Oxenfree II: Lost Signals – A Satisfying, Supernatural Sequel!

Oxenfree II Lost Signals - Key Art

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” – Stephen King


Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is the long-awaited sequel to 2016’s Oxenfree. Set five years after the events of the first game it follows Riley as a new job investigating strange radio signals sees her return to her hometown of Camena, not far from Edwards Island, the setting of the original game.

Developer: Night School Studio
Released: 12th July 2023
Price: £17.99 – £18.99

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Switch, PS4/5, Android, iOS
Available on: Steam, eShop, PlayStation, Google Play, App Store
Engine: Unity

Oxenfree II Lost Signals Screenshot - Map


Players take on the role of Riley to explore Camena and set up a number of transmitters whilst engaging in conversations with her companion, Jacob, as well as other characters such as work colleagues over a walky-talky. Responses are on screen for a decent length of time but are timed and will gradually fade and disappear meaning it is possible to choose not to reply, or to miss the opportunity to do so.

There are challenges to overcome along the way such as blocked paths that must be circumnavigated and puzzles to solve, some using logic or inventory, or adjusting radio waves to match a certain pattern, others using the radio which is a prominent device/mechanism and regularly needs to be tuned to certain frequencies to achieve certain tasks. There are also 13 collectable letters to find throughout the game, these provide insight into the island and its former residents.

The gameplay keeps a moderate pace with a relatively laid-back feel without detracting from the narrative or themes. The walking pace sometimes feels a little on the slow side, but the controls are straightforward and intuitive and it is even possible to play with just a mouse if desired (on Windows).

Oxenfree II Lost Signals Screenshot - Puzzle


Oxenfree II: Lost Signals’ narrative develops gradually, building suspense and intrigue in a very satisfying and engaging way. It follows protagonist Riley and her new friend Jacob as they traverse Camena Island setting up transmitters to allow the investigation of mysterious radio signals. It soon becomes apparent that the situation is darker and more dangerous than first perceived and spooky, supernatural elements come into play. The game has a mild horror aspect to it, this is delivered in a fairly casual way for the most part, but a few well-placed jump scares really add to the tension. While the most prominent themes are those of the paranormal, travelling to different times, portals to other dimensions, cults, and ghosts, the underlying themes of friendship, family, and loss also stand out in an emotive and moving way.

While the story has its own distinct characters, it is very much a sequel and draws on the events of the first game with some fun nods and tie-ins. Riley and Jacob are relatable and interesting individuals, written in such a way that the player gets invested not only in their current predicament but also their lives and back-stories. The two main characters have a fairly consistent stream of dialogue that is believable, interesting and never feels superfluous. It captures their personalities and adds to the overall immersion, due in part to the top-notch voice acting!

Oxenfree II Lost Signals Screenshot - Dialogue


Oxenfree II: Lost Signals maintains the overall aesthetic of the earlier game, but with a seven-year gap between releases there is a noticeable improvement in quality. Visually things are crisper, the atmospheric lighting is more prominent and effective, and the colour palettes are more sophisticated, with a new level of vibrancy. The art style is reassuringly familiar, with a textured, almost painterly, illustrative cartoon style, devoid of harsh linework. It has a soft appearance, complimented by cool, muted colours with a pleasing level of contrast. Effects such as old VHS distortion during certain scenes emphasise the narrative and add interest to the visuals.

The music is eerie and ethereal, working well to build a strong sense of the strange and supernatural situation and the disquieting nighttime vibes of the island and its various beach, forest and cave settings. There is a good range of sound effects, including rocks breaking, water splashing, and radio static; these are well-implemented and help create a believable and immersive soundscape for the player.

Oxenfree II Lost Signals Screenshot - Radio


Overall, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is very enjoyable and engrossing, it both lives up to and builds upon the first game in satisfying and unexpected ways. It offers stunning, stylised visuals that are very distinct, immersive sound design and a gripping narrative that is both heartfelt and dramatic with engaging and sympathetic characters. The combination of darker supernatural themes and the more relatable but emotive subjects works brilliantly, creating a well-rounded and unique experience. I would definitely recommend this game but also advise playing the first Oxenfree beforehand in order to fully understand and appreciate the experience.

For more games with supernatural themes, take a look at these reviews:
A Space for the Unbound – A Supernatural Story of Self DiscoveryGhost on the Shore: Brand New Emotional Exploration GameFrank and Drake – A Unique, Beautiful, and Uncomfortable Experience.

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