Return of the Obra Dinn: Unique Sea Shanty of an Indie Game

Return of the Obra Dinn

Here’s a mighty innovative thing from indie team 3909 LLC. Set aboard an East India Company ghost ship, the story involves the mysterious death of the crew. It’s your task to work out what the heck happened. Spooky, me hearties!

Return of the Obra Dinn

The indie team is based out in Saitama city of Japan, but Lucas Pope – an American designer – is head of the indie devs. Previously, they produced the famous indie hit Papers, Please in 2013.

That was one unique experience and 3909 LLC has done it again with this one. You can class it as a type of Sherlock Holmes sort of shindig, but out at sea. And in a video game.

The story in short: the Obra Dinn glides mysteriously into Falmouth (southern England) on 14th October 1807 and a first-person adventure unfolds with plenty of puzzle solving.

It’s an unusual and absorbing experience. The distinctive, Macintosh-era style graphics are what first grab your attention, but then you’ll be fully absorbed into the experience.

Whilst it’s eager to think of it as a detective game, it’s more about watching visual cues and deciding upon the actions of each crew member. As the player, you’ve got to note down what happened accurately. Screw it up and it’s your fault.

So, if you like a bit of an unusual adventure where you have to delve in, use your brain, and work out what’s happened… well, this is one is for you. It’s like you’re working out the mysteries of the Mary Celeste all these years on.

Return of the Obra Dinn launched in October 2018 and is a clever game, which has won it a sweeping amount of critical acclaim. You can find it on Steam.


  1. I really liked Papers, Please, so I am interested in checking this game out. It really stands out from his previous work, doesn’t it? I like it whenever someone can successfully change gears so radically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, total change of direction. It’s great to see. I can highly recommend it. I need to get Papers, Please now – I’ve only heard good things. Amazing he’s out there in Japan making these things.

      Liked by 1 person

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