Oxenfree isn't a horror game with a message, but it's still got lots to say.
A beautiful story-driven adventure game with a compelling story and great characters, set on an island filled with intriguing mysteries.
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.
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.
Some of the most natural dialogue ever designed for a video game – in terms of quality and interaction – helps to make a superior supernatural thriller.
Oxenfree has charm and experiments with choice in a fun way, but it has a few missteps that prevent it from reaching its full potential
Oxenfree doesn't live up to its potential, but has a story worth telling
Masterful audiovisual design and a witty script set Oxenfree's tale of angsty teens battling the supernatural apart from other horror games.
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.
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.