Oxenfree is a 2.5D supernatural adventure, developed by Night School Studio in 2016. The premise, you ask? Well, the game is set on an abandoned island, where the main character Alex has travelled to for a party. Y’know, like all teenagers do. However, strange things start happening, and it is your task to solve the mystery!
The main gameplay consists of the choices you make as Alex, which can affect the entire game. Another large aspect of the gameplay is the puzzles you solve with Alex’s radio, which are done by tuning it to the correct frequency. What’s more, instead of long cut-scenes, Oxenfree incorporates use of speech bubbles popping up over character’s heads, which we prefer.
There are multiple endings too, which is a nice addition, and definitely emphasises the importance of all of your choices. Multiple endings make everything better (or worse)!
One annoying thing with the gameplay is the vague choices you’re given when responding to things. For example, someone will say something, and you’ll pick a response, and it will end up way different to what it looked like! This can spit out loads of unintended consequences, especially because of Oxenfree’s multiple ending system.
The graphics of the game are lovely. The characters are 3D models set against a 2.5D background, which adds a nice sense of depth to the game. What’s more, after each chapter, you get a Polaroid photo, which gives you a more detailed look at the characters. However, when you look a bit closer, these polaroids make the game a lot more sinister…
We have no complaints about the graphics here! They’re pretty fantastic, and we love the 2.5D effect.
The voice acting is one of the greatest things in the game. The characters feel real, and the dialogue can be pretty funny!
The soundtrack to the game is incredible, and extremely atmospheric. The sound FX are fantastic too, from the static of the radio to the creepy noises in the background! All of these little effects definitely enhance your gameplay, making it a much more enjoyable experience. What’s more, the soundtrack is available on Steam as DLC too, which is pretty neat!
One criticism we have with the noises and effects is the volume they’re set at. For example, sometimes, the music will get really loud, which is annoyingly obstructive to your gameplay. As well as that, in loading screens, the volume drops way down, when really it should stay the same volume all the way.
In conclusion, we really like this game. It is an amazing experience, and would definitely recommend it if you are into puzzling, atmospheric stories!
If you’re a big fan of platforming games, then you will definitely have heard of the “N” franchise, a game series that revolutionized platform gaming. N++ is the third and final instalment to the award-winning series, and is definitely the hardest. So, is it worth your money? Read on and find out!
You start off, as many platform games do, with a level selection screen. What’s new in N++ is that instead of having one big expanse of levels, you have 3 different sections: Intro, N++, and Legacy. Each of the sections consists of several different chapters, with each one containing 5 different levels. Each episode’s levels range in difficulty, going from easiest to hardest, making each chapter unique.
But what makes N++ different to its predecessors? Well, the biggest difference, apart from the lovely new design, is really is the huge amount of levels that come with it, as it features 2360 levels. Yeah. And that’s without factoring in the online levels, of which there are thousands!
What’s more, Metanet have made sure that not all its levels are the same things over and over again, as they consistently find different ways to have you play, be that introducing a new enemy, or even just with the layout of the level.
As well as that, each level has a name, most of which are funny! For example, one of our personal favourite levels, “Intro to accepting your limitations?”, is a room filled with gold. Not too hard, right? However, as you try and collect all this gold, you realise that the ones placed in the middle of the ceiling require some precisely timed jumps to acquire.
Gameplay. The most important part of every game, and pretty much determines how good it really is. So how good is N++’s gameplay? We think, pretty good.
Of course, there’s only so much you can do to make a platform game’s controls the best they can be, because, let’s be honest, they’re mostly the same every time. N++’s controls are pretty standard: left, right, and jump. No sprinting, no crouching, and no special powers, which is what makes it such a tough game. It all depends upon the skill of the player. And the durability of your controller.
N++ comes with 3 different game-modes: Solo, Co-op, and Race, with each section containing tons of levels to play. So, what do you do in each of these game-modes? Good question! Here’s an even better answer.
“Solo” is the game-mode for most platform games, where, you guessed it, you play by yourself!
“Co-op” is also pretty self-explanatory. You play with up to four of your friends in local multiplayer! Of course, if you have any…
“Race” is the game-mode very similar to co-op, except instead of working with your friends, you’re racing against them!
Of course, there are a few little tricks you can do. For example, more experienced players will be using what’s known as “corner jumping” to enhance their gameplay, and even skip parts of levels with it! If you hadn’t already figured it out, corner jumping is where you jump off the corner of a block. You didn’t really need an explanation. It’s not too hard to do, and only requires a little bit of practice, but it can make beating levels a lot easier, and is incredibly useful whilst speed running.
