"Release the Oxenfree."
Thrust into a world of mystery and time travel, we play as Alex, a 3D character in a 2D world who inadvertently stumbles into a coming-of-age quest to save her friends.
The first game by Night School Studios (released: January 15th, 2016), Oxenfree is a horror graphic novel come to life. The haunting environments remind me of books I read as a child & the music can be relaxing or jolting as you traverse this strange island.
The game itself poses no real challenges in terms of playing it. With very minimal controls, no tutorial & nothing that can kill you, Oxenfree allows you to immerse yourself in its world from the start, freely moving between areas.
The storyline is where things really get interesting. Many twists, turns & loops await as you complete its tasks. Time will go upside down, you will question what you saw & wonder what influence you are having.
For the player has a lot of influence with this title. Conversation choices play a crucial part & with seven potential endings, you can make your own adventure and react largely as you choose.
Oxenfree will trap you in a time loop and not just when the game ends. Once you have finished, you are able to preserve the timeline & begin again, to find more answers or gather the available achievements.
I am currently on my second run, preserving my previous story has altered the game in ways which can be terrifying & provide even fewer answers but with between 4-5 hours of actual gameplay, it is easy to continue the loop and try for all the endings.
Rated Teen, this title is not violent however it can be extremely unsettling, images will flash on the screen unexpectedly & the whole game is designed to spook you, all from a 2.5D perspective, so you don't miss a thing.
Free for gamers with Games with Gold, Oxenfree can also be purchased for $19.99 & I do recommend it.
This is not a game which many would choose over a larger title but it is such a mysterious, different world, filled with teen drama & moments we would all recognize, that it is worth consideration.
Oxenfree has left me puzzled, as I complete my second run, I shall once again dive back in for a third time, spinning in that time loop until I finally know, what is Oxenfree?