In Anodyne, you explore and fight your way through surreal and at times, creepy, nature, urban and abstract themed areas in the human Young's subconscious, evoked by a 16-bit-era visual style and a moody, dream-like soundtrack. created by and .
User reviews: Very Positive (715 reviews) - 85% of the 715 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 22, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"An emotionally divergent coming of age story that takes Nintendo’s early 2d arcade RPGs as its blueprint, puzzles and all"
Read the full review here.


"Simultaneously, the game creates a sensation of lost, but not abandonment. In this, you are in a mysterious world, unfamiliar and bizarre, yet the eerily nostalgic design instills the necessary knowledge to proceed in your adventure."
The Ambivalest

"Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka have made magic with this game, creating a world that I could be afraid to enter but never want to leave...The locations are vibrant and detailed, going to all manner of different places...[the music] can take the visual mood and shift it into territory that pixel art shouldn't be able to inhabit...I know we're only in February, but this has Game of the Year written all over it."
Mash Those Buttons - 4.7/5

"Anodyne can be as funny and charming as Link’s Awakening on occasion, but the overall tone is one of unease, with a subtle malevolence – the ‘something seems a bit off here’ factor – reminiscent of the indie horror Lone Survivor. Meaning is elusive, but themes and motifs soon begin to take form, in a game that feels increasingly personal the more you burrow into it."
PC Gamer - 84/100

Steam Greenlight

9/4: Available in Japanese !日本語版発売!

A japanese translation of Anodyne will be available on September 4th!

About This Game

In Anodyne, you explore and fight your way through surreal and at times, creepy, nature, urban and abstract themed areas in the human Young's subconscious, evoked by a 16-bit-era visual style and a moody, dream-like soundtrack. created by and .

They are working on Even The Ocean , a new adventure platforming / hybrid walk-&-press slice-of-life adventure/daydream platforming game. It will also be released on Steam.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:1.5 GHz, single core
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Any
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Sound:Any
    • Additional:This is not a GPU-intensive game.
    • OS:Windows XP or better
    • Processor:(2.0 GHz, single core) or better
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Any
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Sound:Any
    • Additional:This is not a GPU-intensive game.
    • OS:10.6 or Newer
    • Processor:Intel 1.5 Ghz, single core
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Any
    • Hard Drive:150 MB HD space
    • Sound:Any
    • Additional:This is not a GPU-intensive game.
    • OS:10.6 or Newer
    • Processor:(Intel 2.0 GHz, single core) or better
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Any
    • Hard Drive:150 MB HD space
    • Sound:Any
    • Additional:This is not a GPU-intensive game.
Helpful customer reviews
17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Anodyne is a top down action-adventure game that draws inspiration from some of the classic Zelda titles. The developers’ fondness for that iconic series is readily apparent, and at its best Anodyne feels like a genuine love letter to the adventure games of yesteryear. It does have a bit of a little brother problem, and its efforts to follow in the footsteps of its idol ultimately fall a bit short of the mark.

At first it seems like the story might be a cute little homage to Zelda, with a little bit of snark thrown in to keep things entertaining. Then things start getting weird. Only little things feel a bit off at first, but before long a general unease begins to permeate the game and you realize that this is not a simple hero saves the world kind of story. I don’t remember any of the older Zelda games featuring paranoid schizophrenics mumbling to themselves in the woods, and I certainly don’t remember finding any houses where the occupant had hung himself. The game vacillates between goofy humor and dark set pieces creating this really unique and interesting atmosphere. Anodyne does a particularly good job at pulling off the creepiness because it cloaks itself with an air of nostalgia.

While the atmosphere is solid and there are some interesting portions, ultimately the story doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do. While the first couple of dungeons do seem to at least have some coherent theme and hints at the overall narrative, later portions seem almost entirely unrelated to each other and it feels like the game is being weird simply for the sake of being weird. At times there is an effort to be philosophical, but it is clumsily done and certain segments wind up feeling pretentious. There just isn’t a cohesive narrative, and while bits and pieces are genuinely interesting or unsettling, as a whole the story just ends up feeling disjointed.

Anodyne is about as old school as you can get, and there is a heavy reliance the simple puzzles and exploration that made the old Zelda games so successful. There is a nice big map the look through with a lot of things to find, and the exploration actually gets better after you defeat the final boss because you unlock a new ability that lets you reach corners of the map that were previously inaccessible. While I don’t want to spoil anything, it really is a clever and very unique tool to have at your disposal and it is just a little disappointing that the game waited until it was over to pull out what was really its best trick. I found the post game stuff almost more enjoyable than the actual quest, and Anodyne does a nice job of not only encouraging exploration, but giving you a lot of interesting environments to explore. The levels are well varied and memorable and alternate between standbys like forests and cliffs and bizarre, unsettling environments like a black and white town inhabited by ghosts or a creepy circus with ominous headstones detailing past events.

The actual gameplay is simple but well executed and that the game remains entertaining throughout its entire run. You wield a broom to defend yourself against a variety of enemies, many of which are mostly harmless once you figure out their simple patterns. The boss battles are somewhat of a disappointment and tend to lack any sort of creativity or challenge to make defeating them feel rewarding, with the notable exception of the final boss. As a whole the game is fairly easy, with the only real difficulty coming in the form of some poorly implemented platforming segments.

Each dungeon usually has some new mechanic for you to play around with, including one that is an actual maze and another that uses speed panels to help you jump further. There isn’t as much variety here as you’ll find in a lot of the classic Zelda games, but there is enough that the game prevents itself from becoming too repetitive. Simple puzzles end up blocking your progress in the various dungeons, but unfortunately most of them aren’t any more complicated than getting an enemy to stand on a switch.