Another little technique is slope jumping. Yeah, we just made that name up then and there, but it pretty much describes what you’re doing! Sometimes, levels will have a slope in them, which the player will use to launch themselves off and over some kind of death inducing obstacle. By running and jumping up that slope, you’ll gain an incredible amount of speed, and you will fly across the gap!
Our main criticism with the gameplay is the restarting aspect of it. For example, if you’re halfway through an episode, and then quit, reloading it doesn’t place you back into the level you left from. Nope, you’ve got to replay the entire episode again, which becomes incredibly frustrating when you’re playing some of the much harder episodes, such as those in the legacy section.
What’s more, another criticism we have is the progression aspect. Currently, in both versions of N++, you have to beat an episode level by level. This can really slow down your gameplay, especially with the really tough levels, as it can take you ages to complete. Of course, you can always move onto the next chapter and play in that section. Maybe it’s just us, but it’s much more preferable to beat the levels in a linear fashion!
Interesting levels and fluid gameplay is all well and good, but how does it look? In N++’s case, pretty damn great! Metanet chose to use vector shapes and a flat UI to create a clean, sharp environment for their little stick figure to leap around in, and with over 8000 colours and 50 colour combinations, the levels look even more fantastic.
But it’s not just the flat shapes that look awesome: it’s the animations too. The fantastically fluid effects look lovely set against the minimalistic design, and it really shows you how much time and effort the devs put into making this game perfect.
We absolutely love the colours and art of N++, and honestly have no criticisms. They’re brilliant.
Ok, we’ve got some neat graphics, well designed levels, and smooth gameplay, but what about the music? Does N++ lay down some sick beats to run and jump to? The short answer: Yes. Definitely. Absolutely! Featuring just over 40 artists, N++ has a great soundtrack to run, jump, and explode to, and will have your blood pumping as fast as your stick figure is moving!
Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and for N++’s soundtrack, one of the things we’d like to see improved upon is just the overall feel of many of the songs. We have no problems with how they sound, not at all, just that when you’re sprinting through obstacles, you don’t want slow music to go along with it. Although the songs do pick up their pace, it would be great to see some more super-fast music with it, such as some of F-777’s tracks.
Apart from that, we’re fans of the soundtrack, and would love to see a digital/hard copy of it!
Beaten all of Metanet’s pre made levels? Well, pop over to the online levels section, and browse some of those! There are some incredibly tough levels on there, so you’ll definitely be provided with a challenge!
But how did people make those? Why, the level editor of course! The level editor in N++ takes a little while to get used to, especially on console, since so many buttons do different things! However, once you master it, you’ll be creating and sharing awesome levels in no time.
Unfortunately however, the level editor does have a few flaws. For example, the biggest, most annoying flaw, is the fact that you don’t need to verify levels before they’re uploaded. So, essentially, you could upload an impossible level. This can be pretty annoying, as we don’t want the online levels to be filled with a load of unbeatable ones.
In conclusion, we are huge fans of this game, and the franchise as a whole. We love the graphics, the music, and the gameplay in general, and would strongly recommend N++ to anyone looking for a challenging solo platformer, or some friendship testing local multi-player!
Want to check out the game yourself? No problem! Go here to buy it on steam, or go here to buy it on PS4. Oh, and if you’re interested in some more of N++’s art style, just visit their Tumblr, here! It’s filled to the brim with development graphics, early design ideas, and some awesome gifs!
“The Obscure Number Game” is a small, python made game, which, essentially, is a guessing game. But better!
The idea is the computer thinks of a number, and then asks you to guess it! It’s not meant to be a super fun, riveting action game, as all we really wanted was to test our skills in coding, and write a little game. Which we did.
Don’t worry though, it’s not completely stupid! There are 4 different game modes within it, which range in difficulty, so you can have MINUTES of fun until you realise what a real waste of time this really is!
Oh, you’ll also need python to run it. Fortunately, python is free (here), and is a really great program to learn how to code on.
We’ve run out of little intro ideas for this mini-series. It’s part 4.
You reach an island that the Lord Reagent had been making and is now inhabited by those who betrayed you and a couple hundred guards. Y’know the usual sorta stuff.
If high chaos: more guards, all the dudes are alive and at each other’s throats, higher defence, you must literally save Emily from the Admiral’s grasp. If you save Emily (yes, it is possible to let her die) she asks if the rest are dead, and reveals she is a lot less innocent than she was, and is a lot tougher than you thought.
If low chaos: fewer guards, only the Admiral is alive, Emily is just locked in her room, still innocent. A lot easier than high chaos.
