Sometimes, I read good things about some games, always trying not to read too much or spoil it, and then I decide to give them a chance. Oxenfree, developed by Night School Studio, is one of these cases and can’t be happier with it. Before I started, I only knew it was a nice light adventure, with the atmosphere of 80s movies and some supernatural touches. From the few screens I saw, it looked great and original. So, I bought it in a recent sale and played it last week.
The game is an absolute blast start to finish. The art, by Heather Gross, is amazing and original, as you can see on the images of this post. The music and sound design, by scntfc (Andrew Rohrmann) fits perfectly every scene, mixing sound and ambient music perfectly. I didn’t know that Andrew Rohrmann was also the composer of Galak-Z, a nice discovery. And the story and characters are enjoyable and likeable, even if at the start you can find them a bit topical. The game starts with five teenagers, differently related between them, meeting on an island to have a nice time, party or whatever. From this point, the story will evolved and we will learn more about the history of the island, but also about every character, which is nicely done. As I’ve just discovered while preparing this post, game has been written by Adam Hines, whose work includes “Tales from the Borderlands”, one of my past year’s favorites. The voice acting is also amazing and with all the cast performing at a really high note and sounding always believable.
The game is mostly linear, even if you can backtrack and visit almost all the locations at any time, with some additional secrets you can discover. There aren’t complicated puzzles and most of the game is based on choosing answers. I find all the dialogue and choice system of this game one of the key points of the game. It’s easy, intuitive, hard to tell which the best answer is and, apparently, everything influences the ending. Yes, because the game has multiple endings. And then, why I’m sharing the ending if we can have different one? Well, two reasons. I wanted an excuse to write about this great game and wanted to share my ending, which I find nice. I’ve read a bit after the game, and unfortunately discovered another possible ending, but with all the variables, certainly I will play it again next year and see what happens (it’s a 3-4 hour game, easy to replay). For now, this is my ending:
The game includes five videos showing the making of different aspects of the game. I’ve uploaded the two that I find most defining for the game, Art and Music (there is also one about story, I’ve doubts about uploading it). They are around 7 minutes long each, easy to watch and with lots of good information, not big spoilers (but is always better to watch this after beating the game). Enjoy!