Oxenfree is one of the games that started my interest in indie games. This was an easy game for me, and I loved the story. I only had a few insignificant issues with it.
The story is what is carrying the day here. The gameplay is minimal and reduced to selecting dialogue options and performing simple actions. This is also a short game, four to six hours, and can be finished in one sitting.
This is a very fun game! Before playing this, I wasn’t into adventure games like this one. After playing, I was looking forward to what the developers would do next.
TLDR: Great Story, Good Gameplay, and a Wonderful Experience.
Two stories are going on here. You have Alex and her friends visiting an island for an end-of-the-school-year beach bash, and there is the story of a submarine crew trapped in an alternate dimension. Over the course of the game, you learn about Alex and her friends as well as the history of the island.
Alex, Ren, and Jonas take the last ferry to Edwards Island. They take a radio with them so they can use it in the “weirdo caves,” where it is said that they can tune into strange signals. They meet up with Nona and Clarissa.
Oxenfree takes place over one night. During that time, a lot of strange things happen, and Alex learns a lot about herself and her friends. It is a wonderful blend of horror and self-discovery.
When I first played this game, I didn’t like Clarissa at all. However, as you learn more about the relationship between the characters, you understand why she is such a bitch.
Anyway, while tuning into the radio signals in the caves, our heroes unleash some ghosts or otherworldly spirits. These spirits can control time and space but are trapped in whatever world they’re in. This gets explained a little better in the sequel.
Your first goal is to find all of your friends and Clarissa. The spirits will occasionally possess Alex and her friends. Most of the creepy stuff happens with them possessing Clarissa. More of the history of the island and the lady who owns it is explored. We learn more about Maggie Adler and her attempts to stop the spirits.
Ultimately, it is up to Alex to deal with the spirits. We’re led to believe she can do this as we cut the group leaving on a ferry. Then the game moves to the ending scene.
There are a few possible endings that you can get. It depends on how you’ve acted towards the other characters. This ends with a rundown of how each character deals with things following the game’s events. In the end, the time loop resets, suggesting they didn’t stop the spirits.
After playing the second game, we find out that Alex and her friends are trapped in the same realm as the crew of the Kanaloa.
The gameplay is simple but very good. Oxenfree is an adventure game similar to King’s Quest, Secret of Monkey Island, or Day of the Tentacle. You can’t die in this game, which puts it in the same category as one of the Lucas Arts adventure games.
You move your character around and select dialogue options. A few puzzles in the game consist of tuning your radio to the correct frequency. The developers went with a simple gameplay to focus on the story.
The island isn’t very big, and it is easy to get around the map. You can see where things are and where people are on the map. It makes it easy to know where to go and how to get there. It was hard to get lost in the game.
When you’re caught in a time loop, you have to work some machinery to get out of it. These are easy to see and operate. None of these puzzles are all that difficult.
A few times during the game, the spirits will come up with tests for you. These can impact the relationship between the characters. The dialogue choices can also impact the other character’s relationship with Alex.
Overall, the gameplay is very good. It is simplistic, but that lets you focus on the story that the game is trying to tell you. It is quite a bit of fun.
I like the look of this game. Oxenfree has a dark and isolating atmosphere. The characters are alone on the island, and at times they’re wandering through the woods.
Obstacles are easy to see. You can easily tell where you can climb a wall or where you can jump over a gap. The items you must find are easy to see.
At times, the screen will intentionally glitch. This is a nice way to show the player that the spirits are present visually. It looks like someone is messing with the tracking on a VHS.
This plays into the Vaporwave music. It is a cool combination of audio and visual styles. I like this a lot as it reminds me of telling stories around a campfire or renting a horror movie back in the 90s.
Things get a little trippy at times. When you get pulled into a happy memory, everything gets bright. You can see it when you do something that impacts a character’s impression of Alex.
Overall, the graphics are good. They aren’t going to blow you away, but they work quite well with the story that the developers are telling. It is a nice-looking game that does a good job of using visual cues to tell the player what is going on.
9/10. This is one of my favorite indie games. I like the setting and the story that the developers are telling. It is a short game, but having multiple endings and dialogue options gives it quite a bit of replay value.
- Great Story
- Great Music
- Fun Gameplay
- Too easy for some
I first played Oxenfree a few years ago while streaming games on Twitch. I first watched someone’s playthrough and wanted to play the game myself. I thought it was a great game with a wonderful story.
It has simple gameplay, the music is great, and the story is great! I was more invested in the characters of this story when I first played it. I also wanted to play this game a few times to try to fix my mistakes. I just wanted people to be friends, even Clarissa.
Oxenfree is one of the indie games I recommend to people looking for something different. It is a fun adventure game that lets the player focus on the story. It was also nice to go back and play this after playing Oxenfree II: Lost Signals.