Already on its way to becoming 2016’s first critical darling, Night School Studio’s OXENFREE and its soundtrack are available now. It’s a gorgeous looking 2D adventure game that mixes coming-of-age teen drama with supernatural horror. Co-founded by Adam Hines who’s worked with Telltale Games on their story-driven adventures, OXENFREE is about a group of teens meeting on an island and stumbling onto its dark secret.
Setting the tone for both awkward teen conversations and spooky revelations is a soundtrack by C. Andrew Rohrmann who also goes by Scntfc. Rather than leaning on typical horror movie/game themes, the music is layered with drawling, discordant electronic soundspaces. It’s not unlike Disasterpeace’s soundtrack for Fez but Scntfc lays on some great beats and mischievous melodies on several tracks.
Unraveling the game’s mystery revolves around tuning an old radio to “frequencies from stations that don’t exist”. Engadget’s write-up on the game has revealed there’s a real-world mystery hiding in those frequencies and you can hear just a little bit of that in the soundtrack. Whether there’s a real secret to decode in the music or not, the distorted samples and sounds add plenty of unease while remaining listenable. It’s not like a horror movie score you’d only bust out at Halloween. I’ve only sampled about half of it so far but this is an album I could see myself listening to just about any time.
OXENFREE and its soundtrack are available now. The game is out on Steam and Xbox One for $19.99 and the soundtrack is available on Bandcamp for $7. Check out the trailer and the soundtrack embedded above and let us know what you think.