Quinn K. I'm a writer and gamedev.
Personal Ratings



Gained 100+ total review likes

1 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 1 year

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event


Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review


Gained 15+ followers


Played 250+ games


Gained 10+ total review likes

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others


Gained 3+ followers


Played 100+ games

Favorite Games

Kentucky Route Zero
Kentucky Route Zero
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


Games Backloggd

Recently Reviewed See More

This one's very memorable and special to me, but utterly for reasons outside of its storytelling and narrative design. As a writer, I tend to approach games in that way- Bear with me, I'll talk about things other than words in a bit.
Lucas Pope, I feel, does well with creating emerging stories through branching paths, heavily influenced by player action. In "Papers, Please", for example, it was extremely compelling to have little stories for all these people passing by your checkpoint, unfolding either on-screen or in your mind. After all, your decision of "APPROVING" or "DENYING" their visas was an incredibly meaningful one in the lives of these bit-characters! However,
even back then, dialogue-writing and scene-construction were not exactly Pope's forté, and there wasn't much meat to the characters' bones (partially because there were so many). That wasn't a huge problem when the micro-narratives the game created were so dependable.
"Return of the Obra Dinn" definitely does not play to the strengths as a storyteller that "Papers, Please" made apparent; it's a fairly linear game where player agency in the story is starkly reduced (considering that the game's story takes place in a past you interface with from the present through magical flashbacks). Obra Dinn is also divided into individual areas that, while variable in the exact sequence of the scenes within them, end up following each other in the same order every time.
By the way: Obra Dinn has an enormous cast, all of them named and uniquely designed - while continuing to underwrite each of them, worse even than the few consistent and familiar faces from "Papers, Please". It feels like you barely get to know anyone; the windows you see them through are so brief and so limiting. You have no agency in these people's lives because they're either already dead or otherwise gone. The game feels extremely dead because of that, to its detriment. In a game with a stronger horror-component, that feeling would've been compelling; here, it's kind of dull.
Then, there are some of Lucas Pope's historical and political beliefs that subtly seep into the writing and character designs; never becoming ghoulish, but never being particularly tasteful in its depictions of people from distinct cultures, nor of complex political circumstances drenched in blood (such as the East India Company); it attempts to ride a strange line of fantastic pulp and historical precision, where each side diminishes the other. (As an aside, I still struggle to forgive Pope for his toothless and dull examination of the "circle of revolution" in "The Republian Times". It's a jam game, I know, but c'mon.)
Why does the game still stick with me. then?
The deduction mechanic in 3D-space was genuinely beautifully executed. On your first playthrough, there is so much to see and discover in these static scenes from the past; Obra Dinn absolutely is a game for people with a love for detail, and - guilty as charged, that'd be me! It's also very good at capturing a feeling; an era of computer games that's long-past, one that never played like Obra Dinn, but definitely felt like it.
Overall, I'd say it's a worthwhile thing to go into entirely unspoiled. It'll give your brain some good exercise for an evening or three, and despite its flaws (all that shit up there + the 1-bit style being maybe not ideal for a detective game), it really is a game you remember.

This review contains spoilers

A little cooler on this now, after some reflection, and upon talking with more people who also played it - the game hit me very strongly and differently at first due to some life events, but that's faded somewhat, now.
It's bold to not allow saving; it feels like the game has a self-respect that is rare in its medium because of that. "I am a commitment! Make time for me!" But it doesn't particularly add much to the overall point of the experience beyond the first playthrough. The meta-stuff is very... "copy-paste previous assets ad nauseam", which has its place here, but due to the context of other games, can't help but feel a little trite.
I think what really carries this game all the same is the main character, Sam. They're an incredibly interesting protagonist in their distressingly thorough inertia; their fear of letting go of the comfortable, the repetitive, the mundane - even if their concept of it needs to be stretched beyond its breaking-point. They are a thornless rose.
I stayed with Rachel, and always would. It's important to seek connection, and stop moving - especially when you're only walking on a treadmill.

Cried a lot. A game that, through scant, but very well-placed and contextualised writing, revealed anxieties within me I had tried to push to the side for a long time. It's long for what it asks of you, but even if you don't scratch under its (considerably dense) surface, it's worth your time.
Life isn't about being the main character. Maybe, if you keep repeating that to yourself, it will start to be true.