I don't know if I'm still half asleep, and my brain has yet to engage with the week, but the entry reads like the fevered ramblings of a decompressing meth-head.
As far as I can work out, it's a phrase used in American children's games, such as hide-and-seek, to indicate to any concealed players that the game is over. Though used quite differently, it's as ubiquitous in the States as "Ip dip dog shit" is over here.
But does "ip dip dog shit" have its own Wikipedia entry? Of course it doesn't. And those tea-spilling colonials dare to call us the oppressive imperialists...
Though set in a place, and concerning a time in life, that's familiar from countless American teen movies and TV shows, Oxenfree reminded me of my own, apparently endless, school summer holidays. A time of possibility, when being young felt like it would last forever.
Regrettably, I was never cool enough to go on adventures with cool girls, or - indeed - cool boys, like the characters in Oxenfree, but I did build a camp in some local woods with a bunch of my mates.
Two camps, in fact; we'd wage wars against one another with sticks for guns, making "pew-pew!" noises, and one time we followed a man who we thought was taking a piglet for a walk, but it turned out to be one of those dogs that look like piglets... and... this is why I never went on adventures with girls... and also, one of my friends was called Aaron Cocks.
But anyway. Yeah. Oxenfree. It's an old-style, 2D, point-and-click adventure game, sort of, which finds a bunch of teenagers travelling to a misty island, where weird stuff happens.
Inevitably, they're anticipating a raucous, drunken party, with kissing and bum-seeing... Equally inevitably, they end up unleashing creepy supernatural entities, and must find a way to put the "genie" (ghosts) back in the "nivvin" (ghost hole).
Taking direct control of a member of the group called Alex, much of Oxenfree plays like a traditional point-and-click adventure - albeit with much more focus on the branching dialogue, relationships, and characters' backstories.
In addition, you can tune into radio signals to help solve the (simple-ish) puzzles and learn more of the island's history, and fanny around with old-fashioned tape recordings to similar effect. As the game progresses, strange things start to happen concerning time and space, and the atmosphere builds with effective creepiness.
But that's not really what Oxenfree is about; it's more an exercise in building characters, and a sense of place. The island is rich in history, and though it isn't huge - you'll complete the game in four to five hours - there are multiple endings, some more tragic than others.
Supporting all this is the dialogue system, which flows more naturally - bolstered by decent writing and voice acting - than anything in the likes of Dragon Age Inquisition, or The Witcher III. It feels like real people talking to one another, rather than a series of stilted choices.
Arguably, however, emotions never seem to entirely reflect the potentially life-threatening events that unfold around them; with one or two exceptions, everyone seems remarkably laid back and/or morose given what's happening to them.
Ultimately, it's a familiar coming-of-age story, set across the backdrop of a mysterious island, and a well-rendered supernatural mystery. It's more about exploration than puzzle solving, more about character than story. But it's sufficiently well done - the stylised visuals succeed in evoking a sort of damp, gloomy, atmosphere that's as believable as it is otherworldly - that it's well worth a few hours of your time.
If I had a complaint it's this: can someone now please release a game that deals with the concerns of the middle-aged man? I've had it with all this teen angst; I want to play something that reflects a life spent sitting on the sofa, trying to encourage a cat to love me like a dog, before giving up, spending three hours trying to find something to watch on Netflix, and then going to bed. Gotta be a game in that.
SCORE: 82.4FMs out of 102.1FMs