Developer: Analgesic Productions
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 18/02/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
It is not every day that a game in 2021 can be released with PS1 looks, some 16-bit top down gameplay and rhythm style games and be considered good. Not even good just feasible, but here we have it and it is outstanding. Strap yourself in for some size alter mind bending story and gameplay.
You play as Nova who is a Nano Cleaner and the saviour of this world. Nova has just hatched out of an egg to find that she must clean the Dust from the residents of New Thailand. With the help of a seed that is implanted in your brain, Nova can shrink and enter people and clean the Dust from them. Or the Dust will take over the world.
Like I said a little crazy, however, it’s an interesting story that weaves all the mishmash of games different styles together to make a unique and deals with some hard topics.
Anodyne 2 is a game that on paper really shouldn’t work, from the ps1 style open world to the 16-bit dungeon crawler that Nova needs to shoot her way though. The massive over world where Nova needs to find people infected with Dust, the world will see have Nova transform it to a car to get about quicker.
In order to get to the meat of the game, Nova will need to find someone to help. She does this by talking to NPCs around the map to get clues on who is infected. Once located they want Nova will need to do something, form them first before she can save their lives. for instance, like talk to them a lot. After that there is more you will need to tap X to fill up a meter that will allow you access to the next aspect of the game.
The next area is a mini rhythm game that will have Nova running to the Dust while it shoots crystals at her. This will have you holding down L to raise a shield and press the direction that the crystal shows. Made me thing sort of like guitar hero.
We are in to the main area of the game the 16-bit dungeon crawler this has Nova moving though a person fighting off the Dust and collecting it. And solving simple puzzles collecting kets to move to the next room in order to face the mini boss at the end. This felt like the old school Zelda titles I played on the Gameboy. I totally adored the levels and didn’t want to go back to the over world.
Anodyne 2 has a couple of problems within the 3D over world. One being the controls are a little clunky at time and not the most responsive. With the other being the camera id not responsive enough. Making platforming harder than it should be as well as general exploring.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a game that seems totally and utterly bonkers and something that would not work. However, it totally does, and the story is far more deep and personal than it lets on it will be. Mixing unique elements together to make a coherent game is challenging, however it works perfectly here.
For me I would say buy this, however I sure people will be put off by the graphics, give it a shot.