Anodyne is a top-down action adventure game in the tradition of The Legend of Zelda with a 16-bit visual style. Despite the fantasy elements the game is set in a modern day time. The player controls the character Young and the environment is set in a dream world of his subconscious. There are beaches, cliffs, forest, dungeons and temples, but also locations such as a hotel or areas in outer space. Early on in the game he meets Sage, the village elder, who explains he has been summoned there because The Darkness has spread across the land, looking for a legendary briar. Young needs to find it first, before The Darkness does.
Typical for the genre Young can explore a fairly open environment. He needs to explore, fight monsters, collect items and solve environment based puzzles. There are also many characters to talk to. There are different areas in the game each with their own theme. To open up access at certain points, he needs to collect a number of keys or cards. There are also certain abilities acquired along the way that allow him to explore new parts in previous sections by backtracking.
Next to movement Young can attack with a broom, his main weapon. During his journey he discovers additional abilities that make it more powerful. He has a limited amount of health replenished by picking up items left behind by enemies. His health bar is also extended gradually by locating a flying creature in certain sections of the game. There is an unlimited amount of continues and when dead he respawns at the latest (manual) checkpoint. There are also various portals that lead to a hub allowing quick travel between areas once they have been discovered. Dust is an important game element. It can be picked and release elsewhere to solve puzzles. Young can also use it to travel over water without sinking. A map near the top of the screen adds shows a layout of the visited areas and their exits.
Massive thanks to our testers, who suffered so you don't have to!:
Marina Ayano Kittaka (for suffering through most of the initial bugs), Etan; for constant support since the beginning with many bugs found; and the third human to play through most of the game, Olivia ‑ thanks sis!, Runnan, Nick Reineke, Emmett, Poe, AD1337, Dennis, Andrew, Andrew MM, Carl, Max, Amidos