In 2016, Oxenfree wowed fans with its compelling storyline and quirky but fun gameplay. Indie gamers loved following Alex and her friends as they uncovered the secret behind the island they were visiting. The game was Night School Studio’s debut game and helped them catch the attention of many, including Netflix.
After the success and critical acclaim Oxenfree achieved, fans were eager to see the story continue in a sequel. However, the developers didn’t seem too keen on the idea at the time as they moved on to other games like Afterparty and Next Stop Nowhere. Finally, almost five years after Oxenfree’s original release, Night School admitted they had thoughts about making a sequel. It didn’t take them long after that to announce the sequel, Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals.
Following a delay and a pretty exciting teaser posted on Twitter, we now know that Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals is set to come out sometime in 2022. A PlayStation Database leak suggested February 8th, 2022 as a release date, but there’s still no official word from Night School yet. We’ve already covered some details regarding Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals, so be sure to check that out!
Of course, fans are looking for more games like Oxenfree to sate their hunger for a good story while they wait. But why exactly did everyone like Oxenfree so much, and why is the sequel receiving so much hype? We’ll cover all these topics and give you a few games like Oxenfree to play through until the Lost Signals release date!
What makes the Oxenfree Gameplay so Unique?
Games like Oxenfree are great not so much because of the gameplay, but rather because of the story. Although this is the case, there are still certain interesting elements that help the Oxenfree gameplay stand apart from other games.
For one, many people call it a walking simulator. This isn’t surprising considering the game utilizes the walk-and-talk mechanic to let you interact with other characters. However, it stands out with the fact that Oxenfree doesn’t tie you down to the conversation – you’re free to interrupt characters or interact with the environment while they’re talking. You can also let them finish and give a response, or simply remain silent.
This gameplay element gives a bit more life to the conversations (in various ways) and lets you have a more immersive experience. There’s a new depth in creating and molding your relationships with the rest of the cast as the main character, and we think that’s a great addition to an already great game!
Of course, there are the standard elements of story-driven adventure games, such as interacting with items in the world, solving puzzles through various means (mostly through Alex’s radio), and building relationships with the characters.
While some might call Oxenfree’s gameplay simple, there are some surprisingly complex aspects to it. This includes the decisions you must make, finding all the collectibles, and getting those sweet, sweet achievements. All this has caused many Oxenfree walkthroughs to surface on the internet, each giving you different tips and tricks to get through the game.
In Oxenfree, we follow 17-year-old Alex as she travels with her friend Ren and stepbrother Jonas to a fictional island. Edwards Island is a former military base that mainly serves as a tourist attraction by day. However, they plan to stay until late at night to party. This is where things quickly start to pick up.
As they’re partying and doing normal teenage things, they start to explore a series of caves in the vicinity. There are rumors of supernatural occurrences in the caves caused by certain radio frequencies, and you bet Alex is going to investigate. Unfortunately, this leads to the creation of an accidental dimensional rift. Our protagonists must find a way to solve the problem they’ve created.
20+ Games like Oxenfree you’ll love
If you loved Oxenfree’s gameplay, visuals, and story, there are lots of similar games to enjoy while we wait for the sequel. Check out our list of games like Oxenfree below!
- 1. Night in the Woods
- 2. What Remains of Edith Finch
- 3. Firewatch
- 4. A Short Hike
- 5. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- 6. Spiritfarer
- 7. Outer Wilds
- 8. Gone Home
- 9. Scarlet Hollow
- 10. Whispering Willows
- 11. Marie’s Room
- 12. The Town of Light
- 13. Detention
- 14. Afterparty
- 15. Life is Strange
- 16. Until Dawn
- 17. Limbo
- 18. INSIDE
- 19. The Unfinished Swan
- 20. Lost in Random
- 21. Unavowed
- 22. Jenny LeClue: Detectivú
- 23. Fran Bow
1. Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is very similar to Oxenfree in its gameplay aspects, as well as some story elements. Mae Borowski returns home after dropping out of college to uncover the dark mystery her hometown of Possum Springs is hiding. The game deals with themes of mental illness and depression. Night in the Woods is another game where the choices you make affect the outcome, albeit in small ways.
2. What Remains of Edith Finch
Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch is a great take on mystery and different game genres. It combines several types of gameplay to tell you the story of the Finch family and how each member met their untimely end. All this happens with Edith’s guidance as she narrates the story and details the death of each family member.
Firewatch saw its release in early 2016, just before Oxenfree, although there are various platforms that only got to see the game at a later date. You play as Henry, a fire lookout, and explore the area around his watchtower. He’s trying to figure out what exactly keeps raiding his tower while he’s away and the strange happenings around Shoshone National Forest. Weave your way through danger and peril in Henry’s shoes and try to find the answer to his troubles.
