Oxenfree II: Lost Signals review: Deep homage to its predecessor

Night School Studio
Night School Studio /

Game: Oxenfree II: Lost Signals
Publisher: Netflix, MWM Interactive
Developer: Night School Studio
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 (reviewed on), PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Mac operating systems, Netflix Games
Release Date: July 12, 2023

I will die on the hill that indie horror games far surpass AAA horror in terms of story and creepiness. AAA games may have the graphics and the budget, but indie horror has the space to get creative with their look and their story. Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is a direct sequel to its predecessor and continues the story with some new and some old faces.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals picks up five years after the events of the first game. We find ourselves in the small coastal community of Camena Coast, which is just a stone’s throw away from Edward’s Island, where the first game took place. Everyone in Camena Coast knows there is something weird about Edward’s Island but they don’t know of the rifts to the other side that were opened or the true fate of the submarine that sank off the coast of the island.

Oxenfree II review
Night School Studio /

You play as Riley, a woman who was born and raised in Camena but left behind an estranged father. Riley takes a job to assist in researching odd radio anomalies around the island. With the help of her co-worker, Jacob, their job is to put up antennas around the island to pick up the frequencies. Things don’t go as planned when something weird opens up over Edward’s Island and it’s beginning to affect everyone on Camena Coast. Time starts to be extremely relative on the island and it’s up to Riley and Jacob to find out exactly why.

If you have played the first game, you will find that the gameplay of Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is much the same and sometimes that sameness can get old in sequels. Fortunately, this isn’t the case in this instance. While, yes, we are dealing again with a gaggle of kids that cause way too much trouble than they know how to handle and the idea that time is a lake and not a river, the puzzles and the environment never reel redundant. Beautiful and colorful animation serves as a backdrop for a canvas of loss and forgiveness.

Choice leads the path in Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, much like its predecessor. There are three endings (although all roads culminate to very similar endings) and your choices and dialogue options can mean saving or losing different people that you “encounter” along the way. I say encounter in quotations because nearly all of them are voices on a radio. Regardless, you will find yourself doing everything you can to make sure they get through the night unscathed. There are optional side quests you can complete or ignore.There aren’t many, but they are there.

Oxenfree II review
Night School Studio /

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is an incredible game but it isn’t without its issues. The two problems that drove me crazy the most through the game were audio issues and climbing glitches. There will be important pieces of audio that will be cut off if you move somewhere or are covered by some other less-important audio and there is no stopping it or going back. Climbing can be a real pain and Riley doesn’t always move where you tell her to. There was a moment toward the end of the game where every left or rock that Jacob was supposed to climb down, no matter how big or small, he would get stuck and be unable to follow any further. I have no idea how much dialogue, if any, was missed due to this glitch.

I had a lot of fun with Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. The puzzles weren’t difficult by any means and the gameplay was more relaxing than challenging. The game feels a little short and I was at the end before I knew it. If you liked the first game, you are going to love Oxenfree II. If you love an easygoing game with creepy themes, you’re going to love Oxenfree II. If you love an interesting story with colorful and creative graphics, you’re going to love Oxenfree II. Just play the game already!

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (PS5) Score: 8.5/10

Oxenfree II pays deep homage to its predecessor while creating a pretty and creepy game that old fans and new ones alike can enjoy.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.

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