Honorable Mention: Oxenfree
It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Starting with a few runner ups, let’s look back at the best puzzles games from this year and our 2016 winner!
A puzzle more rooted in classic adventure game mechanics, Oxenfree wears the stripes of a genuinely adolescent experience. Five unformed teenagers, an isolated island, and an unexpected paranormal twist. The pieces are all the ingredients of a B-list horror film, but Oxenfree delightfully leans on a thoroughly designed narrative and audio discomfort more than passing scares.
Its immediate puzzles won’t challenge you so much as its cast will. Your choices inside the branching dialogue options have surprisingly thorough repercussions down the line, and what kind of teen leader you become will decide how much of the island’s tragic origins you uncover.
In its most unsettling moments, Oxenfree delivers a clamor of haunting screeches, an unprepared twist, and a sense of reckless self-preservation that pairs so tightly with the uncertainty of youth. Its genuine script and chilling backdrop are ripe for discovery, if weak on technical challenge.