4. A Short Hike
A Short Hike is a short and sweet adventure game developed by indie game designer Adam Robinson-Yu. Claire, the protagonist, travels to Hawk Peak Provincial Park to visit her aunt in her time off. Upon arriving, Claire’s aunt tells her that there is no cellphone reception at the park, so she must climb to the summit of a mountain as she is expecting a phone call.
The road there is filled with various interactions with the other inhabitants of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. There is no specific villain to focus on, which makes the game more metaphorical. The graphics are also very endearing.
5. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Ethan Carter has gone missing, and investigator Paul Prospero now has the task of finding out what happened to him. Paul visited Ethan’s hometown after receiving a fan letter from the 12-year-old boy. Soon after finding out the boy is gone, Paul Prospero begins encountering supernatural activities in the area.
This prompts him to find out the Carter family’s dark secret and try to save Ethan before it’s too late. The horror game has a great ambiance and lets you explore without holding your hand too much, similar to Oxenfree, so it’s a great choice!
Spiritfarer is what can best be described as a healing game. Free from the mystery and scary paranormal occurrences of games like Oxenfree, Spiritfarer is more of a sandbox game. Stella, the player character, becomes the titular spiritfarer, a person who ferries spirits to the afterlife and grants them their last wishes.
She forges many friendships along the way and you can see it from the way they exchange farewells once Stella ferries them to the Everdoor, the gateway to the afterlife. Spiritfarer gives you the Oxenfree experience of meeting and befriending many interesting characters, although it differs in other gameplay aspects.
7. Outer Wilds
If you liked all the time loops in Oxenfree, you’ll definitely like Outer Wilds. This is because a 22-minute time loop is the center of the plot in this game. The player character, who has no name, is an astronaut stuck in this time loop while exploring a solar system.
After 22 minutes, the time loop resets and the star goes supernova. Your objective, as the protagonist, is to find out why the time loop is happening and learn about an interesting extraterrestrial culture along the way.
8. Gone Home
Katie, the main protagonist, returns home to find a note from her 17-year-old sister, Samantha. In the letter, Samantha apologizes to Katie and implores her not to tell their parents anything.
The mystery this letter is shrouded in would prompt anyone to investigate what happened, and we’re sure that’s the case for the player as well. However, you’ll soon come to find out that the story behind the letter – and everything that happened prior to Katie’s arrival – is a bit sad.
9. Scarlet Hollow
Scarlet Hollow’s hand-drawn visuals and mysterious vibe are sure to scratch your itch for games like Oxenfree. The main character returns home to attend an aunt’s funeral and starts experiencing some paranormal occurrences.
The events that follow after these occurrences lead to the discovery of a dark family secret. Consequently, you must make some choices that will greatly impact both the town of Scarlet Hollow and your family. There are 7 intended episodes, and you can try Episode 1 for free!
10. Whispering Willows
Whispering Willows is slightly reminiscent of Oxenfree in terms of graphics. Elena Elkhorn, the main character, goes on a journey to find her missing father. Along the way, she uncovers the secrets of the Willows Mansion.
However, Elena has a special tool to help. She uses an amulet she received from her father to communicate with spirits through astral projection. This lets you, as the player, solve the many puzzles scattered throughout the Willows Mansion and progress the game.
11. Marie’s Room
The story of two roommates that Marie’s Room tells is hauntingly beautiful. The player character, whose name is Kelsey, comes back to this room to get Marie’s journal. Upon obtaining it, Kelsey remembers all the events that happened while Kelsey and Marie shared the room.
She tells us the story of the good times she spent with Marie almost twenty years ago, all leading up to the day when everything went wrong. Your task is to find out what happened to Marie and Kelsey, why the room is now abandoned, and why Marie is nowhere to be found.
12. The Town of Light
If you’re fed up with all the fictional spots and stories taking place in the US, The Town of Light brings some refreshment. The setting is in Tuscany, Italy, where a former asylum patient named Renée walks through the halls of the hospital where she used to stay.
Throughout her journey, she recalls everything that happened during her stay, and slowly we start to find out why Renée became a patient. The game deals with some pretty heavy topics, so it’s not for the light of heart but provides an interesting story nonetheless.
Detention is a game whose events take place during the White Terror period in Taiwan. Wei Chung-ting, a high school junior, falls asleep in class and wakes up to find the school campus is abandoned. He meets another student and together they decide to wait out the storm that caused everyone to abandon the school campus.
After this, we see another character, Ray, waking up in the auditorium where the two students were hiding. The plot of the game details everything that happened to Ray. It also gives you a bit of a thrill along the way as you encounter supernatural beings.
If Night School Studio in particular impressed you, and you’re looking for more games they have under their belt, look no further. Afterparty has the fun and quirky plot of you, as the player, going to Hell and basically having drinks with Satan.
