Anodyne

Good
  • Fantastic nostalgia game design with a lite Zelda style adventure with combat, puzzles and secrets
  • Beautifully designed game soundtrack and graphics inspired from the 16 bit era
Bad
  • Lacks significant combat depth and game length
  • Dream world design goes a little far to the point that the story and context is lacking
8

Anodyne is an adventure that seeks to send you on a nostalgic trip back to the days of your Game Boy Colour with a title that draws inspiration from the early Zelda games and pairs it with a unique world for players to explore. Marketing itself as a unique Zelda-lite game Anodyne features a familiar story structure, 16 bit era visuals, dreamy soundtrack and a diverse range of locations to fight through. Anodyne was originally released at the start of 2013 on Windows and Mac with mobile and console releases coming sometime after following the initial release success.

anodyne-gameplay-elder

In Anodyne players will explore a quirky and strange game world which is set in the main characters (Young) subconscious mind. These dream like locations are not short on variety with over 20 areas which makes the whole adventure an enjoyable one and range from the abstract to the typical nature or urban environments seen in other video game titles. Players are not the sole person in this adventure though with a number of bizarre characters making an appearance as you trek through dungeons to find the keys to unlock the next dungeon within your mind.

Unlike other adventures where players are equipped with a weapon of great power for the tough enemies ahead Anodyne instead equips players only with a trusty broom that was lying around the house. Regardless this still does a great job at taking care of enemies that wish nothing more than to hurt you as you move from map screen to map screen.

anodyne-gameplay-combat

In between these combat sequences players will also encounter a number of puzzles to solve in a familiar cycle of gameplay content that help you to explore every inch of the respective game areas. From the underground labyrinth to the fields, circus, cliffs, red sea, space, beach, woods and more each has a distinct visual style that fits into the overarching aesthetic of dream world adventure.

Second to this is some areas with hidden cards based on items (49 in total) that give you a break from fighting and puzzles but still provide a gate to your progression to overcome. While these might not seem as exciting at first glance the use of abstract environments during these moments like the red swamp cave result in a nice pacing break to the rest of your Anodyne adventure.

anodyne-gameplay-cards

Much of this down time and exploration also ties closely into the upgrade mechanisms to equip you for the next combat, puzzle or secret challenge with players obtaining upgrades such as the ability to swap two tiles of the world, increased broom attack reach, wider broom attacks, jump shoes and higher maximum health by finding the rare health cicadas that each provide light RPG mechanics.

Summary:

  • A Zelda like adventure in a strange dream world.
  • Use your trusty sword (broom) to fight off enemies with 3 potential upgrades to improve your potency.
  • Great variety in game locations with a range of puzzles to solve and cards to collect.
  • Uncover a range of secrets on your path to New Game+ mode.
  • Large atmospheric soundtrack to enhance the dream world adventure.

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Videos:


Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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