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There’s not much I can say about Lucas Pope’s 2018 game Return of the Obra Dinn that hasn’t already been said. It’s a fantastic game, tasking players with solving the mystery of the titular ship when it drifts into harbor in 1807, with all 60 crew and passengers unaccounted for. Fortunately, our protagonist possesses a magical pocketwatch that allows them to see (and also, separately, to hear) someone’s moment of death. Examining these frozen moments in time, players must determine what transpired, figure out who else was there, and eventually assign faces to the ship’s roster and deduce what happened to all of them. The game is one big intertwined puzzle, absolutely fascinating to play and striking to look at with its retro-styled, two color dithered art. But you probably already knew all of that already, since Return of the Obra Dinn has received rave reviews everywhere.

But, I plucked it from my backlog under unusual circumstances: I was looking for a game to play together with my partner, who is much less well versed in games than I am. Return of the Obra Dinn turned out to be an excellent choice.