In this unique Zelda-lite game, explore and fight your way through surreal and 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.
User reviews:
Very Positive (767 reviews) - 85% of the 767 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 22, 2013

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"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 HTCH and Joni 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

About This Game

In this unique Zelda-lite game, explore and fight your way through surreal and 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 Sean Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan and Joni Kittaka.

They are working on Even The Ocean, a new, grand adventure platformer. Wishlist today.

Because this game was made by a small team, please note there is no customer support for Anodyne available at this time. We recommend the stable Mac and Windows versions. For Linux users, you may have trouble running it if not using Ubuntu. Please request a refund if you are unable to get the game to work. Thank you for your understanding.

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.
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (767 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
This is a fairly lengthy review- skip to the end for a summary.

I purchased Anodyne in a bundle back in 2013, played it for 10-15 minutes and then decided I wasn't enjoying the game enough to continue. I had barely even entered the first dungeon: the slow pace and Zelda overtones to the gameplay weren't terribly interesting to me.

About a week ago I decided to give the game another shot- and honestly, my opinion didn't really change too much for a while! Exploration was mildly annoying with the room structure showing *most* passages between rooms. There are a few places where the map doesn't include a connection, and a few places where a connection is shown but can't be accessed for quite some time. There's even at least one place accessible early on that has a room that can't be reached until after you've beaten the game.

The slow pace doesn't really pick up either, though the many uses for the dustballs placed throughout the world (puzzles, action, etc.) were cleverly put together. The level design overall isn't bad by any stretch, but it mostly felt... bland for the first half of the game. Perfectly servicable, but nothing too special.

What kept me playing despite the overall averageness of the game at this point was a combination of two things: achievements, and wanting to see what other surreal areas there were. The red sea/hellscape area in particular is what I stumbled upon early, and kept me playing the game. That's no small feat, to keep someone playing just off of what *might* be encountered next, so kudos to the devs for that. The cliffs dungeon and end of the acrobat/circus dungeon, as well as the entirety of the town area were quite unsettling: notably, the circus area was the last dungeon I completed, so to have something still unnerving even after the rest of the game is again quite impressive. A+ for atmosphere.

The final area was fairly underwhelming in comparison. First the easiest boss in the game, then an obtuse puzzle that's actually pretty cool, then a bunch of annoying platforming sections (the speed boosters and gas spewers in particular were frustrating to work around), then a bunch of combat sections, and then the final boss. The soundtrack here is very unfitting, and the fight comes down to safespot for 15 or so seconds, then either misdirect fire into dust or play tennis with an iceball. Meh. The ending itself... well, it's clearly meant to be symbolic of something, and maybe I don't get it, but it was pretty underwhelming. I would have preferred if the game ended after Sage, or even the Swap puzzle.

Combat is very simple. Attack with broom, avoid contact with enemies, avoid projectiles. Except when lions breathe fire in a way that can't be dodged or the lack of knockback makes some enemies trade hits. Probably the most questionably designed aspect of Anodyne.

Now, I mentioned the Swap. This one mechanic is what really shines here.

You're able to grab any two tiles (that you can reach) and swap their locations.

You can literally remake the world. (though it resets when changing screens)

You can get out of bounds basically anywhere (and there are secrets scattered throughout the world that can only be reached with this, or glitches)

The true ending of the game, even past the final boss, is an impassable gate that requires 49 cards. (There are only 48 total, including 11 only accessible after the swap. One of these is in a debug area where you can talk to avatars of the devs, one of which alludes to beating the game in 20 minutes...)

Now, this area doesn't allow swap usage and has a small platform off to the right. It's completely unattainable...except there are 2 different glitchy methods that can be used to reach it. Doing so awards card 49. You can then pass through the 49 card gate... and promptly get a garbled message and see a truly impassable 50 card gate.

That's the true ending, at least to me. Like the post-final boss ending, it's very open to interpretation, and maybe this one just resonated with me more. That even after everything, even after gaining every ability possible and using every known trick, there's still going to be something unattainable. The careful placement definitely demonstrates the porperty of diminishing returns: that putting in a lot more effort will sometimes only yield a marginal increase in output.

The achievement design ties into that as well: there's only 6, which is very few for this sort of game. Most games would award an achievement for each dungeon in turn, and it's refreshing to see it done differently. The first is obtained within 5 minutes of starting the game. The second is obtained halfway through the game- halfway! The third is obtained on beating the game, and another follows if everything was collected. The fifth is awarded for finding all 48 cards by thoroughly searching the out of bounds areas- this was the high point of the game for me.

