Oxenfree – A Review by the Glitter Kittycorn
I love a good story-based game with alternative endings. Do I do this? Do I do that? Do I act like a douche or do I act like my normal charming self? In all honesty, I don’t tend to actually overthink this much while playing because so often you have to make split-second decisions and hope for the best. I’m kind of notorious for making “bad” decisions and accidentally killing people off. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Oxenfree!
Design is everything to me, and I really love the artwork in this game. It’s a 2.5D perspective (yes I had to look that up – I’m an amateur), which worked really well with the story, giving it even more of a graphic novel feel.
You are Alex, a young girl who is joined by her new step-brother and a small group of friends on an island for some overnight teenage partying and what-have-you. Nothing could go wrong, right? WRONG. Haven’t you watched enough movies to know that teenagers should never wander off on overnight camping trips to secluded islands with murky background stories? Daylight tea parties at Mee-Maw’s house do not an exciting video game make, however, so off we go to open a crack in time and hopefully not die!
The voice acting in Oxenfree is spot on… I really did believe I was with some fun, snarky teenagers just hanging out on this island. As I mentioned briefly before, you have choices to make in terms of how you want to behave and act and move the story along with sometimes disturbing consequences. Do you choose to take your step-brother under your wing? Do you remain loyal to your bestie? Do you tell that one bitch where to stick it and leave her to fend for herself? Conundrums! Teenage drama isn’t the heart of the story, however – because you can’t just leave well enough alone, you decide to open a supernatural rift with potentially dire consequences.
As for actual game play, it’s a point and click style. Dialogue bubbles appear over Alex’s head and help drive the story. There is some puzzle solving, some of which you may not even finish the first time you play the game, that mostly involve a radio that you carry. The puzzles aren’t difficult per se, but paying attention to your surroundings and what you’re told can help in certain instances. I’m trying to be slightly cryptic here because I think having some elements of surprise is more fun and because of that I won’t even hint at plot twists.
The ghosts are dicks, which shouldn’t come as a surprise and actually made for some interesting game play at times. You deal with time loops and your friends may or not become possessed at times, which is not at all creepy. Nope, not at all. The game stays mysterious and creepy, but never gets full-on scary and does a nice job focusing on the story and characters. I fully intend on going back to get more trophies and probably to see how I can change the story, so I give this game 2 fistfuls of glitter (that would be a good thing).