At the end of the game, you get some 3D freeze frames with the Outsider narrating them. If you went high chaos then everything sucks; Emily dies, everything sucks even more, and you just run away in a boat, but if you went low chaos everything is great. Yay. The credits roll, and an awesome song plays over them.
Overall, it’s a pretty epic game, and we would definitely recommend you play through this incredible story.
Turns out, in an amazing twist, the people who were helping you have turned on you, and forced the ever-friendly old man Samuel to spike your drink and kill you!
They now intend to heavily influence Emily’s reign and turn in your dead corpse for the prize money. Luckily for you however, after they finish gloating over your body, they leave before you are confirmed dead.
Samuel reveals to you that he only put in half the poison, to keep you alive (just), and takes you away to set you adrift in the Flooded District. You are then picked up by assassins, which you see between slipping in and out of consciousness, till you finally meet Daud- the man who killed the Empress. He proceeds to throw all your stuff down a hole and you get knocked out. Fun. Here you were thinking this was going to be a short game.
You wake up in a poorly made cage with a rat and a rat tunnel for you to go down, or some bricks to throw at the top of the cage. That the professional assassins made from some brittle wood. They aren’t very good assassins.
So, you escape, and embark on a long, infuriating journey to go deal with Daud. Once you FINALLY get there, you can either kill him or steal his stuff and leave him alone. After stealing his stuff/murdering him you head to your previous HQ to murder/not murder those who betrayed you and save Emily.
When you get there, you meet with one of the maids, who tells you what happened. The guys told all the staff they were getting a reward.
The reward of death!
Though if you went pacifist, and if you saved Callista’s uncle, she doesn’t die. Yay. Two other people do though. Another maid is hiding in the tower where Emily was kept, and tells you to contact Samuel using a flare once everyone is dealt with.
You use the open window that all the masses of guards know nothing about and didn’t check for to talk to Anton and Pierro who have trapped themselves inside there, and tell you that there is a contraption on the roof that can either kill everyone or knock them all out. All you have to do is find some instructions for the machine then take a whale oil tank up to the machine and watch the magic happen.
Then you go search for the information about where the guys took Emily so you can go murder/not murder them. Signal Samuel, then go to find and take your revenge!
Yes, that’s right, there’s more! Here’s part 2 of our Dishonored Overview!
You wake up and your next mission is set, as you must find a guy, who knows a guy, who helps this guy bug all these other guys, a.k.a. the royal physician, or as most players know him, the guy who makes the health potions and terrible paintings. Speaking of which, he painted the guy/gal who is helping find Lord Regent.
It’s a cool level, as you must do is infiltrate a fortress. You work your way towards your victim, turn off the lights, kidnap the guy and escape. Done. Easy. Sleep now.
You wake up, the royal physician is cranky, so you’ve got to give him his bottle of fancy booze that you have to buy from Pierro. So, you go look for Pierro and– wait, Pierro, what are you doing? Excuse me, how dare you snoop on poor maid no.3! That’s just rude sir! Rude! Moving on. You buy the stuff, give it to the royal physician and learn that the person who is backing the Lord Reagent’s greenlight project is Lady Boyle! Only problem is there are 3 Lady Boyles and even the guy doesn’t know which one it is, as he painted her from behind, the creep.
So, you now must invade their party, where they will all be dressed the same, but in different colours. Easy, right? At this point you’re probably saying, “oh, I watched a walkthrough on this, I know exactly which Boyle it is!”
Nope, because in each playthrough, the Lady Boyle you must eliminate is different!
Here’s a little factoid: that mission got a lot of positive feedback, and inspired one of the levels in Dishonored 2! The premise of it is that you can either ruin the party OR blend in. It’s great. And, of course, there’s the usual stuff, side missions, opportunities, lethal and non-lethal methods. The non-lethal method is great, because you just hand her over to a creeper (probably) and the lucky woman gets to spend the rest of her life with him. Forever. Isolated. Alone. Fun!
After coming back from a night of either not drinking or heavily drinking (you can play any way in Dishonored, Corvo ain’t no lightweight) you are finally ready to take down the Lord Reagent. His reign has been a long one, but it is time he met the end of your blade.
So, you enter the level as you did at the start of the game, but this time the entire tower is slightly harder to get into. There’s a lot of security, and depending if you went high or low chaos, the Lord Reagent could be in a multitude of places.
Anyway, the non-lethal method has you talking to a guy in a broadcasting tower, stealing an audiograph and giving it back to the guy in the broadcasting tower, then leaving the tower to see the Reagent taken away by ye olde timey police force. Because, y’know, he ordered the death of the Empress. Now all you need to do is escape. Job done!
Back at your HQ, everyone has a toast and you pop off to bed, after a job well done! Wait a minute… what’s… what’s this feeling… I don… fel tooo good-
In light of Dishonored 2 coming out (relatively) recently, I thought I would write a quick overview of one of my favourite games of all time: Dishonored. I also decided I’d make it a super long overview, so that when Fraser comes to edit this, it takes him days. It is an amazing game, and gives you the unique choice of being a psychopathic murderer or a silent creature of the night, knocking out (and then running away from) guards! So, how does the game go? What’s the general story? Well, buckle your seat belts and get ready to read a lot of words about it, because you’re about to read part 1 of 4 of Dishonored: An Overview!
You start of as the royal protector of the Empress and her daughter, Emily. You are back with news from the other nearby cities, to see if they have dealt with the terrible rat plague (wonder where they got that idea) and if they are willing to help. Before reaching the Empress, Emily comes and welcomes you home and asks if you want to play hide and seek. It’s a nice feature that doubles as a stealth tutorial. After that you go and see the Empress. Out of nowhere, assassins attack, but no matter how hard you fight you are stopped by an obligatory cut scene. You watch your beloved Empress die, as well as seeing Emily kidnapped! As you hold the Empress in your arms, you hear her dying wish: rescue Emily. Unfortunately, however, that’ll be pretty hard to do, as the guards who finally decided to come in now think you are the murderer. Great start.
After 6 months in prison, and your execution just around the corner, a mysterious group of people help you escape by giving you a key, a sword, and a delicious piece of bread! You are then faced with your first decision: kill anyone and everyone, only kill a few, or don’t kill a soul. It’s your choice. After escaping to the sewer, you either hear that you have escaped and are dangerous, or that many brave people of the watch died, which I think is awesome. The effects of killing can also change the number of rats and weepers (beyond saveable plague victims). After getting some useful equipment from your new “friends” you then leave the sewer and meet Samuel, the boat man who you immediately insult. Even greater start.
After horribly insulting the first person who doesn’t try to kill you, he takes you to the people who helped you escape. As it turns out, they want to help you remove the Lord Regent (the person who framed you for murder) and rescue Emily. Seems innocent enough right? What a kind gesture! However, they also want you to murder everyone you can and assassinate Lord Regent, and those he is closest to. But remember! You don’t need to kill. You always have a choice.
After a hard day’s work of murder/no murder, you lay down your weary head, to get a brief moment of peace and quiet, before returning to the horrifyingly brutal task of murder. Seconds later, you are forced awake as you’re visited by “the outsider”. He takes you on a journey of all that is happening and gives you the ability to blink, which is a short distance teleport which is handy in a pinch! You can also upgrade it to go further, as well as gaining new powers and abilities to help you on your quest. However, they’re not necessary, and you get an achievement if you don’t get any! For some reason… He also gives you the heart of the Empress. Looks like she finally gave you her heart.
This lovely new addition to your inventory helps you track down runes and bone charms, which give you bonuses.
From then on out, you must kill (or non-lethally eliminate) those close to Lord Regent. First you must get rid of High Overseer Campbell and find information on Emily’s location. Conveniently, there are many opportunities to get rid of him. For instance, Campbell tries to poison “Captain Geoff Curnow”. You could swap the drinks, spill the drinks or have them both poisoned. You could outright kill him or if you want to be ‘nice’ you could brand him with a brand that he created to completely remove people from any power they had. It may be non-lethal, but it isn’t the greatest of fates especially considering if you did this to him later in the game you find he became a weeper. There are also side missions you can complete, different ways to get in each section, so nothing feels too linear.
After you return and give the information you had to get, you are sent back out to go retrieve Emily and dispose of the brothers of one of the guys you’re helping. It’s fine. He’s letting you. Of course, there are different ways to eliminate them and a fun way to non-lethally do so, too! Well, fun for you. Again, there are many different things you can do in the level to get into the place differently. For instance; you helped a old lady to poison someone’s elixir and that exact same person then helps you to get in, by stealing something then getting a code for a safe which you could also steal from if you do another optional side quest.
If you’re going full blown murder stab-stab, then you can kill one of the brothers by basically boiling him alive, like a sausage.
Kill the other dude/non-lethally ignore them, save Emily, and return to the pub with hopefully all limbs attached and minimal bullet holes obtained, and you’ll progress with the story!
If you enjoyed that, check out part 2 of our overview here!