feels like an homage to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
, but everything is just very... strange. Just like the classic Zelda game, it's played from a top-down perspective and many of the enemies are even based on similar enemies from the Zelda series. Some of the dialog is even a direct reference to Link's Awakening
Young, the character you play as, wields a trusty broom instead of a sword. Sometimes the broom must be used to push around piles of dust in order to solve simple puzzles. These puzzles never feel to be the main focus, though, and there's an unexpected amount of jumping obstacles in many of the dungeons. You discover a few add-ons for your broom throughout the game, but that's the limit of the items you can use.
You travel through varied environments and have many odd encounters. Throughout the game, the mood shifts between being slightly "off" to very wrong. It's hard to explain, but here's an example: in one dungeon, there are inexplicably a bunch of identical-looking men that just wander the screen. You can't speak to them or attack them, but they stop your movement and you can push them out of the way. Whenever these men are on screen, there is a creepy sound effect. At another point in the game, you walk down a dock to a fisherman. When you press the button to try to talk to him, Young instead pushes him into the lake and he drowns in a bloody whirlpool.
Even later, you must kill a bunch of townspeople so a guy will let you into his house.
It's some very odd stuff, and much of it is accompanied by a somewhat creepy atmospheric soundtrack without much of a melody.
As a big fan of classic 2D Zelda games, I was excited to try out Anodyne
. It's definitely a unique experience. Gameplay-wise, it never feels as well-polished as your typical Zelda game, but I did enjoy my time with it for the most part. There were a few times when I got lost and had to consult some maps online, though. At the very end of the game, I found that I had to get 36 of the hidden "cards" to progress. Fortunately I had gotten most of them while playing through, but it could have been particularly frustrating if I hadn't been collecting them throughout my game.