The final achievement is awarded for meeting the first 100% requirement within 3 hours, and this is where everything ties together beautifully. Now, I'm a speedrunner at heart. I like playing through games over and over for faster times. I could definitely see myself doing that with Anodyne, both for 100% and any% glitchless.

And all because of one simple reason.
The swap is essentially unlocked by beating the game.
Finding card 49 requires working out the 'wiggle glitch'.
The wiggle glitch can be used virtually anywhere.
It can be used to skip the broom.
You can skip the jump boots
You can also skip getting the swap.
You can even skip the final boss and go straight to the ending screen.

Doing this after picking up the broom and the swap will allow you to play the entire game with the swap- and this makes the 100% speedrun target much easier. Took me a little over an hour and it was by no means perfect- remaking the world as I went was a lot of fun, and I even found a few bits of lore that I had missed on my first playthrough.

Anodyne is merely decent from a gameplay perspective. However, where it shines is the surreal and unsettling sections, the entire postgame, and potentially philosophical endings. Anodyne is one of those experiences that's proportionally enjoyable to what you're willing to put into it. The best part by far is the postgame, but it can take a lot of effort to get to that point and even then, exploration and experimentation are key. Given the chance to grab this game at a discount, I'd say go for it. It's well worth it.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12

100% Difficulty

21:9 Support

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A great exploration game for people with autistic tendencies. Spent 30+ hours in post-game because I was so bent on unearthing all the secrets on my own, yet failed to do so and ultimately had to consult a walkthrough due to some uncalled-for post-game content design. (Go AFK for 2 hours to unlock a secret chest? Kudos to whoever figured this ♥♥♥♥ out...)

For those normal minds who don't suffer from this kind of obsession, or simply are not genuinely interested in the post-game, the main quest still offers a decent Zelda-like experience that one can expect to enjoy to a great extent.


Ostensibly, Anodyne reminded me of Seedling and a bunch of other low-budget, low-profile indie Zelda-likes whose names I could no longer recall; however, it didn't take long for me to realize my mistake, for the game was something far from dull and possessed the magic to completely draw me in. While the adventure would lead us to various beguiling places throughout the protagonist's oneiric world, it's the intricate maze design on par with top commercial titles in the genre that ultimately captivated my heart. The existence of several deliberately included tricks and "glitches" (and - I don't see this one being mentioned very often, but you can actually jump over two tiles at once with the right timing, which helps in quite a few situations) that are crucial to uncovering wilder and ever wilder secrets in the post-game quest also hits right in the sweet spot for those of us adventurous and obsessive souls.

That being said, the game is not without its flaws. The lack of an immersive backstory, or even, a coherent narrative, is perhaps the single greatest shame of the title, barring it from becoming something truly memorable. It has also occurred to me that the post-game adventure didn't really actually belong to the game world any more; it didn't involve extra stories or supplemental lore or anything that could help explain or expand on the title, but rather felt like something totally out of context, hashed together simply for the sake of being put there. Such a pity, considering the game's potential.

Still, there's no denying that this is gonna be a fun game for most people. Also, as I was able to complete the speedrun challenge in 2 hours and 1 minute (with world maps open in my browser), difficulty-wise the game is suitable for gamers from every skill level. So why not give it a try - maybe you'll find yourself enjoying getting lost in Young's dreamland as well!
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
After playing through to the end, I don't see how this has gotten so many positive reviews. I wanted to like it, but it's just bad. There is no real story or progression, and what little dialogue there is is confusing or just plain weird. Partial controller support shouldn't even be listed imho, the controls with a gamepad are terrible and I ended up switching to KB (which I never do.) If you are looking for any kind of adventure that makes sense, look elsewhere. 2/10 will not play again.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
71 of 75 people (95%) 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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116 of 150 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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38 of 42 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
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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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Writing this review such a long time after finishing Anodyne leaves me grasping to describe the game.

Zelda by way of Earthbound seems to be a good summary though. Basic combat, sometimes awkward controls and movement set in a very unusual world that often tries to throw bizarre metaphors and philosophical discussions at your mute protagonist.

At this point though, the few people who have not played the game would be remiss to pass up on the opportunity to play this delightfully unique game, especially with how often it is on sale and features in bundles. There's the enough challenges peppered throughout, accompanied by an effectively simple soundtrack and the dialogue does have a few moments of humour and insight.
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120 of 186 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
The Legend of Zelda is without any shred of doubt one of the most important and influential games ever made. Nintendo’s landmark release has inspired hundreds of games and mechanics within them, and you can't take two steps without hearing a developer site it as one of their biggest inspirations when developing their own games. Indie game Anodyne is one such example of a very close replication of LoZ's core gameplay, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but unfortunately fails to bring anything new to a very crowded table that results in but another poor attempt to recapture the magic of a classic.

