We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals review - Let’s do the time-warp again

Grab your climbing gear as you head out with Riley into Cameno’s chilling cliffs armed with a walkie talkie and a sense of determination in Oxenfree II.

Oxenfree II Lost Signals review: a group of people on a beach at night

Our Verdict

Prepare for a perfectly packaged paranormal adventure in Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, taking you on a mind-bending supernatural story through Camena as Riley, who is researching the strange goings-on.

I’ve not played Oxenfree yet – ironically I bought it the day I got this game to review – but I’m definitely going back to it now. I’m a big fan of spookiness, weird things, and unsettling stories, and Oxenfree II: Lost Signals fits very well with my tastes and I’m very impressed by it.

If you also haven’t played its predecessor, then let me quickly sum the series up. Oxenfree II is the follow-up to Night School Studio’s critically acclaimed game Oxenfree, featuring the same sort of mood, mind-bending story, and art style. You don’t need to play the first game to understand the second. There’s a couple of nods to the goings-on, but nothing is out of context.

Oxenfree II takes place five years after the events of the first game and sees the main character Riley return to her hometown of Camena to help investigate some very strange radio frequencies. Here, among the woods and cliffs, she reunites with a fellow high schooler Jacob, and the two set off to fix the spooky signals. Meanwhile, you’ve gotta figure out a way to stop the local cult from taking over and potentially destroying the very fabric of space and time. No stress at all.

Oxenfree II Lost Signals review: two people in a dark cave with speech bubbles above their heads

Oxenfree’s interesting radio tool returns, but we’ve also got a walkie-talkie to chat to people on and make sure they know we’re still alive. These items are key in discovering more information about Riley’s situation and getting hints on where to go next. There’s also a healthy dose of creepy sounds coming out of them, too.

Gameplay is simple here – wander along through the night climbing rocky slopes and picking your way through caves, while selecting which conversation option Riley says. These choices affect the game, and I’m excited to replay it and make different selections to see what changes – what if I don’t bond with Jacob about the past, because who wants to think about high school really? Or what happens if I ignore any requests I get through the walkie? Time will tell.

Really, I can’t say much about the story without spoiling the ins and outs, but know that if you’re a fellow fan of Stranger Things, Dark, and unsettling horror movies about the space-time continuum, then this game is for you. It’s not too long and provides just an interesting story with inventive takes on the weird horror genre.

Oxenfree II Lost Signals review: a green, triangular portal in front of a waterfall

In all of this, though, the only thing that bothered me was that Jacob and Riley seemed entirely too un-bothered that the world was, you know, potentially ending. Oh, a weird light in the sky? Odd. A giant triangular portal appears? How strange. In reality, I’d be screaming and running for the hills, but perhaps the previous events at Edwards Island have softened Camena’s residents to the unspeakable horrors of the unknown.

The game runs well on the Switch, though the characters can be a little small on-screen in handheld. Still, it feels like this is almost on purpose as it adds to the mood, considering the big painted landscapes in moody colors of mountains, forests, and dark buildings. Of course, I must praise the soundtrack. Musician scntfc is back with another eerie, dark, synthwave soundtrack to accompany the 80s horror-inspired events

Basically, play this game for yourself regardless of whether you’ve played the first. It’s a great time for fans of adventure, weird goings-on, and retro synth soundtracks.

If you, like us, are a fan of a good Switch game, then check out our picks of the best indie games this year, or take a peek at our Stardew Valley review and Master Detectives Archives: Rain Code review for some recommendations.