Top Critic Average
"Oxenfree" captures a mood (an eerie night), intensifies it (people get possessed!), and then efficiently wraps things up before anything becomes tedious. This analog, supernatural story unites its characters in a web of guilt and showers them in decorative static.
It's a triumph of writing, atmosphere, and dialogue design, let down by a story that builds up such an ungainly weight of entertaining strangeness that it can't quite stick its landing.
Oxenfree takes the best parts of supernatural 1980's teenage horror films and combines it with believable characters, beautiful set pieces, and a haunting VHS synth-pop soundtrack to create a masterpiece.
Oxenfree really is a spectacular piece of gaming. With an original concept, an eerie abandoned island as the perfect setting and the power to shape the story as the player sees fit, this game is an phenomenal experience that should not be missed.
Oxenfree might just be a big next step for adventure games, particularly when it comes to the way it presents dialogue choices. Night School Studio has managed to execute an interactive story that treats player choice in a mature and subtle way. It's an emotional experience with wonderful characters and great writing, and it's one that masters its 70s and 80s influences.
Oxenfree is whole heartedly one of the best experiences you can have playing games. It is a cornerstone example of how stories can be told in an interactive media, and how to build a supernatural tone around 'average' characters without exaggerating everything.
Night School Studio has delivered a shining example of narrative excellence with Oxenfree. The story, the characters, the look, and the sound all come together to create an unforgettable series of wonderful moments.
Oxenfree is a walking simulator that is confident enough in its characters and dialogue to bet that you won't mind just hanging around with them. It believes in the sinister low-ebb horror of the island to worm its way into your mind without having to crutch on a jumpscare every few minutes. It knows that its atmosphere and style will be enough to make you want to wander through its forests and dilapidated military bases. It's a walking simulator you should play.
Oxenfree is sure to keep you guessing until you reach the final ending screen. At which point I can't promise you won't just start over, ready to explore the ghostly realm ocne again.
If you're into digital narration and you love Amblin movies from the eighties, maybe with a bit of John Carpenter in them, you should not miss Oxenfree. If you hate games where the main activity is talking, stay away from it.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Oxenfree is a smart, emotional adventure that feels focused and purposeful. It's got plenty of narrative twists that lead to great "a-ha" moments, but keeps the story well-grounded in its compelling protagonists and clever gameplay moments. Oxenfree is simply well-made, endearing, and very memorable.
Oxenfree is everything that is right in the indie development scene. It tells a great story, has really unique gameplay that's almost completely dialog driven, and has some of the most subtle horror elements I've seen in a game. This is one of those games that you shouldn't sleep on, make sure you check it out.
With a mystery that grows stranger and stronger the deeper you dive and characters that are instantly relatable, Night School Studio delivers a first effort that's spooky, sincere and enthralling.
Night School's creepy teen horror more than succeeds at being a chilling supernatural tale, but its real strength lies in its rough, earnest, truthful account of five teen lives and the ways that they grow and fracture under the worst, most unearthly kind of pressure.
Besides those two slight issues, Oxenfree is a compact, fresh experience that introduces lovable characters, a phenomenal soundtrack, and one of the no doubt dopest endings this year.
A genuinely creepy creation, Oxenfree combines a clever story and smart dialogue mechanics with superbly sinister music to leave a deep and lasting impression on the player, one that should encourage an all-important second playthrough. Fans of Stranger Things and Poltergeist will love the direction this game takes – if not to hell and back, exactly, then absolutely to some other place where horrors abound, just waiting for an invitation into our world. It's yet another Switch essential.
Oxenfree is here to tell a story, and it doesn't lose sight of what contributes to making that story feel relatable and consequential. Alex and her friends are in a time when every move is called into examination from a jury of ruthless peers. Oxenfree responds not by accepting or escaping from resolution, but accurately relating the tension of a time when every answer is on one side of zero. Whether the context is supernatural or merely personal, Oxenfree makes it feel powerful.
Gorgeous, gripping, and well-paced, Oxenfree cuts a new path for adventure games, and is an excellent debut from Night School Studio. Do yourself a favor: Skip movie night and play this one alongside a friend.
Oxenfree is an astonishingly imaginative, poignant, genre-defying tale of loss, grief, guilt, revenge and time travel wrapped in a ghostly mystery that’s just as dark and disturbing as adolescence.
Just last week, Oxenfree was launched on the Nintendo Switch, bringing it to a whole new audience. As one of those new people, I am thrilled to have been given a chance to experience Night School Studio’s debut work. A tale of choice, friendship, communication, and what we do if we’re given a chance to alter events… Oxenfree is a narrative masterpiece.
Oxenfree is a spooky game perfect for anyone who enjoys ghost stories and dialogue-driven gameplay. Although the story is short, its multiple endings and lingering questions will pull you back for more.