You take control of Young, a man who wakes up in an unknown realm called the Nexus. You are told that you must protect Briar from the darkness, but first must prove your worth by scouring the land for cards. And, that’s pretty much all you need to know. The story unravels in a nonlinear way, leaving much for you to deduce for yourself and numerous questions without straight answers. Unfortunately this initial air of mystery falls apart after you've progressed further into the game and come to realize the developers have no intention of ever answering or even elaborating on the many threads making up its haphazard plot.

You run into a lot of characters during your travels, but none of them have anything relevant or useful to say. One of my biggest issues I had is that the dialog aspires to far more lofty and philosophical heights than it has any hope of reaching, ending up feeling pointless and pretentious, while at the same time completely throwing off the tone of the game. A lot of heavy subjects are brought up, from antisocial paranoia, to self worth and parental neglect, but they are never expanded upon or even discussed beyond a cursory overview (which comes across as forced and in poor taste).

It’s clear this was a very personal experience for the writer behind the dialog, but putting all of your problems and insecurities into your game is a sure fire way to lose your audience. Adding to the disjointed tone is a bundle of worthless profanity that was unneeded and serves absolutely no purpose. I'm not sure why the developer felt the need to include random four letter words, as it doesn’t jell at all with the rest of the game, and even as someone not typically bothered by profanity felt a tad disgusted when presented with it in this context. The ending is the final nail in the coffin, coming completely out of left field and not giving even a remote sense of resolution. I will be the first person to advocate artistic expression, but the story fails on so many levels it had me wishing it hadn’t been included at all.

From a gameplay perspective Anodyne fairs a bit better, but on the whole still fails to do enough with what it attempts. You spend your time split between exploring an overworld, collecting cards and filling out your map, and then dipping into dungeons which comprise some basic puzzles and the occasional boss fight.

It's a formula that works, but in this case quickly becomes repetitive as you neither gain any new abilities, nor encounter consistently interesting puzzles to solve. So much of the game is comprised of nothing but wandering, that many areas feel like nothing but filler, featuring no purpose but to elongate your adventure and keep you away from the handful of smartly designed dungeons that could have made for a much tighter experience on their own.

The extensive backtracking also contributes to much of your time feeling like a grind, occasionally even breaking the game as paths close and you become forced to retread even more ground taking the long way to wherever you were headed. Simply put, it's poor design that frustrates and belittles the player, dragging the experience on longer than it needed to be and making the enjoyable sections a lot farther apart. It's a shame because at times I really felt Anodyne was onto something, but each time my hopes were shot down as I cursed the many aggravating design decisions the developers made.

Truth be told, there were moments when I actually did enjoy my time with the game. The true problem is, to reiterate, the fact that Anodyne does absolutely nothing we haven’t already seen and not well enough to compensate for its lack of innovation. It has it’s moments, but by and large feels all too familiar, and ultimately had me wondering why I was playing it instead of so many other games. I never felt compelled to continue, and I doubt it will be finished by most.

If Anodyne does anything right, it’s the game’s music and art. The graphics wholly envelope the 16-bit era, with a wonderful pixel style that is both beautiful and varied. Each dungeon has it’s own look, from a noir inspired town, to a neon maze it is constantly evolving and giving you something new to look at. It may not all flow together, but it was the one thing that made me want to search out new dungeons.

The other half of the presentation is the music, which does a great job of selling the somber, lonely tone of the story, even when the dialog can’t. From gentle piano melodies, to a pounding jungle beat, it is just a great set of songs, and some I could actually see myself listening to outside the game. They are that good, and easily the best part of the game.

In the end though Anodyne left me wanting. Wanting for better levels, a better story, a better ending, but mostly, a better game. When I first began, I had little idea what to expect and was actually enjoying myself more than I would have expected. But as time went on, the gameplay never evolved, and the story only strayed farther and farther off course making me want to jump ship before it had completely sunk (which by the end it had definitely done.

By the time the credits had rolled, I was all too happy to be able to wash myself of the experience. I don't say that lightly, and hate to have to be so critical, but I simply cannot advise anyone to play what was one of the most disappointing games I've experienced in a long time.
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2014
This is a top down action adventure game ala the original Zelda or more specifically the game feels like Zelda: Link's Awakening with the simple color pallet, and music. The screen doesn't scroll. When you get to the edge, you go into a new screen, just like Zelda. Its very simple, with an attack button, movement buttons and a menu button.

