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Papers, Please dev releases new demo for Return of the Obra Dinn

Think Everybody's Gone to the Rapture meets Jules Verne.

Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope has released a new playable demo for his upcoming first-person adventure game Return of the Obra Dinn.

The mystery is set in 1808 aboard a merchant ship thought missing for the past six years.

You may recall that Pope released a demo for Return of the Obra Dinn back in 2014, though he's made a lot of subtle additions since then. On the TigSource forums he listed the following enhancements:

  • New intro sequence (voiced dialog, start on ferry, clearer watch quest)
  • Vignetted flashbacks
  • Fully modeled top deck
  • One new music track, remastered the rest
  • One additional flashback
  • Take a few steps below deck
  • Pause/settings menu

"This is a slightly tweaked and optimised version of the build shown at GDC 2016," Pope said. "It's not meant to be a proper demo of the final product but it's probably safe to extrapolate from here."

Pope intentionally made the graphics old timey due to his nostalgia for 80s graphic adventure titles.

"I'd like to capture the detailed black and white look of old Mac games in a real time first-person game," the developer said upon Return of the Obra Dinn's announcement nearly two years ago.

Having just played the demo, I can say that it certainly piqued my interest. It feels a little like the first-person mystery of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture transplanted into a different era with a unique aesthetic. Bits of it operate like a radio play as the past and present merge in this haunted vessel where things have gone horribly, excitingly awry. I'd recommend giving it a go if you've got about 20 minutes to kill.

You can download the Return of the Obra Dinn demo for PC and Mac on Pope's page.

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