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Oakenfold Review

Oakenfold is a Turn-Based Strategy with Roguelike elements with a TimeScrubber (Time manipulation) mechanic. Set on earth, you play Asha, one of the last humans (possibly the last) on earth who is motivated to continue her father’s mission. 

Ticket Out Of Here

To retrieve the last few crates of Dilithium that will be used to power up Oakenfold, a biodome spacecraft that will be her ticket off this planet and away from the dangers of the Biocides.

Balancing Act

Oakenfold is first and foremost a turn-based strategy game, one that brings along the troubles of decision making that’s the main point of the genre. But to add to the difficulty is the roguelike nature to it, where there’s perma-death and failure will end your run, putting you back to the start.

It’s Not Save Scumming

However, to balance these heavy consequences, are one main mechanic along with other points to make Oakenfold an accessible turn-based strategy game. Some of us are guilty of save scumming when it comes to games, a turn-based strategy game is no exception. So instead of giving the players to save (which will negate the perma-death), the game has a TimeScrubber™, which essentially is a redo or reload button/mechanic that works on the fly.

Experimentation is the Key

Instead of going full on the punishing route, the game lets you carry out your moves, but if you aren’t happy or want to experiment with another course of action, you can just scroll down on your mouse wheel to redo all the moves that were played. Giving the player the opportunity to try out different moves and tactics and see it play out instantly. The only thing to note is that if your move ends and you die or lose all your crates, it is game over.

Foresee Dangers

The missions are randomised so no two runs are the same. You’re given the opportunity to pick the next mission type in most cases while knowing the enemy types, the amount of waves and the main and side objectives of the mission on the mission screen.

What You Have To Do

Missions include protecting robots that will help you in your cause (by giving you more crates, killing the enemy or simply energy for research), eliminating enemies, destroying/killing a specific unit, reaching point B to escape and so on. There isn’t a sheer amount of mission types but it has enough variety to make it not stale.

2 Types of Lives

The crates in most missions are your life that carries throughout your campaign/run. Running out of it will result in game over. Unlike the crates, you have 3 lives in each mission, and it does not carry over between them.

Pick a Mindset

Asha has 3 mindset to choose from at the start of your run. This will determine her style and moves that she can do. Moves can be upgraded in missions at a crafting station using the energy you pick up after killing enemies or completing objectives. If the enemy picks up that energy, they will level up and become stronger. 

Everyone’s Different

The variety of enemies are good with each of them having unique attacks and perks, such as being able to shoot through multiple objects in a straight line or respawning after death unless you land on their corpse tile.

Final Thoughts

Oakenfold manages to make turn-based strategy feel and play more accessible with its instant TimeScrubber™, that makes the challenge of perma-death not seem so daunting as instills the feeling of “one more run” when you lose. For a turn-based game, this feels different. And different is good in this case.

Purchase Oakenfold on Steam!

Hailing from a small Island. Huge football fan. Drinks too much tea.
Survival, Roguelikes, Turn-based or Indie games in general are my go to genres but I like to dabble in all kinds of genres. I tend to have a soft spot for Shmups and Hidden Object Games once in a while.

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