It has simple combat with a good variety of enemies, but there are also good puzzles that feel unique to this game. Things like using a broom to collect dust to place that dust to block things. Again, its very simple and easy. There is no hand holding with this game and you are free to figure things out yourself, BUT when new things are introduced they will bluntly tell you yes you can do this. Such as when you attack dust, it tells you, you've collected dust, attack again to place the dust. It will spoon feed you new things as most good games do, but it doesn't force you to do several tutorials. Once to test a new skill and that's it. The game lets you loose. It doesn't feel like you'll get lost, areas are pretty confined and you have a Zelda 1 like map, there are portals that let you quick travel.

Like all Zelda games, there are keys that you'll need. Not just normal keys that open most locked doors, but specific keys to enter new areas. If that wasn't enough, you'll be collecting enemy cards. Enough of these cards will unlock specific gates with numbers on them. Along the way, you'll also find fairies or red insects that will not only fill your health, but also increase your health overall.

The atmosphere of the game is very surreal or creepy, which is awesome, its a different flavor to Zelda that makes it feel unique. You're a janitor in a dark, surreal world. In fact, I think the game is trying to subtly hypnotize you with its music and sound effects like clicking, tick tocking and chimes. Nothing is really explained, it just is and I'm okay with that. I don't need a story, even if there are NPCs every so often to talk with.

One drawback to the game on PC is that the screen is tall and narrow like an old school arcade cabinet. This tall resolution is because Anodyne is also an Android OS game. A fun Android game, but it doesn't help it on PC.

In all, this game feels good and enjoyable. If you're into simple puzzles, action adventure and a SIMPLE old school Zelda that lets you explore a lot; this is for you. If you're into a complex, deep Zelda experience with a rich story, this game isn't for you.
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 11, 2015
If you like good 2D adventure action games... this fits the bill with higher than average production values.

Enjoyable romp for any and all gamers.
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Recently Posted
10.2 hrs
Posted: October 21
This game is absolutely excellent, and a great experience for any action-adventure fan out there. It's already been three years since this game was launched, but when I beat it, I felt like I owed the developers this review.

You play the game in the shoes of a character called Young, who is in a mysterious quest to reach something called a "Briar" with the help of a sage called Sage. In your way stands an amazing world full of secrets, puzzles, enemies and landscapes to explore, and treacherous guardians to fight your way through. When you go deep into the game's world, you'll notice that it is... a brilliant metaphor, which I won't spoil (not that there's much to spoil three years after the game's launch, but still, I'd rather let uninformed players figure it out by themselves).

The game's world feels like a mix between Legend of Zelda and Yume Nikki, if that makes any sense. On one hand, it contains vast explorable maps with foes to fight aplenty, puzzles to solve, and items to collect, hence the Zelda comparison. On the other hand some of its maps are surreal, eerie and psychological, as though you were walking around a person's very fears and afflictions, hence the Yume Nikki comparison. The music always helps set the mood perfectly, sometimes being a simple eerie horror-like sound effect, and sometimes being beautifully composed tunes that go well with beautiful sections.

During the adventure, our hero Young counts on a single weapon: his trusty broom, and a few extensions to it, that modify its range. There is also a jumping skill to get across treacherous holes in the ground, and another awesome skill that I'd rather not spoil. The fighting mechanics are not the most innovative I've ever seen, but they're pretty fun regardless. Most boss fights are rather easy and formulaic, but thankfully never boring.

As for the dungeons, they're designed pretty well, making you solve simple puzzles, pick up keys to open up doors, backtrack to change the state of a switch or get a card you forgot, and ultimately reach the guardian of each area and beat it to a pulp. The dungeons occasionally get a bit redundant when, say, you see a button in a room that can only be reached by taking a long path through other rooms, and then going back to the same path to get to the door you opened, but that happens way less than necessary to make me frustrated.

When the game ended, I simply didn't want to go. I wanted to stay... a little bit longer, it's hard to explain.Thankfully, though, I was delightfully surprised to know this game had even more content in the post-game, which is rife with awesome secrets to find and a near open world-like freedom.

One thing I feel this game lacks, however, is the whole Zelda-like "key and keyhole" aspect. What I mean by that is in Zelda, upon getting a new tool, skill or weapon, you'll usually be pleased to realize that the item you just got can be used to get accross an obstacle you encountered previously, possibly to uncover a secret or to follow on to the next section of the game. In this game, however, the only situations where this happens (in a meaningful way) involve the jumping skill, which needs to be used in order to access an area in the Lake that leads to a card (said area, however, can also be reached by different means), and to reach the path that leads to the Briar. Sure, you also get to use trash from the ground as a raft, but that only comes up long after you already have the broom. This in particular bugs me a little, as I feel the game could be slightly better with a progressive "unfolding" of its world.