It’s a fun and relaxing little game if you don’t want all the mystery and scary paranormal activity, but you want to enjoy some cool gameplay and conversation between the characters. Your main goal, however, is to save two best friends from the afterlife, exploring their relationship along the way.
15. Life is Strange
Life is Strange received a lot of praise and attention for its engaging and meaningful story. The series, for now, features six graphic adventure games that are sure to leave you wanting more. Each one deals with a different story, and Life is Strange: Before the Storm is even a prequel to the first game.
Also, a recent announcement and gameplay trailer raised hype for the remastered collection of the original game. If you’re looking to test the waters but aren’t sure whether or not you’ll like the games, we’ve got you covered. You can play Life is Strange: Episode 1 for free on Steam and the PlayStation Store.
16. Until Dawn
Until Dawn is a great interactive horror story that focuses on eight adults who must survive the night until their rescue. It’s a bit more thrilling and scarier than Oxenfree, as it requires the player to make snap decisions at times. The developers have also made use of quick-time events to give you a bit of that adrenaline rush. Overall, the game is worth checking out if only for the thrill and the unique gameplay elements.
Limbo is probably one of the most interesting games on this list. One of the reasons for this is that it doesn’t exactly have a set ending. Limbo features a little boy as the main character who wakes up in, well, Limbo.
After battling with a spider who tries to kill him, the boy makes his way through Limbo by solving puzzles to make progress. He does all of this because he’s searching for his missing sister. The puzzle-platformer somehow conveys a strong (albeit confusing) message without the characters uttering a single word, and we think that’s quite the feat.
Another game from Playdead, the developer and publisher of Limbo, INSIDE is actually Limbo’s successor. Again, it features a nameless boy as the player character. We follow him through his adventure to get to the Huddle, a large blob-like creature trapped by four control rods.
Why does the boy want to get to the Huddle? Why does the Huddle want to escape confinement? What does the ending of the game mean? We don’t know, but critics and fans alike have come up with various theories to explain this peculiar game’s even more peculiar ending. There’s even an alternate ending to unlock, under certain conditions – which doesn’t help the number of theories.
19. The Unfinished Swan
This 2012 Giant Sparrow game is not very well known but tells quite the story nonetheless. After his mother dies, our main protagonist (a boy by the name of Monroe) chooses one of her paintings to keep. As the title suggests, he chooses to keep the painting of a swan missing its neck.
One night, after discovering the swan is missing from the painting, Monroe finds himself in a painted world. There he learns about the story of a King that ruled the deserted kingdom he happens upon. Monroe then makes some shocking discoveries about the King’s (and his mother’s) true identity.
20. Lost in Random
Lost in Random depicts the story of two siblings, Even and Odd. They live in the Kingdom of Random, a place where your fate is decided by cursed black dice. After the Queen of Random abducts Odd, Even must travel through the realms of Random to rescue her.
Along the way, she gets help from Dicey, a sentient dice. Throughout their journey, Dicey teaches Even about the randomness of life and how to weave through the game rules that the realms of Random abide by.
Point and click merges with some modern adventure gameplay elements to bring you Unavowed. This game lets you choose your own protagonist, a male or female character, to join the cast of Unavowed, a team of paranormal investigators. The team is on a quest to find out what happened to them as they are unable to return to their old lives.
Additionally, they have no recollection of what happened in the past year, and they intend to find out. Of course, in a world where magic and demons are real, anything could’ve happened to them. Join the Unavowed on their adventures and dealings with the supernatural while trying to discover their fate.
22. Jenny LeClue: Detectivú
Jenny LeClue: Detectivú brings us a different perspective of a writer’s life. Arthur K. Finklestein, a writer, is the creator of the Jenny LeClue book series. As his books are mainly children’s detective books, Arthur finds that his fanbase is slowly dissipating as he puts out the same content over and over again.
His publisher gives him an ultimatum: write a darker, more gruesome Jenny LeClue book or cancel the series. Of course, Arthur complies and writes a different kind of Jenny LeClue story; one where she must solve the murder of the dean of a local college. The case has personal importance to her, as her mother is a prime suspect. Jenny must clear her mother’s name and solve the murder as Arthur struggles with the tough decisions he must make to prevent the series from cancellation.
23. Fran Bow
Fran Bow is a perfect combination of cute and creepy. While the graphics are endearing, the story is a bit more haunting. Fran, a ten-year-old girl, has witnessed the murder of her parents, leaving her with psychological scars. As a result, Fran is admitted to an asylum, where psychiatrists try to take care of her. After the doctor prescribes her some pills, Fran begins to hallucinate which leads her to try and escape. It’s interesting to see the way Fran deals with her trauma and fights the abuse from the doctors around her.