The Patient Gamer

Completed: Anodyne

(Comments)

  • Purchased: 10/22/13
  • Acquired Via: Humble Bundle
  • Purchase Price: $0.91
  • Cost/hour played: $0.10

The first challenge of Roosky Plays Games has been completed, and I have triumphed. I expected about 6 hours of playtime in Anodyne, and got about 9.5 before finally beating the game. Howlongtobeat.com tells me that this is way above average, but I did take some time reacquainting myself with the game after a 2 month hiatus.

Anodyne is an indie game that was developed by a team of just two developers. Being a programmer myself, I know how much time and effort must have gone into this game, and what Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka have made is amazing in its gameplay and aesthetics. It’s beautiful on a visual and auditory level. The area backgrounds are absolute works of pixel art.

The game is quite clearly an homage to the Legend of Zelda, so much so that the world is split into pixel-limited areas, similar to the screens in the original Zelda. In his very own “it’s dangerous to go alone” moment, the hero Young picks up a broom to fight with instead. There’s even little fairy creatures that deliver health bar extensions.

And while the game has all of the hallmarks of a wonderful, nostalgic, charming gem of a game, it’s greatness is ultimately undone by writing. As intrigued as I was to explore the game world, it felt disjointed. Areas rarely tied together, or tied together in odd ways. Bits of dialog teased a much deeper meaning that never really materialized, leaving the player feeling a bit abandoned. The game was clearly designed to be surreal, but there wasn’t enough of a thread going through the plot to make it successful. By the end of the game, I was pushing through the dialog just to get to the next puzzle.

Taking everything into account, I bought the game as part of a Humble Bundle and paid less than $1.00 for it. The game was enough fun that I feel a little bit guilty about that. Even so, if you don’t have a lot of time to game, I’d recommend skipping over this one. It was pretty, but didn’t have the sort of fulfillment that I like to get out of a game.

Currently unrated

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