Oxenfree brings mystery to the Netflix game catalog

Oxenfree is one of Netflix Games’ bets

Photo: Disclosure / Night School Studio

From mid-2021, Netflix Invests in a catalog of games as an additional service to its subscribers. The streaming platform’s first major acquisition came in September of last year, with the purchase of Night school studiosThe developer behind the famous indie Oxenfree.

Originally released in January 2016, Oxenfree is now available in the Netflix games catalog and The game is on had the opportunity to test the game in advance on the platform.

The supernatural adventure tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally solve a ghostly rift. The player controls Alex, a smart and somewhat rebellious teenager, who takes his new brother Jonas to a party on a deserted island, where everything unfolds.

Oxenfree stands out in many ways. The game has a captivating narrative, featuring deep and well-constructed dialogues that, in addition to guiding the player through a mysterious plot, work perfectly to add depth and show character evolution. Each of them has a distinct personality, and when together they clearly show the group’s fragility, whether it’s due to their past, personal issues, gains and losses, or the insecurities of age.

It’s all handled so lightly and naturally that it’s easy to forget that each response to the many but rarely tedious dialogues determines the fate of the story and each character: each of them will have consequences and react in different ways depending on how Alex responds to it throughout the narrative. Even if Oxenfree never claims it.

Aside from the intriguing narrative, the gameplay is simple. In addition to dialogs being guided by choices that must be made quickly, the player must guide Alex in the same way as in point-and-click games. Additionally, the game has a small radio that must be tuned to the correct frequency to trigger supernatural events.

Oxenfree combines an engaging story with horror elements

Oxenfree combines an engaging story with horror elements

Photo: Disclosure / Night School Studio

Night School Studios knew how to use simple horror elements to create tension that adds extra depth to the story. Narratives converge and engage the player, whether through a strong supernatural appeal or a simple emotional connection to a character.

Oxenfree is relatively short: the game lasts about four hours and has various endings, many of them inaccurate, and several collectibles. These added elements ensure that the player will want to revisit the mysterious island to learn a little more about each character – or give each of them a different purpose – and discover a secret that has been overlooked.

The game works well on the touch screen of mobile devices. The graphics retain the beautiful original style of the game, and while there are some noticeable motion glitches at times, especially when you need to climb with Alex, the experience is very fluid. The game is fully subtitled in Portuguese, with minor errors that go unnoticed.

Oxenfree shows that Netflix Games can be promising, even if it is still far from a success. It should be noted that the game will win a sequel planned for this year, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, still without a release date.

The game is also available for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One.

This review was done on the iPhone 12 via the Oxenfree: Netflix Edition review program.

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