I wasn’t sure what to expect when starting Anodyne. Most descriptions paint it as a Zelda clone and while they’re right, the game is so much more than just a clone. Mechanically, it’s a clone but from a narrative standpoint the game is the sort of thing that would happen if you asked Jim Henson to make a video game. It has this dreamlike wonder, very little to you is told (and likely never will be told to anyone) and it’s just an experience.
Once I closed out of the game for the final time, I realized that the game left me with emotions. Confusion, accomplishment, satisfaction and sadness. The game just got under my skin, and that’s a really great feeling. The game itself has this delightful old school feeling right down to the controls and graphics. Often, indie games that attempt a ‘retro’ look end up not looking retro but like nostalgia-retro. They have more colours, higher resolutions or a mixture of special effects that would cause slowdown if it were possible at all. Anodyne, on the other hand, is pixel perfect to the games of my youth.
Anyone who grew up in the 8 and 16 bit generations owe it to themselves to play Anodyne.