Anodyne (video game)

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Anodyne
Anodyne logo.jpg
Developer(s) Analgesic Productions (Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka)
Publisher(s) Analgesic Productions (Windows/Macintosh/Linux)
Designer(s) Sean Hogan
Jonathan Kittaka
Programmer(s) Sean Hogan
Artist(s) Jonathan Kittaka
Composer(s) Sean Hogan
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android
Release date(s) February 4, 2013 (Windows/Mac/Linux)
October 15, 2013 Android
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Digital distribution

Anodyne is an independent video game created by Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka, who together form the independent game company Analgesic Productions. After a nearly year-long development through Hogan and Kittaka's last years in college[1] the game was released on February 4, 2013, for Windows PC, Mac OS X and Linux. An Android version was released as part of a Humble Bundle on October 15, 2013. The Anodyne soundtrack was also made available for purchase at the time of release, including all of the music in the game as well as a few bonus tracks.

The game features action and adventure elements, and puts the player in the shoes of Young, exploring a dream world.

Reviews of the game were mostly positive, generally praising the game's mix of adventure and action gameplay with an immersive, dream-like atmosphere created by the game's soundtrack and use of pixel art. Critiques tended to center on the story's lack of clearness, as well as some of the jumping mechanics. The game placed as an honorable mention in the 2013 Student Independent Games Festival.

Gameplay[edit]

Anodyne is played by exploring a dream world of the game's protagonist, Young. The gameplay involves the use of two primary items, a broom and shoes for jumping. The game takes place in adjacent screen-sized rooms that make up the game's play areas. The player explores dungeons, which are sets of rooms with puzzles and enemies, as well as other areas that focus less on combat and puzzles, such as a red, swamp-like area, and a dimly-lit forest. The player is required to find a certain number of cards in order to progress to the end sections of the game.

Development[edit]

Anodyne began as a solo project by Sean Hogan in March 2012. Through a mutual friend, in June 2012, Hogan met Jonathan Kittaka, who worked remotely on the game until its release in February 2013.[1] Through development, the two worked together on story themes and level design. Kittaka wrote most of the dialogue and created all of the game's artwork, whereas Hogan wrote the game's soundtrack, and additionally programmed it.

Shortly after release, Anodyne was featured on the front page of The Pirate Bay[2] which garnered Anodyne enough votes to be accepted onto Steam through its Greenlight system.

Music[edit]

Anodyne's soundtrack was composed by Sean Hogan. At the time of Anodyne's release, the soundtrack was made available as a download-only on Hogan's online Bandcamp store, with the 40 tracks used in the game, as well as 14 bonus tracks, consisting of outtakes, and songs from Anodyne's trailers[3] The total runtime is 85 minutes and 32 seconds.

Anodyne Tracklist

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 76%[6]
Metacritic 76/100[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 8.0/10[5]
PC Gamer US 8.4/10[4]

Anodyne was met with mixed reviews, in general comparing Anodyne's gameplay to that of Zelda games such as Link's Awakening and Link to the Past, and praising the game's pixel art and music style. Critics often praised the game's unsettling and surreal nature. Polygon's Danielle Riendeau stated that, regarding Anodyne's world: "Fantasy and reality exist adjacent to one another, highlighting the central theme of disconnection nicely."[8]

Criticism of the game often centered around frustrating platforming sections, and the reception to Anodyne's narrative was very mixed. Regarding the story, Tom Sykes of PC Gamer stated "I doubt I’ll ever get to the root of its narrative mysteries"[4] Josh Mattingly of Indie Statik stated "it concerns musings on the state of humanity and other existential considerations"[9] whereas Vito of Destructoid stated "it becomes clear the developers have no interest in defining their world properly; whatever theories you might devise about the game’s hidden meaning given no real justification."[10]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ames, Adam (February 12, 2013). "Finish Your Game: Anodyne". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Pirated Indie Game Devs Get Full Pirate Bay Support To Crack Steam". February 15, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bandcamp: Anodyne OST". May 7, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sykes, Tom (March 13, 2013). "Anodyne". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Anodyne Edge review". Edge. February 13, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Anodyne GameRankings". May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Anodyne Metacritic". May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Riendeau, Danielle (March 18, 2013). "ANODYNE REVIEW: PIXEL LOGIC". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Mattingly, Josh (March 3, 2013). "The Greenlight: Anodyne". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ Gesualdi, Vito (May 3, 2013). "Review: Anodyne". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]