Papers, Please dev’s “insurance adventure” Return of the Obra Dinn arrives this autumn

Lucas Pope, the developer behind 2013’s masterful dystopian document thriller Papers, Please has revealed that his latest endeavour, Return of the Obra Dinn, is scheduled to launch on PC and Mac this “autumn”.

Return of the Obra Dinn is described as “an insurance adventure with minimal colour” (also: “a first-person mystery adventure based on exploration and logical deduction”), and sees players attempting to piece together the final moments of the titular merchant ship – declared lost at sea in 1803, having failed to complete its journey to the Cape of Good Hope.

Surprising everyone, however, the Obra Dinn returns to port on October 14th, 1807, drifting in “with damaged sails and no visible crew”. That’s where the game proper commences, with players taking on the role of an insurance investigator for the East India Company’s London Office, charged with uncovering just what, precisely, went wrong.

To complete that task, players are provided with a journal and a compass – which, as all the best compasses do, lets you revisit and replay the final moments of each crew member’s death – in order to discern and record the fates of those onboard, and the specific disasters that befell them. And, yes, that means there’s a spot of paperwork to be done.

You can get a taste of Obra Dinn’s gorgeous period atmosphere and its striking “1-bit” art style in the new trailer above. Interested parties can keep tabs on the game via Steam – and might also enjoy Eurogamer’s conversation with Pope about Obra Dinn’s inception from late last year.

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