Oxenfree is a creepy, unique supernatural thriller game about the changing relationships among a group of teenage characters as they spend the night trapped on an island trying to defeat the ghosts that are keeping them there and messing with time.
Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. Play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenager who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on an old military island. The night takes a terrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly gate spawned from the island’s cryptic past. How you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed is up to you.
YOU determine every aspect of Alex’s story while exploring Edwards Island, uncovering the base’s dark past, and changing the course of your friends’ lives.
Oxenfree is an interesting and trippy little game that likes to mess with the player but also has a thought-provoking element that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. So here are my thoughts!
You and some friends are on an island one night, you accidentally open a ghost portal, and strange things start happening. There’s no real challenge aspect to the game because there’s really only one path you can take, and it guides you through everything fairly well. Other than that, it’s mostly walking around and choosing dialogue. But that’s because the real focus of the game is on the relationships between the characters. That’s what your decisions affect most in the end.
It took me about four hours to get through it once, and about the same when I played through it for a second time.
– The gameplay was unique in some ways. At least, *I* had never played anything like it. There’s a whole storyline, but there are moments when a scene will play out, other times when you’re completely in control to wander around and interact with certain things. The dialogue is the coolest part though. The whole thing is voice acted, but there are no words on the screen like with a visual novel. The characters just talk while they’re hanging out and walking around, and every so often you’ll get some dialogue options to choose from. You have to choose quickly though, or you miss your opportunity to say anything. That is a choice in and of itself though and might lead to different responses from other characters. But the dialogue and voice acting are great and feel really natural.
– The character relationship aspect is interesting. Part of me wants to play again just to try making different choices and see what different ways the relationships might play out.
– The graphics are really pretty. I loved all the scenery/backgrounds.
– The spookiness of the game is fun. It’s a bit spooky while you play (at least the first time, when you don’t know what to expect, and don’t worry, it’s not too scary—I’m a wimp), but it’s trippy afterward, when you think about things. *SPOILER* All throughout the game there are things referred to as time loops, and once you get to the end, you end up in a time loop, and instead of starting a new game, you have the option to “continue timeline” and essentially play the whole game over again, but this time things are a little different and Alex (the player character) remembers some things. You also get a somewhat different ending, but the time loops never end regardless of your choices, from what I can tell. You can always continue the timeline. I’ve read some different theories about this game and the time loops/alternate realities. I don’t know if there is an actual explanation or if it was just meant to give players something to speculate about. *END SPOILER*
– All the walking around the island gets tedious.
– The game autosaves and only saves at certain points (when you cross from one location to another and there’s a loading screen).
Overall, this is a fun, thought-provoking, and unique game, and I enjoyed playing it!
– Unique gameplay with pop-up dialogue choices
– Full voice acting
– Choices affect character relationships
– Cool graphics, especially scenery
– Spooky and trippy
– Lots of walking
– Overall fun and thought-provoking!
(May not include everything)
– Not accessible for blind / visually impaired players and screen reader users.
– Captions available.
– It’s been a while since I’ve played (I’m updating my review to add this), so I’m not sure about visual cues for the radio tuning element of the game.