While Anodyne is clearly piggybacking on the classic Zelda games, it offers a unique experience and manages to find its own voice, even if that voice occasionally morphs into the high pitched scream of nightmare ghouls. Fans of the old school adventure games should definitely enjoy the combination of exploration and puzzles the game offers and Anodyne is a nice throwback to a type of game that you simply can’t find any more. The game does end up feeling a bit more like Zelda-lite than an actual Zelda title, and the actual gameplay and puzzle design lack the same creativity found in the wonky story and environments. Even with its flaws, this is a very impressive product from what was essentially a two man team and is worth checking out for anyone who still remembers how to find all the dungeons in the original Legend of Zelda.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
Do you like Zelda games? Odds are, you'll like this too.

Anodyne is a definite Zelda clone, but that's not a bad thing.

Like Zelda, it has a (kinda) open world for you to explore, with a number of dungeons to keep you busy inbetween. While I wouldn't say that the music is iconic, the soundtrack does create an excelent atmosphere throughout the entire game. (I found myself humming along to one of the overworld themes.)

The game looks great and controls very smoothly. And it is certainly not without its challenges. I can't say it's the hardest game of its type that I've played, not by a long shot, but it's certainly far from being easy.

The game isn't ALL upsides though. More than once when playing, I felt that some of the difficulty seemed... artificial. what I mean by that is, I felt on quite a few occasions that a part of the game was hard because it was annoying or repeditive, instead of actually challenging my skill at the game. that said, this wasn't a thing that happened OFTEN, but just barely enough for me to notice.

Another possible issue is the length. I haven't beaten the game yet, but after just 2 hours of gameplay, I'm at the halfway point of the game. So, if short games bother you, you may want to overlook this one.

All in all, I'd give this game an 8/10
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
The game is really nice. Took a while to get 100% but it was worth it. Don't read the spoiler if you haven't played the game. The swap upgrade though: in a nuthsell.
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53 of 55 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
It's basically existentialist Zelda on acid with less combat.

This is a weird game. It's got the appearance of a classic zelda game, but there are more areas where you just wander around and talk to random people. You also don't so much unlock sexy new combat abilities and weapons, but just unlock new areas with new traps and puzzles to deal with. There are still boss fights, some of which will give you a challenge, but don't expect the non-stop action of a zelda game. This is much more of an exploration of the mildly dark and mildly bizarre. Not for everyone, but I think many people will find it worthwhile.
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102 of 132 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2013
Can I give a thumbs-sideways?

The word "anodyne" in a literary sense can mean "soothing" or "blandly agreeable," and I can certainly give the game the bland part.

For the better part of three hours playing the game I did not know if I could stomach finishing it. I'm getting ahead of myself.

It's a Legend of Zelda-like with a ton of strange thematic choices, poor writing, too much dialogue and tonal shifts that will give a player whiplash. What few inventive game mechanics it employs are spread throughout an atrociously long and dull climb to nowhere. You might pass through seven screens just to get to the next place: no enemies, no obstacles to speak of, just a march. As if the designers (credited indie devs Sean Hogan Jonathan Kittaka) couldn't be bothered, having come up with the overall map of an area, to fill it in with things. This becomes very apparent when retracing your steps. You will find a checkpoint at the beginning of an area, putting you on guard for the trials ahead. Then those trials never manifest and seven screens later there's another checkpoint.

To what end? Was my adversary through that place boredom? Will checkpoints at the beginning and end of a stretch really help me combat that adversary?

The few basic enemies you encounter are all laughably simplistic. Many pose no threat at all. Some cannot even harm you. This led me to think perhaps they were more of a rhetorical device than a game object, really. The only rhetorical question that sprang to mind was "why am I still playing this?" Then later I encountered fire-breathing lions and they shot my dandy theory to hell.

But I do know the answer to that rhetorical question, as the game is a little more than a poorly-written, bland, easy Zelda clone.

First, even though the various mechanics are spread out way too far, the few that the game offers are very neat. Even with all the crummy verbosity, the game does not tutorialize, rather giving you the tools and letting you figure things out. A good bit of design. The nugget of a good game. I would never have thought that piles of dust could have so many uses, but there you go.

Second, there is at least one boss in the game that requires a neat bit of fooling and approaches a reasonable challenge. Shame that I can only honestly say that about one of perhaps eight or so bosses, but that one is very good and fun.

Third, there are a few counter-intuitive design choices that I won't spoil that I do admire as choices. It is this last point that keeps my thumb pointing up with all I've said about the game to this point. What I will say is that it's a shame you only get the full, mechanically complete game after playing through the whole thing.

Heck I guess that's a second way it reminds me of Fez. The first was the music and sound effects. Which I didn't mention. Okay.

The music is fine if you're into chiptunes and oscilloscopes. Tones, mostly sine waves. Some triangle. There are several good tones.

Which is more than I can say about the jokes. Those are all tonedeaf. And just grating given everything else that happens. I want to say that, as a rule, you don't get to make crappy puns about bicycles with names in the same game where you murder a man and jump into his corpse-portal to go commit an abortion on a tentacle monster. Which is part of what I mean when I say the game is tonally all over the place. Anything vaguely interesting as a narrative point just gets dropped somewhere; crushed away by screen after screen of nothing happening.

Things I didn't like:
bad jokes
boring, longwinded dialogue
useless screens
lack of difficulty

Things I did like:
inventive mechanics
post-game elements
certain specific challenges
cute enemy names
no navi

Buy it on sale. At the time of this writing it is half-off the ten dollar list price, which still feels like a bit much for what you're getting. Do not pay ten dollars for this game, at any rate.
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