http://i.imgur.com/9OEXHoc.png
I picked up Anodyne last week during The Pirate Bay sale. Since I am a sucker for game soundtracks, I opted for the deluxe version that came with the score. I am playing it on my PC and the game runs flawlessly.

Anodyne is a hard game to write about. From the very start it brought back memories of playing my NES. The moody tone hit me as very Link's Awakening-esque but unlike Link's Awakening that ramps you up, Anodyne hits you with the ethereal mood from the start. As the game continues past the opening area and beyond the first dungeon it opens the colors, music and tone a bit but the underlying ethereal current is always present.

If you are expecting a game to hold your hand this game isn't your jam. Just to be clear: I am having no problems making my way through this game at all. That said, after the first dungeon the game opens up very wide and if you don't pay attention you can get quite lost. I don't mind taking time getting acclimated to things and love exploring. I started playing Anodyne with the thought that this would be more of an experience than anything else, and to that point it hasn't let me down.

Using the overall design, art and score the game is pulling some interesting punches I don't see too often. When I load up my save and start walking around I am immediately flooded with feelings of discovery and a genuine wonder of what will come next. The game has surprised me with how well it plays to old Zelda and Final Fantasy design notes but then goes an entirely different direction. Often times I am not entirely sure what the game is trying to say with a particular set of events but the open nature of it isn't lost on me. Sometimes there really are few answers to things and Anodyne doesn't try to answer them all.

I have read a few reviews that knock the cryptic nature of the game and cite it as a flaw. I don't think this is a flaw and for me Anodyne works very well because not all games need to round every jagged edge and way point each mission. Its a refreshing take on the genre and its simplicity I consider a strength.

Fighting the 2nd level boss: http://i.imgur.com/qfKSof8.png
Talking to a cat that started following me around: http://i.imgur.com/IJj7UGR.png

If you are interested in reading some information on some of the design thoughts in Anodyne, Sean Hogan blogged about them here.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/SeanHogan/20121026/180270/Joys_in_writing_game_music_frustrations_of_the_place_of_games_in_society_and_the_potential_of_games_that_convey_experiences.php

Nayelianne wrote on 03/03/2013 at 10:45pm

This looks like a pretty neat game, almost bought it when I saw it, but decided to wait for when I'd have more time for it. There's something about the pixel graphics that simply bring something to the table that no AAA game can.

And there's way too much hold handing in games nowadays. ):

Thanks for the input on it and the very interesting link :3

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/04/2013 at 01:02am

It is a really neat game and was just Greenlit on Steam so if you wanted to wait some more to get it on Steam, id recommend it. The Anodyne guys are adding trophy support to the game now.

I agree with you on the pixel art. Anodyne specifically really has a nice flavor to it and the art and music really draw the player in quite a bit.

Travis posted an interview with them on the site too, its pretty cool you might want to check it out.

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