I picked up Oxenfree ages and ages and ages ago, probably in a sale, and just haven’t played it since… However I decided to commit to giving it a whirl this month and said it’d be part of my spooky month of games.
I have absolutely zero regrets. Seeing as this game has been out for a little while, I’m going to be packing this article with major spoilers and a fair few of my own thoughts and ideas, so fair warning if you’ve not yet played the game… Do not read any further; go out, buy it, play it and come back for the discussion – I promise you you will not be disappointed.
Let me start off by saying that, in my opinion, this game is pretty much flawless. For a smaller game it’s just so well done – The artwork is beautifully done, everywhere you turn it looks completely unique, Oxenfree is reasonably priced as well, and often in sales on the Switch! So no excuses not to pick it up… The only problem I could find with this game is the very slow loading screens, which can be mitigated with a bit of patience.
…So you play as Alex, and you take the ferry to Edward Island with your new step brother Jonas and your long term friend Ren; you’re meeting Nona, and Clarissa (great name choice; this game therefor is receiving a solid 10/10) out on the island as they have gone ahead – Each character is fully developed and has their own unique personality and backstory, and as you play the game you come to learn that Alex had a brother called Micheal, who died whilst taking her swimming – Clarissa was Micheals girlfriend and seems to hold a grudge against Alex, blaming her for his death.
This comes to light very early on in a game called truth or slap, which is definitely there to set the background. You, Jonas and Ren then go to explore the nearby cave, tuning into signals on your radio at spots marked by rock cairns; this, in turn, leads to the opening of a ghostly rift and the adventure begins.
All the characters get displaced across the island, and it’s up to you how you go to find your friends – Along your way you’ll find more strange signals, deaths and even possessions – You’ll also experience weird time loops that are reset using the tape recorders that pop up.
Eventually you learn about Maggie Adler and her part in the creation of the ghosts, and their anger and you learn a bit about the history of the whole island. It’s so worth collecting all her letters as it really really adds to the story, and gives a hell of a lot of context to the paranormal entities that you face along the way.
On your journey you get lots of different dialogue options with characters, and this will effect your “ending”. I say ending… But Oxenfree doesn’t really have one… I mean sure, you an argue there is one “good” ending, but that’s only for one version of Alex. Ultimately I think you need to arrive at the ending you’re satisfied with!
This game is honestly so good, bar the slow loading screens. it’s really beautifully written and has such amazing ending choices, and leads more into the unnerving side of scary rather than the outright frightful or terrifying! So good! I have to give it a 10 personally, and recommend it wholeheartedly if you’re looking for something to play this Halloween season!