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Oxen “free” Yourself of Twenty Dollars

Night School Studios

Allison Borelli, Features Editor

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The children’s rhyme “Olly Olly Oxenfree” takes on an ominous meaning in a new video game called Oxenfree. If you’re interested in good art, an interesting story, and a more casual gaming experience, this could be right up your…olly.

Oxenfree is developed and published by Night School studios, and it’s available on Steam for $19.99. It’s also playable on Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Xbox One with a Playstation release date to be announced. Oxenfree has already partnered with Skybound Entertainment in a multifaceted content production deal.

Oxenfree is an indie, story driven, supernatural thriller adventure game. You get to play as Alex, the main character, who takes her new step-brother Jonas to a party on a decommissioned military base. This all starts to fall apart when a ghostly rift is opened, and from there an interesting adventure unfolds with surprising twists and turns.

Although Oxenfree is not perfect, it does have a lot going for it. This is not a stereotypical, cliche-filled horror game, but instead one with a unique story and interesting plot. The art, design, and animation of the game is pretty good, and an interesting radio mechanic provides another intriguing spin. The characters talked a lot, and through that their personality shines through: I actually ended up caring for most of the characters by the end of the game. The game only experienced one or two glitches, and nothing crazy or hard to fix at that.

Not everything is all peaches and rainbows though. One of my biggest complaints is wanting more of an explanation for some in-game mechanics, like with the thought bubbles that would occasionally pop-up over a side character’s head with the face of another character pictured. Second of all, there’s no specific way to save. The only way to save is to enter a new area or to wait for the game to autosave. The game play sometimes feels tedious as well.

Overall, Oxenfree’s weak points lie with the actual controls of the game, and even with that there’s not too much to complain about. The story and art, however, are superb and can really draw you in. Personally, I’d give it an overall rating of an 8/10. If you don’t mind a roundabout way of saving and can appreciate good art and plot, I would definitely recommend giving Oxenfree a try.

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About the Writer
Allison Borelli, Features Editor

Allison Borelli graduates as a four-year Spotlight staff member. She has been a student reporter all four years, and features editor for two.

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Oxen “free” Yourself of Twenty Dollars