (again!).

    (5) Then *finally* you can access the scene where B dies.

    (6) But since this is the first time you're looking at it, then you're forced to wander around and just look at things for a fixed period of time, whether you want to or not, and are not permitted to make deductions in your notebook until afterwards.

    This flaw doesn't ruin the game, but it's a bafflingly obtuse bit of design.
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  28. Jan 16, 2019
    10
    Return of the Obra Dinn is definitely, and I say this without shame, the best puzzle game of all time.
    Amazing story, Amazing art style, Amazing Characters.
    The only gripe I have is that you can't buy that amazing soundtrack anywhere right now! Buy it! Don't cheat, you'll ruin it for yourself, Play with a friend, bounce ideas off each other, And for god's sake, don't do it all in one
    Return of the Obra Dinn is definitely, and I say this without shame, the best puzzle game of all time.
    Amazing story, Amazing art style, Amazing Characters.
    The only gripe I have is that you can't buy that amazing soundtrack anywhere right now!
    Buy it!
    Don't cheat, you'll ruin it for yourself,
    Play with a friend, bounce ideas off each other,
    And for god's sake, don't do it all in one go.
    It's like eating Ice cream, you need to pace yourself.
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  29. Feb 18, 2019
    9
    Excelente muestra de talento por parte de Lucas Pope creando la atmósfera perfecta para centrarte en lo realmente destacable del juego: la historia, la relación de los personajes y cómo el más mínimo detalle no debe menospreciarse si quieres resolver los 60 sinos.

    Lejos del frenesí de los juegos AAA actuales, Return of th Obra Dinn exigirá el máximo de tu concentración, de tu capacidad
    Excelente muestra de talento por parte de Lucas Pope creando la atmósfera perfecta para centrarte en lo realmente destacable del juego: la historia, la relación de los personajes y cómo el más mínimo detalle no debe menospreciarse si quieres resolver los 60 sinos.

    Lejos del frenesí de los juegos AAA actuales, Return of th Obra Dinn exigirá el máximo de tu concentración, de tu capacidad de cribar la información y de tu capacidad de deducción.

    Juego totalmente recomendable si quieres una experiencia diferente a lo habitual en la industria.
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  30. Dec 5, 2019
    9
    What an absolutely spectacular indie game. I am blown away. These are the kind of games I rave about to my friends who don't play games, the kind of games whose sheer creativity push the boundaries of the medium. No praise is fitting for this game unless it is superlative, so in that vein, I'd like to say that Return of the Obra Dinn is the greatest singleplayer PC game of 2018, surpassingWhat an absolutely spectacular indie game. I am blown away. These are the kind of games I rave about to my friends who don't play games, the kind of games whose sheer creativity push the boundaries of the medium. No praise is fitting for this game unless it is superlative, so in that vein, I'd like to say that Return of the Obra Dinn is the greatest singleplayer PC game of 2018, surpassing the only real competitor Subnautica. Not only does it take detective games to a new level never seen before, in my humble opinion, it takes the entire realm of detective storytelling to a new place, the best breath of fresh air.

    This is the kind of game where you'll spend ages poring over a notebook, revisiting crime scenes, searching both the depths of the scene and your mind for clues. This is the rare kind of game that really tests your mental acumen and not in an obnoxious way with hard puzzles out of nowhere, it tests it through strength of narrative and as a core part of its fundamental mechanic.

    I don't want to spoil this game by talking too much about it. Just buy it. Play it. Enjoy it. It's like a dessert at a 5 star restaurant, a treat to savour. And you really should savour it, don't binge it or play more than a couple hours at a time.

    If I had to make one criticism, i'd say the notebook management is really quite confusing for new players. Once you jump the initial hurdle, the game is smooth sailing from there, with many a satisfying moment.
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  31. Aug 27, 2019
    8
    I really enjoyed it. Screenshots don't do this game much justice, it's way better in motion. The atmosphere is great and I really liked the puzzles.
  32. Nov 10, 2019
    9
    An amazing game, with only a few quality-of-life things lacking (such as the ability to view deaths from the logbook). Still one of my games of the generation!
  33. Jul 6, 2020
    10
    I went into this game completely blind, and boy was I surprised by it. I loved solving the mystery of this game and finding out what happened. I greatly recommend this game to people who just want to sit down and solve a grand mystery.
  34. Dec 13, 2019
    10
    “Return of the Obra Dinn” is a brilliant game.

    It tells the story of a detective, who is tasked with finding out what exactly happened onboard the Obra Dinn that caused the ship never to arrive in it’s destination. Armed with a intricate timepiece and a book you have to find out what happened to every single one of the 60 crew mates. This task is challenging and therefore rewarding; it
    “Return of the Obra Dinn” is a brilliant game.

    It tells the story of a detective, who is tasked with finding out what exactly happened onboard the Obra Dinn that caused the ship never to arrive in it’s destination. Armed with a intricate timepiece and a book you have to find out what happened to every single one of the 60 crew mates.
    This task is challenging and therefore rewarding; it requires you to make many guesses that may or may not be right, but with every assumption you are getting closer to the truth.

    Will you find out what happened onboard the Obra Dinn? I did and I was not disappointed.
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  35. Dec 18, 2019
    10
    The lore behind the brilliant idea of this game is a masterpiece. The soundtrack is incredible and fits perfectly in every situation. The mechanics used in this game are never seen in any kind of detective game, and with its exclusive and genius gameplay mechanics, the game can easily be rated as the best puzzle game of all time. The graphics may seem a little odd at first, but everyThe lore behind the brilliant idea of this game is a masterpiece. The soundtrack is incredible and fits perfectly in every situation. The mechanics used in this game are never seen in any kind of detective game, and with its exclusive and genius gameplay mechanics, the game can easily be rated as the best puzzle game of all time. The graphics may seem a little odd at first, but every single scene is perfectly designed so the situation can be understood by the player. I have nothing else to say but this is my favourite game of all time and i recommend it for everyone. Expand
  36. May 15, 2020
    10
    My game of the year for 2018. Obra Dinn is one giant detective game that is a blast to solve.
  37. Jun 6, 2020
    9
    A truly new concept of story telling. It is pretty hard to figure out without help at times. It sucks the graphic is so limited though, because it often relies on visual details to solve fates.
  38. Jun 23, 2020
    10
    This game is pretty much a new genre of detective game. Here you have to use your observations and listening skills and some deductive reasoning to piece together the name and role of everyone who died on the boat. While doing this you will relive the entire disastrous last voyage of the Obra Dinn. I highly recommend it if you like puzzle solving games.
Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. CD-Action
    Nov 14, 2019
    90
    Lucas Pope is a genius and Return of the Obra Dinn is something truly exceptional. It’s a bit like sudoku – the only thing it needs from a player is logical thinking, therefore it can be recommended to anyone. [13/2018, p.50]
  2. Jan 15, 2019
    85
    Sound design, music, and an inspired graphical style makes Return of the Obra Dinn an unsettling but satisfying exercise in deduction.
  3. Jan 4, 2019
    90
    The Return of the Obra Dinn is a stunning work of craftsmanship. Pope, who handled every aspect of its production himself, has created a work that celebrates scrutinizing details.