The Oxen are free

Game: Oxenfree

By: Night School Studio

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer Blizzard Entertainment. These are my rambling notes to myself as I play the game. I respect and appreciate the hard work of all game developers.

Thoughts:

I really love the art style.

I really love the music.

I wish I had more time to make dialog choices. It’s stressing me out a bit, trying to read all the options quickly and decide which one I want. I’m guessing this is done for two reasons – so the players who want to remain silent (since that’s an option) don’t have to wait too long, and so there’s a deliberate forced decision so you don’t overthink and agonize about the choice.

I’m not sure why sometimes other characters heads pop up in chat bubbles above each character.

I’m enjoying the voice acting a lot

When the characters are having discussions, the travel time doesn’t seem bad. But when you’re backtracking or there’s no conversation, it really feels like it drags along and takes a while to get to places.

The tense/dark atmosphere is so great. There are times I’ve literally gotten goosebumps while playing. And I haven’t gotten any jump scares yet, which I appreciate.

I think I expected more from the ending. I tried playing friendly and nice and it seems like the result wasn’t exactly “happy.” It does seem like the game is meant to be played more than once though.

I didn’t understand the part where you get to make suggestions to other players (if that’s really the way it works, that’s what the internet said). I interpreted it as needing to say the same things as what was said to me, which is much less interesting.

I liked the simplicity of the controls and interactions – it prevented the game from having to teach me too much and it made good use of the tools that I had.

I’m glad there wasn’t any romance for the main character. That’s refreshing. I enjoyed building relationships with the step brother and friend, although apparently I didn’t do well with the friend.

I don’t think I fully understand the plot or what the game was trying to tell me. It seems like the decisions were interesting but probably make it harder to tell a discrete story.

There were secrets but I missed all of them. I only knew about them because of achievements.

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