If you’re looking for a unnerving game to play this Halloween, Oxenfree is the game for you. Although, easily completed in a night, Oxenfree doesn’t overstay its welcome. When you finish the story, I urge you to try not to press that ‘Start Game’ button all over again just to get a different ending. It will fill you with joy, sorrow and spine-chilling moments; Oxenfree absolutely nails every aspect of what a ‘good’ game should entail. The story is spot on, the graphics are beautiful and the music is alluring. This is only a brief look into the World of Oxenfree, for only £15.99 it’s totally worth picking up to experience it for yourself and find out what is happening.
So much of Oxenfree is an utterly heavenly experience. The conversation options knocks other games out of the water, and the characters are relatable and well-realised. The story is well-paced for much of the fairly brief play time, but sadly things unravel by the time the finale arrives, making a potential stone cold classic into something that's merely great.
Despite the supernatural intrusion, Oxenfree never loses sight of the human drama at its core, remaining largely understated and tasteful in its exploration of the gulf that grief and insecurity can create in any relationship.
Inventive, spooky, and compelling, marred only by an overly vocal cast. The story is clever, you will want to see this to the end. Surprisingly deep mechanics, and a different take on managing NPC opinions. Overall a very logical and thoughtful game.
Oxenfree creates suspense and tension as the player experiences numerous unexpected events. This is Oxenfree's greatest strength. The slightly questionable dialogue mechanics and relatively short story are generally the only downsides here, but otherwise, you really might want to consider being part of this adventure, because you never know what might happen.
With an enthralling mystery to solve while trying to survive a supernatural event, Oxenfree challenges you to solve a mystery, care about the characters, and make you want to play through the story again and again.
OXENFREE is an amazing story that doesn't ask a lot of extra attention from its players other than listening and occasionally playing out some puzzles/problems/actions onscreen. It's one of the better stories that I've played in 2016 and I hope that Night School Studio does a follow-up to it sometime soon.
Oxenfree is heavily narrative oriented gaming experience that would be a shame to skip on any platform. While it’s not a revolutionary concept, the Night School Studio game is original with its creative and soundtrack direction, as well as touching some fun topics, and a story full of suspense. Whether you have a Nintendo Switch or not, you should definitely try this game, which happens to be out on almost all gaming platforms.
Oxenfree is elegantly simple, using branching dialogue and a little something supernatural to develop three-dimensional characters and drive the coming-of-age story. There's not much else to it in terms of gameplay, which is absolutely a good thing, but pacing issues in its story can make it feel sluggish between conversations. Mostly, though, it's like walking through a stunning painting, listening to the idle chatter and revealing talks of (sometimes unnatural-sounding) teenagers.
In a lot of ways, OxenFree is the first game in quite awhile that focuses on the art of audio and video to engage the player. Limbo comes to mind, a title that might be more expressionistic than this, but nonetheless both get under the skin. Also, like Limbo, OxenFree begs to be replayed beyond just the reward of multiple endings. What resonates most is that feeling of something that has passed by. Whether that's one's own nostalgia or solely heroine Alex, OxenFree won't be forgotten anytime soon.
I can't think of many games like Oxenfree. It's simple if judged purely on gameplay mechanics but wonderfully accomplished in terms of storytelling, characters and dialogue.
Oxenfree is a story about human interaction and how we choose to treat each other, all set against a backdrop of supernatural horror. It just feels really human in spite of all the weird stuff.
Players that love a good story, some nice reveals, and lots of character driven dialog will eat up Oxenfree. It personally reminded me at times of Goonies, Donnie Darko, and X-files, all thrown in a blender together and spat out. It's a game with a great amount of heart, and one scene in particular, while it didn't have me in tears, I couldn't help feel touched by that moment.
Oxenfree deals with some heavy topics in just a few hours, and manages to do something genuinely interesting with them. A phenomenal conversation system anchors most of the experience, but there's many mysteries for dedicated players to solve. Oxenfree is a game that rewards players that go the extra mile, and how much you get out of it is directly tied to how much you put in.
Oxenfree is short, at around four-to-five hours, but like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, it's the perfect length for what it is. It's not exactly challenging, and if you're stuck it's usually because you failed to spot something obvious – just check your notes or the helpful in-game map. That will be enough to write it off for a certain audience of gamers; the ones who don't think that games should be about the story or dismiss Gone Home and Everybody's Gone as 'walking simulators' (in which case you might label this a 'talking sim'). But if you're happy to get caught up in a rich, fascinating piece of interactive fiction, Oxenfree will keep you hooked throughout your first playthrough – and thinking through at least one more.
Oxenfree is a gorgeous and artistic adventure game, which demands attention. It is, however, kept from greatness due to some unfortunate technical problems that can lead to a lot of frustration.
