198 words on Return Of The Obra Dinn
The ocean of the past.
The most terrible things happen inside a facsimile of a Macintosh monitor. Stabbings and shootings, strangulation by tentacle, theft and gruesome accidents, a mob executing the wrong man. This haunted old ship has been through some shit. Tracing the dimensions of that shit reveals a kind of beautiful symmetry: the ocean is discomfiting because of what we can’t see in its unfathomable dark, and the past is the same way. What do the greens, grays, and blacks of obsolete technology reveal? We walk around in suspended moments—here I’m not being metaphorical, this is most of what you do in Return Of The Obra Dinn—and try to figure out what the hell happened, who’s stabbing who and why, the origin of a sea monster that’s tearing a sailor in half. It’s a puzzle game, you’re playing detective, but each solution is an expanding spotlight that furthers your understanding of what you won’t be able to understand. Namely, pure evil and the biology of giant crabs. You might notice, wandering the top deck, that the moon looks somehow more like our moon than it does in photographs, and think about how truth can be conveyed by methods not altogether straightforward.