I mean, sure, the lack of said "key and keyhole" obstacles meant that the game was more "open", meaning that one could go through the dungeons in many different orders according to their peference, but still, I feel like the developers could, perhaps, have included some optional sections with said unlockable obstacles, which you'd find on your way to each mandatory part of the game, so you can get back to them later, eager to see what they contain.

In spite of that minor complaint, I'm still very glad I got this game, as it is enjoyable, interesting, deep and simply awesome. Even though it's not as Zelda-like as I expected, it's still worth any action-adventure enthusiast's time, and I couldn't recommend it enough.
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8.8 hrs
Posted: October 18
I picked up Anodyne from for a fourth the regular price and I'm glad I did.

The art style is beautiful and the music is alternatively atmospheric, clever, and fun in all the right places. The windmill in the rainy area is one of the prettiest locations in the game, just for the lovely rain and reflection effects going on nearby; my favorite track plays in the hotel dungeon and has a very Stewart Copeland, Spyro the Dragon feel. I wish more of the game had made use of that style of music, just because.

The characters were charming, funny, and memorable. It's going to take me a long time to forget the wolf on top of the mountain who says he won't hurt you because he isn't like the others, the fisherman I accidentally murdered, and the man on top of the hotel who finds the lit windows of the city beyond to be one of the more beautiful things he's ever seen.

The puzzles are variations of kill-everything-in-the-room and press-the-switches, often forcing you to path into certain rooms from a different direction in order to step on an out-of-reach button. They're nothing fancy, but they get the job done and they keep you thinking about how to proceed.

I had fun in my playthrough of Anodyne and if you grew up with the Game Boy-era Legend of Zelda titles the way I did, you'll probably enjoy Anodyne, too. Anodyne is cute. Not $10 cute, in my opinion, but still cute. If you happen to catch it on sale, definitely pick up a copy.

That said...

There's something about the jumping and damage knockback mechanics that make rooms like the following pure agony to play through your first time. That this room occurs almost immediately after the jumping mechanic is introduced only makes it harder on the player.
There often isn't enough of a perspective in Anodyne to really judge where you are in relation to the rest of the world, there are minimal invincibility frames at best when you're actually in the air, and there isn't any forgiveness when you go to touch back down. If your landing is not nearly pixel-perfect, be prepared to take damage, knockback, and/or fall and find yourself obliged to try again. It's a stark contrast from the Roc's Feather in the games that inspired Anodyne, which was the best item in those games precisely because it felt amazing to use. Jumping in Anodyne is anything but.

There is a room prior to Card #48 in the debug world that makes every other platforming challenge in Anodyne look like fun by comparison. The footholds are smaller and there is a third roller, and if you screw up, you might accidentally leave the room when you respawn because the player's hitbox occasionally intersects with the view's boundaries when you fall into a pit and reappear. When that happens in the room leading to Card #48, it prevents you from finishing the series of platforming puzzles to acquire your reward and renders you incapable of either going forward or going back. You must commit suicide in order to try again from the beginning.

The precision platforming in Anodyne isn't well-implemented and it isn't fun to play. While it's passable in the main game because it's not a major focus, neither quality makes for a fun achievement ("Lots of Cards") for completionists to hunt. The extras in Anodyne are not worth the effort it takes to gather them. I collected all of them; I know.
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28.1 hrs
Posted: October 8
A neat little game in the style of the old 2D Zelda games, of which I don't come across as many duplicates outside of indie games like this one. While not as thoroughly designed and challenging as many of the games in that series, nonetheless Anodyne provides more than enough of a challenge & entertainment to see the player through to its completion. There are a fair amount of secrets to be found as well, and a lot of clever references to other games ("the village elder in name only, for he is neither"). Although the team behind this game said they're not planning on making any additions to it, I'm really looking forward to whatever they end up making next.
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Lazy Bones
8.0 hrs
Posted: October 3
An unexpectedly fun gem.
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4.9 hrs
Posted: October 2
Enjoyable throwback to Game Boy Color graphics and sound. Challenging, but doable. More moments than not are made to be uncomfortable. Atypical sort of game narrative.
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RPG Gamer Man
6.2 hrs
Posted: September 12
This game is weird. Ive beaten and still do not understand anything about it...

It is a rpg, but a confusing one at that..

I recommend just because it is quite fun to play.
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5.3 hrs
Posted: August 9
A beautiful game witth an amazing soundtrack.
It can also be really challenging.
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