Despite being rather short, it's a memorable game and one which will make the players feel responsible for their choices, as the answers given during the dialogues will have direct consequences on the overall development of the game's plot.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Oxenfree just goes to show that you don't need vast wads of cash to make great games. You can make one with a strong enough idea and a solid and unwavering vision. With its engaging story, its excellent voice-acting and enthralling dialogue, Oxenfree is a game to remember, marred only by its constant crashes, which is less than ideal.
If you can live with that, Oxenfree ends up being a great experience for modern adventure fans. It may have a lot more dialogue than puzzles, but it is so well written that you miss it in the silent moments. The interesting story is backed up by likeable characters, and the whole thing is wrapped up with a presentation that bleeds style. Unless you want to wait to see if the issues are addressed in a future patch, Oxenfree is worth checking out now.
Not quite a Telltale-level game, but also not something to pass up. The beautiful visuals, characters, and choices are why I came back to it. And with that radio you just can't "turn that down".
Oxenfree is a game where player choice matters a lot, and that fact mixed with an incredible atmosphere and an even better narrative create great memories for the player. Alas, it has a few flaws, such as the camera positioning and the walking speed, but the whole experience can make you forget them.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Peel back the layers of mystery and intrigue, and what underpins Oxenfree is remarkably simple in approach. With nuanced storytelling at its ghostly heart, the pacing to this coming-of-age tale suffers in places but it will still enthral like no other. For Edwards Island holds many secrets, it just depends whether you want to stick around long enough to learn the truth about them all.
While Oxenfree has a few flaws, its beautiful backdrop and stirring musical score set the stage for a tense story that has you flinching at every turn. It may be a bit too creepy, but the emotion and connection you feel with the characters will spur you to the finish.
In the end, Oxenfree is absolutely a game about teenage bullshit (forgive me for being a little disingenuous earlier). But it manages to revitalize that narrative by focusing on feeling more than substance; it glances at each character's inner struggle rather than serving it up for a full meal.
Oxenfree spins a supernatural mystery with some truly brilliant touches, but without especially interesting characters or mechanics, it's little more than a spectre of its true potential.
Like a good roller coaster, Oxenfree starts with nervous laughter, escalating to an event that leaves the character white-knuckled and wishing they had stayed home.
Oxenfree's easy to like, with its inspired dialogue system feeling like a step forward for this genre. It's the lack of challenge and compelling gameplay that leaves it a few steps behind.
It may be brief, but Oxenfree has elements of greatness and stands out as an excellent example of video game storytelling. It's also a beautiful and intriguing game that draws you in from the very start and makes you want to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Unfortunately, the situational narrative is let down slightly in the final third where it confuses even itself and fails to merge with the far stronger and more prominent social narrative.
In traditional adventure games, even if the experience amounts primarily to dialogue choices and walking through the story, the action is also punctuated with cutscenes. Oxenfree lacks this element, so a second playthrough to experiment with different choices will require a lot of slogging through the same wide-angle shots and simple interactions with the environment that I doubt would change the second time around.
Although light on challenge and gameplay, Oxenfree offers rich dialogue options and an intriguing story that unfolds over multiple playthroughs while following characters that are easy to become attached to.
Oxenfree is a curious and fairly short game. The wonderful voice acting and characters, the interesting themes and the beautiful backdrops are sometimes let down by poor design choices. Ultimately, for fans of story, of which I am one, it is worth playing. But if you have to get your kicks from involved gameplay, perhaps this is not the one for you.
Oxenfree is truly unlike any other experience that you can pick up for the Xbox One right now. While it isn't heavy on gameplay, the narrative and aesthetics really build a superb atmosphere and give a great sense of weight to proceedings. It doesn't necessarily score a direct hit with every story beat and we could definitely live without the crashes. There's also an argument to be made that around four or five hours, the game is a tad short in the grand scheme of things. It feels shorter still when you pick up the controller to make a quick bit of progress late in the evening, then find yourself staring at the rolling credits at 3am with all the lights on because something just doesn't feel right.As we said, Oxenfree is an unsettling game.
Oxenfree is a really interesting, albeit short experience. It sets itself up for an interesting teen-mystery-horror tale with an emotional pull added into the mix later. It just all comes to an end too quickly and without the time to let any kind of characters grow on you, I failed to care about anyone's fate at the end game, even if I really wanted too.
In Oxenfree, Night School Studios has used simple mechanics to great effect establishing and building on its small cast of characters, and keeping players engaged with its creepy tale of paranormal dread. It's a shame then that it doesn't quite stick the landing, seeming to rush to its conclusion without offering a sufficient pay-off. A small number of minor (dialogue for the wrong character playing) and major (two complete crashes) glitches also hold it back. It's undoubtedly a stylish and unique game however, that we hope does its part to usher in a wave of games that take a similar approach to storytelling.