Not quite. There’s two parts to a detective game. The investigation (finding the facts) and the deduction (figuring out how the facts fit together).
The deduction part tends to be pretty forgiving: no matter how badly the screw up the mechanical implementation of actually expressing the results of the deductions, the player was probably actually doing the work ahead of the pace set by the game anyway. So all you need is a story that works.
The investigation part is much tougher. The only systems I’ve seen work so far are either based on text adventure style natural language parsers, or just having a bunch of text to read (or cheesy FMV to watch). The first one is unacceptable in the context of modern games, and the second is limited in the amount of detail they can pack into a single scene.
So I think what Obra Dinn does for the investigation part is interesting because it’s a third option that seems to work, but allows for a lot more detail since it’s the player’s job to decide where to concentrate.
The deduction system on the other hand is interesting only insofar that none of the normal ones would have worked here (can’t use any sort of combining of facts since there are no facts, can’t use the “choose where to investigate next” system since the game relies on the player seeing every scene, and can’t use the “answer some questions at the end” system since the game needed some sort of incremental feedback).
In Obra Dinn you’re looking for a weapon on the ground since you’re assuming there’s going to be a weapon on the ground. You’re looking at where people are, what their expressions are, who they’re talking to, where they are pointing, etc.
In a game with interaction points you’re running around the room not really looking at anything until you’ve interacted with everything, and then that’s your set of clues. We know it doesn’t work because it’s been done hundreds of times, and it’s never worked.
I agree. But apparently Lucas Pope had his reasons: https://steamcommunity.com/app/653530/discussions/0/1732090362047720816/#c1732090362049136039