“Oxenfree can best be described as a low budget combination of Until Dawn and Firewatch with a touch of Life is Strange. It’s like Until Dawn in that it’s about a bunch of ostensibly friendly teenagers with deep-seated relationship problems who try to survive a night in a geographically isolated location while scary, supernatural things happen around them. It’s like Firewatch in that most of the game consists of walking long distances across an open world map while the player messes with dialogue trees which come up at pre-set intervals and interactions. And it’s like Life is Strange because at least two of the characters are really similar to Max and Chloe, for some spoiler-y reasons.
Oxenfree is also like all of those games in that it is pretty damn great. It’s one of those games that makes me eternally grateful for Steam for more or less inventing the modern indie market, thereby providing a platform for fantastic low budget games bursting at the seams with creativity like FTL: Faster than Light, Papers Please, Hotline Miami, and Limbo (Bastion and Transistor are a bit too polished to make this cut). Oxenfree is by no means perfect, but it’s overwhelmingly clear that this 4 hour game, with its wonderful characters, haunting soundtrack, and beautiful visuals, was made with a whole lot of love. Given that the game has gotten relatively little attention since its release in January, I’m urging everyone who thinks they might have the slightest interest in Oxenfree to give it a shot…”
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