Oxenfree – When narrative matters in a game

Oxenfree_ONSGWhat if you could play a horror adventure, based on the story of a group of teenagers on a desert island? And what if the desert island also has a former military base? This could seem not very appealing for people interested in Serious Games, but the catch in Oxenfree is its well-constructed story in which you will enjoy meaningful dialogues and compelling gameplay. Don’t expect existential drama of teenagers but a nice, elegant story with great aesthetics and with a paranormal smell.

It is difficult to talk about this game created and published by Night School Studio without spoiling it. However, if you like graphic adventures in which dialogue is the most important part, you will enjoy Oxenfree. In case you enjoy casual chat, the conversation between the characters is just delightful! And if you are an easy-to-scare person just like me, don’t worry. Despite the intended terror-like environment, the scary part is not the important one in the game, so relax and enjoy.

oxenfree-enviroThe graphic and aesthetics deserve a paragraph of its own: the game just looks amazing. Enjoying simply watching -even if you don’t play at all- is totally worth your time. Music has a 70’s drama movies sound – but in a good way, and anyway, it entirely fits the game style. Voice acting also contributes to this story. Where other games fail to produce an interesting doubling, Oxenfree sound contributes to creating the special atmosphere of the game.

To summarize: Oxenfree won’t give you a great dose of action, horror or drama, but is a well-created story delightful to play and completely untold. The kind of game that explores narrative and shows how games could be used for more than just shooting around.

You can buy Oxenfree on Steam or Humble website.

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About Florencia Espel

Graduate in Journalism by Santiago de Compostela University and specialized in journalism and new technologies, she is working on her thesis about “News Games as a Journalistic Genre”. Always focused in bringing the best quality to video games news and completely fascinated by indie games, at On Serious Games she is in charge of the Game Analysis Section.

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