Oxenfree is an emotionally engaging ghost story adventure game with multiple looping endings. The story involves a group of teens on an abandoned island, trying to navigate some malcontent spirits.
Content Warning: Suicide
Who Should Play:
The trick of Oxenfree is that how you respond to other characters (if you are nice, mean, indifferent) changes the possibilities of how the story goes. While it is not necessarily for first time players, it is not difficult to pick up on once you get the hang of it working the controls. The controls are easier on touchscreens than on computers or other consoles (such as the Switch).
Made by: Developer: Night School Studio
Available on: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OS, Microsoft, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, XBox
Price: $4.99 – $9.99 (depending on platform)
Play time: 4+ hours (depending on how many times you play different scenarios)
Questions for Oxenfree:
- Oxenfree is a game about teens and teen drama. To what extent did you find the story engaging you in that drama and reminding you of drama from your own teen years?
- Did you think that Oxenfree was scary? Spooky? How did the “horror” elements of this ghost story sit with you?
- What kind of choices did you make in your play? Did you choose to be nice to your stepbrother? Ignore him? Berate him? What was your narrative strategy in the game?
- What ending did you get in your first playthrough? Was that ending satisfying? (Note that there are several different endings depending on the choices that you make.)
- Did you play through a second or third time for different endings? How did those playthroughs feel different than the first time?
- The game provokes an interesting conversation about “old” versus “new” media players; we play it on “new” media but are constantly experiencing the slowness and lack of precision in older media objects (tape players, radios, etc). How does this contrast affect your play?
- Did you sympathize with the ghost(s)?
- How did you feel about Alex, as a character, as playthrough progressed? Did you relate to her?
- To what extent did you sympathize with the emotions of the other non-player characters in the game (Clarissa, Ren, Jonas, and Nona)? How did you choose to behave towards each of them as the game progressed?
- The game was full of looping time. In what ways did time loops help with discovery?
General Gaming Circle Questions:
- What did and didn’t you like about the game?
- How much time did you spend playing? Did you play all at once or break up your time?
- Did you play during other activities, or dedicate time solely to playing?
- Did the game feel like a waste of time? A good use of time? Explain.
Links & Walkthroughs: