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Supernatural thriller Oxenfree charging towards early 2016 release

The word "oxenfree" may conjure up images of carefree childhood days, but it will soon take on a more ominous tone in indie developer Night School Studio's upcoming adventure by that title.

Oxenfree stars a "bright, rebellious teenaged girl" named Alex, who brings along her new stepbrother Jonas to the anual overnight party for high school seniors on a nearby decommissioned military island. But a night of drinking and frivolity by the beachfire takes a "horrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly rift spawned from the island’s cryptic past." Once that occurs, it'll be up to you to determine "how you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed."

Described as "equal parts coming-of-age tale and supernatural thriller", Oxenfree will focus more on story, character and player choice than traditional adventure gameplay, which isn't surprising given the developers' combined backgrounds with Disney and Telltale. There will be a host of dynamic dialogue choices to make in shaping the kind of hero you want Alex to be, as well as puzzles to solve and some non-reflex-demanding physical exploring to do, but Night School isn't saying just yet how players will deal with newly discovered enemies. We do know that the protagonist's radio proves to be both the "catalyst of the rift, and Alex’s only hope for survival."

Fortunately, we won't have long to wait to find out, as we could see Oxenfree released for PC and Xbox One as early as the end of this year. In the meantime, you can learn more about the game through its official website. You can also view an extensive gameplay video at Polygon, showing the game's early interactions on the beach.

Update: Since time of writing, the launch target has been pushed back slightly to January 2016. As an added bonus, you get an extra trailer while you wait!

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