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Oxenfree Review: Eerie Island Adventure

Rating: 7/10 ⭐️

Oxenfree, developed by Night School Studio is a supernatural adventure. You play as Alex, who goes out to Edward Island to party with a group of friends but ends up getting trapped & dealing with paranormal chaos.

Oxenfree wastes no time pulling you into its supernatural mystery. After some tense conversations at the party on the beach, Alex splits off to explore the nearby caves with her new stepbrother Jonas. Exploring a dark cave at night isn’t really a good idea and things start to go wrong. Strange voices and radio signals fill the caves as Alex tunes her radio, unintentionally opening a rift to another dimension.

You’re now trapped on Edward Island, exploring its forests, beaches, radio towers and abandoned bunkers for a way to find your friends and escape from the island. Oxenfree utilizes a point-and-click system to interact with the eerie environment. The conversations between Alex and the group are fast-paced and natural. You’ll have to make quick dialogue choices to keep up, sometimes interrupting others. This works very well in the game.

The island setting, from bunkers to beaches, exudes melancholy and mystery thanks to excellent lighting and stylized 2D art. The stellar synth soundtrack accentuates isolation and unease as the paranormal emerges. Glitchy sound effects highlight fractures in reality when spirits appear. Yet the radio is your most unsettling tool. Tuning it summons voices, opens doors, and reveals clues, but can also tear space & create rifts. The very act of spinning the dial builds tension, especially when played with headphones. Static and distortion flow into the soundtrack as you contact the island’s ghosts. The whole thing was giving me Stranger Things vibe, right from the Night School Logo at the start of the game to the radio static.

Oxenfree’s writing and voice acting are top-notch, bringing the characters to life. Alex is especially well-written as a complex and believable heroine. Her reactions to the paranormal events are fittingly realistic — a blend of curiosity, fear, and disbelief. Alex’s relationship with her new step-brother Jonas develops naturally throughout the night, evolving from antagonistic to a meaningful bond as they rely on each other. As you guide Alex through the ominous night on the island, you experience friendship and tragedy through her eyes.

With Oxenfree now readily available across platforms like Netflix, Nintendo, PlayStation and PC, there’s never been a better time to explore the secrets of this haunted island. Just be sure to tune your radio carefully among the caves and cliffs. You never know what voices might speak back amidst the static.

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