Review: Anodyne

Anodyne Icon

What if The Legend of Zelda took place in Twin Peaks?

Game: Anodyne
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Analgesic Productions

Anodyne is an action-adventure game very similar to Legend of Zelda, however, this game gets a lot weirder the deeper you go into the story.

Anodyne Intro Screen
Anodyne Intro Screen

In the opening minutes of Anodyne, the game will feel very much like a Legend of Zelda-esque adventure game with a 16-bit aesthetic. While this is true from a gameplay perspective, and while some Zelda games do embrace the weirder elements of that universe, it never really approaches the levels seen in Anodyne.

I do not want to go into too much detail regarding these weird elements as I feel that they are better experienced as a surprise, that is why I only included screenshots from early in the game just to leave these surprises intact.

One of the odd things that I will mention is the weapon you use in Anodyne. You play as a character introduced as Young, and his weapon of choice is not the swords and shields that a certain adventurer from Hyrule would use but rather a broom.

Yes, a broom.

This odd choice of weapon is just the tip of the strange iceberg that is Anodyne and while some of the strange things in the game come off as darkly humorous or downright silly, other elements I found pretty disturbing.

The nearest comparison of a odd balance of humor, dark elements and downright bizarre that comes to mind is that of Twin Peaks. Something of an enigma, Twin Peaks is something that I am still not sure if I like or not despite the fact that I am glad that I experienced it all, including the strange semi-sequel that was the third season.

Gallery


I can’t help but feel that same feeling when thinking about Anodyne, I am not sure I fully enjoyed every piece of the game but at the same time I am glad that I played it. It does dare to be different if nothing else and does keep surprising you the deeper you get into the story.

I find it hard to give a hard recommendation to Anodyne in the end, for many of the same reasons that I have trouble with recommending Twin Peaks. It was interesting on an artistic level but I can tell that it will not be for everyone.

With that being said, I would say that I enjoyed my with Anodyne and from what I have seen of the game’s sequel and it’s retro Playstation 1 graphical style, I am interested to see what the developers will surprise me with next. I played Anodyne on the Nintendo Switch for this review but the game is also available on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Android and iOS.

Graphics:
The graphics are clearly inspired by the look of 16-bit adventure titles and are done quite well
16 out of 20

Sound:
Sound in is used to great effect to set the mood and tone of the game, much of the weirdness is greatly amplified by the sound design
15 out of 20

Gameplay:
Gameplay is very satisfying, the game essentially plays like retro Legend of Zelda games. If you are a fan of those games, you will feel quite at home.
18 out of 20

Replayability:
Replayability is unlikely for me on this title but your mileage may vary depending on your experience
8 out of 20

Value:
For $10, I would say that the value is pretty good, it took me about 6.5 hours to beat the game but a large chunk of that time was spent ramming against a challenging level that i found particularly difficult.
15 out of 20

Overall Score:
72 out of 100

The link for the store pages for Anodyne are below if you are interested in checking it out for yourself:

Xbox One

Nintendo Switch

Playstation 4

Steam

Android

iOS App Store

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