Olli Olli Oxenfree Ii!
Night School Studio surprised everyone back in 2016 with their first adventure game, OXENFREE. Nominated for multiple awards, fans have been patiently waiting over half a decade to dig deeper into the mystery. Equal parts The Goonies meets Poltergeist, players experienced a harrowing coming of age story as a young woman caught between supernatural entities. Possession, alternate realities, and time loops abounded, and Night School’s latest promises to be even wilder.
Centering on new protagonist Riley, OXENFREE II: Lost Signals is the inverse of its predecessor, thematically at least. While the gameplay promises to be the same walking-talking adventure game with the odd spooky puzzle, the story is shaking things up drastically.
Five years after Alex and her friends escape a timeloop, the rifts of Edwards Island are at it again. And this time, the town of Camena is potentially all at risk. There are some humans seeking to tap into the power of the portals, and only two 30-something hipsters to stop them.
Riley, unlike grieving teenage Alex, is a complicated middle-aged woman. Where Alex loved her home, Riley has much more conflicted feelings oncoming back. Reuniting with her high school friend turned hipster, Jacob, the pair discover the power radios have over dimensional rifts on Edwards Island.
However, rather than ghosts of a doomed submarine chasing them, Riley and Jacob will hop across space and time into alternate timelines. Rather than a large set of stars like last time, OXENFREE II focuses on Riley and Jacob as they explore new portions of Edwards Island together. There will be additional characters you’ll engage with, but the emphasis is on Riley and Jacob’s bond. Jacob also holds mysterious ties to the events of OXENFREE for players to uncover.
A Look Behind the Scenes
Starting at around 50:05 during the Tribeca Games Fest, the team at Night School finally give us our first real glimpse at OXENFREE II’s gameplay. We see how reality tears work, traveling to alternate timelines. This is on top of the power lines from some portals cutting objects, potentially opening up new puzzle solutions. Riley will also have Jacob hop along through portals with her, making the supernatural moments less lonesome. This isn’t to say the game looks any less harrowing, with Riley having a glimpse of Jacob drowned in a river beside her before he catches up to her in one scene.
Along with enemies who want to harness the portals for themselves, we’ll be learning more about Maggie Adler. Maggie was the first human to discover the overlap between radios and the dimensional portals. Perhaps we’ll finally learn how Edwards Island became such an interdimensionally haunted place. Only time will tell.
OXENFREE II is “coming soon” this year to Steam, Switch, and PS4/PS5.