Yet another unique indie game is now available on Netflix. At its Tudum event today, Netflix announced that the supernatural thriller Oxenfree, launched in 2016, is now playable through its newbie games service.
The Netflix version of Oxenfree is available as a free download to Netflix subscribers on iOS and Android and features subtitle support for more than 30 languages. Netflix’s push into gaming continues with several announcements at its Tudum event.
Netflix has steadily added excellent games like Into the Breach, Before Your Eyes, and Lucky Luna to its mobile gaming offerings. Oxenfree is particularly notable because it earned its developer, Night School Studio, last year. Oxenfree also handles like a good fit for Netflix, with its emphasis on storytelling and a vibe that’ll appeal to Stranger Things fans. A sequel is also in the works.
Subscriptions have made gaming on an iPhone fun again. Elsewhere, Netflix revealed two games launching on September 27th: Spongebob: Get Cooking and Desta: The Memories Between, designed by Monument Valley studio Ustwo. Other games “coming soon” include a mobile version of the acclaimed Kentucky Route Zero and a baking game founded on the Netflix series Nailed It.
Netflix started its foray into gaming late last year, though early reports suggest it hasn’t caught on with most subscribers yet.
Oxenfree is a graphic adventure recreated from a 2.5D perspective, with three-dimensional characters steering two-dimensional environments. The player maintains Alex, a teenager visiting a local island with a group of friends. After accidentally discharging a paranormal force on the island, Alex and the company must figure out what the power is and how to stop it.
The gameplay is made around the “walk and talks” mechanic. Instead of dialogue during cutscenes, speech bubbles seem over Alex’s head, giving the player a pick between two or three dialogue choices. At that exact time, Alex stays free to move around and steer the game world. Players can select dialogue choices during conversations, waiting for other characters to finish, interrupt, or remain silent. Specific dialogue options cause a thought bubble with Alex inside it to appear over the characters’ heads, suggesting that the player’s choice affected the characters’ relationship.
Entities can be interacted with in the game globe and displayed in a small circle next to them. Puzzles in the game are decoded by finding the right frequency on Alex’s handheld radio, which can execute actions such as unlocking doors or communicating with ghosts, or by winding up tape recorders at the right speed. Oxenfree has no “game over” loss circumstances; the player’s choices and relationships with the characters decide which of many potential endings the player receives.
Oxenfree is a supernatural mystery/horror graphic adventure game designed and published by Night School Studio. It was released for OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One in January 2016. PlayStation 4 and Linux versions were released later in 2016, heeded by iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch versions in 2017.
In Oxenfree, players consider the role of the teenage girl Alex on a weekend trip to a regional island. After apparently supernatural events, Alex and her friends must disentangle the island’s secrets.