Return of the Obra Dinn has a playable demo

Memento mortis

Did I ever tell you that as a child I was fascinated with the idea of ghost ships? Well, I was — and I guess you could say that I still am in one way or another.

I grew up reading about the accounts of mysterious vessels like the Mary Celeste; a merchant brigantine found sailing the Atlantic, on course for the Straight of Gibraltar with no one left aboard. I found the idea of an abandoned or derelict vessel intriguing. What became of the crew? Why was she left fully stocked with food and provisions?

You may remember that we ran a story last May on Lucas Pope’s newest project, Return of the Obra Dinn, a first-person mystery presented in a pointedly retro aesthetic. While well known for his dystopian document thriller Papers Please, Pope ventures into strange new visual territory in his latest endeavor.

To avoid spoiling the demo, I’ll leave off in saying that Pope has managed to successfully scratch the itch I mentioned in the introductory paragraphs, but in a unique way I wouldn’t have predicted.

Keep in mind that if you play the demo, this is a very early build without much content and it hasn’t been fully tested. Even in this bare-bones state, I still found the title compelling and can’t wait to learn more about it.

Rob Morrow