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 (648 reviews)
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.

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February 9

2nd Anodyne Anniversary!

Anodyne, the surreal indie zelda-like is on sale! It's the 2nd anniversary of anodyne ! 50% off! Hooray! Follow our new game Even the Ocean: . Note: Sale won't start till normal steam sale start time.

(note: this is the 2nd anniversary of the original release, which is feb 4, 2013, not steam's initial release whichw as in march 2013)

4 comments Read more


"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
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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.
    • Processor:1.5 GHz, single core
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Any
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Sound:Any
    • Additional: Requires Adobe AIR 2.6 to be installed (installer scripts included)
    • Additional: Steam Cloud unavailable on Linux
Helpful customer reviews
30 of 31 people (97%) found this review helpful
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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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
Anodyne is a deliberate Zelda clone that takes the dreamy world of Link's Awakening and applies it to a more modern-day hero. While providing a fun and tight gameplay experience, it also raises questions about the state of the Gamer generation, about friendship, and about fitting in.
Although crippled by bugs (if you try to break the game, you will break the game), I highly recommended this for the colorful, retro visuals and the fantastic soundtrack.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
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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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
Anodyne is a brilliantly designed adventure that translates well-worn mechanics into a package that feels genuinely new and exciting. While an over-reliance on frustrating jumping puzzles keeps it from greatness, it's a remarkable achievement for its tiny team – a freaky, fascinating exploration of the darker side of gamer psychology. 10/10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Anodyne is basically a Legend of Zelda clone, but it's a good Legend of Zelda clone, with familiar mechanics, original art, and a weird psychological plot. Recommended for any LoZ fans.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Anodyne is small, 2d-Zelda-like game. It remindes me a lot of Links Awakening, with the world being a dream and the jumping-puzzles, although the latter being much more present in this game.
It is quiet simple, your only weapon is a broom. Enemies have a good variety and the levels are very well designed, especially the dungeons. They require some thinking to solve the puzzles and the game does not hold your hand, which I think is good. Reminded me of the old times and the feeling figuring out on yourself is very rewarding. Half-way through the game you get jumping boots and thats where the game got frustrating for me. The controls are very spongy and the jumps require pixel-perfect jumps, sometimes under pressure: jumping on one-tile-platforms with rolling bars of death? So much fun, especially when you realize that you get knocked back every time you get hit.
The story is very confusing and the writing keeps it that way. I'm not sure if I get it at all or it was deliberate that way, since it all happens in a dream and dreams don't always make sense. Still it reminds me somewhat of the story of Links Awakening, the bosses seem to warn you that be beating them, you will eventually destroy the whole world - at least thats what I got from it.
If you like the old, 2d-Zelda games, Anodyne is very well done spin on it. Especially the dungeons are very well designed, but the jumping puzzles can get frustating.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
The ending is disappointing, but the journey there is very fun. I wish I could discern it's theme (if it even has one). This is like classic legend of Zelda, but in a very esoteric, dream like work. It's fun if you like Legend of Zelda or Metroidvania games.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
Murdered everybody in a town for a card.....unique game play with a weird story, if you could call it that. Its fun tho and i got it for free.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
This is one of my favorite games right now. It is difficult when it needs to be, requiring skill and intution to complete areas. I find myself cursing more than once as my last bit of life is exhausted, but keep playing again and again to learn the patterns and skill to make it through. It's not too hard, but just right. Plenty of save points to make sure you feel like you are making progress even if you keep dying. The story is interesting but ambiguous at first, but as I go along it keeps expanding and surprising me. The world is rich and fun to explore. Plenty of good humorous nostalgic dialogue between memorable and interesting characters/creatures. I highly recommend this game if you are looking for a good nostalgic Nintendo era style game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
I haven't finished the game yet but so far I really I like it, it is reminding my a lot of the Zelda's, which in my opinion is a good thing and I do not belive that they are copying Nintendo at all however it is pretty similar to Zelda. Defintly a real good game and very fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Played for 15 minutes, rock told me I have no friends. Rate: 9/10 depressions
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
Anodyne 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.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
I won this game with Gems... so yeah... not bad game at all!
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97 of 126 people (77%) found this review helpful
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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26 of 27 people (96%) 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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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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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 17, 2014
The weirdest adventure Zelda-esque game I have played in a long time. It is one of these games that, after you finish it, you end up: 1. Completely lost, knowing nothing of the hell happened; 2. Searching forums and webs, looking for interpretations, analysis, reviews, wanting to fully understand all the extremely strange stuff you just played. You can love it or being indifferent to it; for me was a worth experience.
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38 of 54 people (70%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25, 2013
Anodyne is a top-down dungeon crawler with SNES style graphics.
Your quest in Anodyne is to save the Land from the darkness that has come over it in the form of The Briar.
Throughout the game you face many bosses who seem to know deep truths about who you really are. They hint at the fact that you play video games to escape from reality, and that one day you will have to learn how to deal with people.
The collecting aspect of the game is very engaging. You must collect cards and keys in order to unlock new areas.
Anodyne offers a beautifully realized SNES-like game world. It has a intriguing story and there are some really great songs that capture the mood of the game quite well.
Anodyne is a good designed old school adventure game and a perfect choice for those who liked the old Zelda games.

Sounds 9/10
Graphics 4/10
Gameplay 7/10
Atmosphere 8/10
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84 of 137 people (61%) found this review helpful
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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51 of 83 people (61%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
I wanted to like this game, I really did. While I appreciate what the developers were striving for, I just can't recommend this game to others. On the surface this appears to be a Zelda clone. While that sounds promising, on delving deeper into this title nothing could be further from the truth. While Zelda relies on great combat and clever puzzles, Anodyne relies on unfair combat and ridiculously hard platforming. Enemies don’t stop in their tracks or bounce back when you hit them, so enemies that require numerous hits invariably result in damage to you as they just plow forward through your attacks. In addition, the number of times you die from attempting next to impossible jumps becomes too much to bear. Add in that native controller support simply does not work (in the forums the developers even go so far as to suggest getting a third party program such as xpadder or joy2key to make it work) even though partial controller support is listed on the store page, and I feel you have a product that could have used a lot more polishing before releasing on Steam. For every moment of fun I experienced with this game, I experienced several more of frustration. On a side note, towards the end of the game suddenly the F word appeared several times in dialog, whereas the rest of the game had been devoid of swearing. While I have no problem with swearing in video games, I was playing through this game with my young niece and this sudden unexpected change in tone was not appreciated nor did it seem to fit the game. Overall I would rank this game a 5/10.
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