Oakenfold – Review

Our Score: 7/10

If you’re looking for a sophisticated strategy game with a twist, look no farther than Oakenfold. Play this roguelike game and see if you can outwit the Biocides that are destroying Earth. Take advantage of them, push them around, drown them, smash them, set them against one other… Whatever you do, don’t risk losing your priceless cargo. Now is your last chance to leave this harsh world.

Far In the Future

In this far-future RPG, you take on the role of Asha, a human who is among the last of her kind. Her grandfather had taught her how to fight against the invading biocides, but he was slain before she could make it to the final human stronghold, a biodome called Oakenfold. However, in order to get there, she needs to bring enough fuel crates to power it, and those biocides are hellbent on destroying them.

Asha’s playthrough features three distinct difficulty levels and the option to select her class and mentality. Her survivalist philosophy emphasises efficiency, therefore she favours heavy attacks like melee and a hook that draws foes closer. Asha is in the best possible place at all times thanks to her agile nature. Last but not least, the Scientific mentality functions similarly to a support class, allowing you to call upon robot allies and render enemies immobile.

Your Time, Your Way

Oakenfold Combat

With Oakenfold, you can decide which of several possible routes you’d like to take, much like in a “choose your own adventure” novel. When you move the cursor over a location, you’ll see a pop-up describing the adversaries and optional objectives there. That’s easier said than done, though, because the game is turn-based, so you’ll need to plan ahead to stop the foes from regenerating and wiping out your supplies. Luckily, you have the TimeScrubber as a secret weapon.

At all times, you must keep the fuel stacks alive and well and out of harm’s way from the biocides. To do this, you can use obstacles in the area to your advantage, such as walls, trees, and other players, to either push them away from your gear or pull them in closer for a better strike. You can see their planned attack trajectory, so all you have to do is push, pull, or demolish to defeat them. Most foes won’t bother with Asha, but she’s useful for deflecting blows. There is no way to win if her health bar runs out, and the same applies for the crates. Since the latter is far more prevalent, and your remaining supply is carried over to the subsequent level, you should strive to minimise damage in each round.

Energize Yourself

Oakenfold Crafting

If you can gather enough Energy, you can use it to improve your equipment, provided there is a crafting table on the stage. Here you can upgrade your current gear (such your grenades) or acquire a new talent that debuffs adversaries or deals additional spread damage to nearby foes. The materials you need are hard to come by, and your opponents can easily wipe out your production facilities if you’re not careful. On top of that, you need to have enough time in your TimeBank to continue crafting. Time is of the essence, thus it’s safe to conclude that most upgrades are moot. However, these are extremely powerful and will aid in taking out the boss. If you can move to a spawn location, you can stop a lower-tier adversary from joining your faction.

Final Verdict

Oakenfold is an interesting game that takes the time rewind mechanic and builds an interesting game around it. Having a lot of freedom with your approach helps make this game a lot more fun.

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