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Oxenfree Review

Game image Oxenfree
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Posted: 16 months ago, last updated 4 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and @JonahMonaghan.

OverviewOverview

Oxenfree is an adventure game where a teenagers’ beach party spirals into a supernatural story. You guide the outcome with your choices as the well-written dialogue reveals characters coming to terms with family breakdown, death of a sibling, blame and a fraying grip on reality.

Characters dialogue is all well-voiced which gives the game a greater sense of immersion. As the plot (and reality) starts to unravel it takes some darker turns into the horror territory of Twin Peaks or Stranger Things. But as well as the jump scares we also discover deep backstories and complex relationships between the group.

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 14/01/2016, updated in 2016

Price: Free-to-start

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @NightSchoolers

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 5 hours and 8 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

This game is free to start playing, but requires payment to continue at some point. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Game is free-to-start on iOS but you soon have to make a single purchase for the full game. No in-game purchases for anything else on iOS or other systems.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB TEEN.

 

The game was rated PEGI 12 for occasional non-realistic looking violence towards human characters, the use of sexual innuendo and offensive language. Not appropriate for persons below 12 years of age. The examiner's report expands this rating with the following: The game features incidents in which characters are ‘possessed’ by unknown forces. Whilst so possessed, they can be raised into the air and can be heard uttering guttural spluttering noises and then fall silent and drop to the ground only to recover a short while later; a character that is possessed is seen to jump from an open window, the character lands on the ground with a thump. However, after a short while she stands up and walks away and does not display any injuries consistent with a fall from height.

There is also the use of sexual innuendo during a ‘party’ on a beach. This appears during a game in which a character is required to make a comment about another member of the group. In this particular instance the sentence “I'd screw Clarissa" / "I'd screw Nona" is used in reference to the 2 female characters. The words are seen in a large speech bubble above the head of one of the characters. Due to the nature of the game it contains quite a number of ‘jump scares’. There is the occasional use of the following offensive terms: crap, *!@?* and *!@?*.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Save Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time, and not lose progress.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

No Unlocking Required: Access any mode, location, character, weapon or vehicle from the start.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Speaker Indicator: Captions or icons and speech bubbles indicate who is speaking.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

One Motion Targeted: Play with touchscreen, tap and swipe or hold gesture.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @JonahMonaghan


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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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