ProMaRaRo 3: Anodyne

I like Anodyne. I liked it more than I expected to, in all honesty: I was expecting a solid and aesthetically pleasing retro-gaming experience, but what I found was something much stranger and more beautiful than I had anticipated.

Anodyne is a game that consciously erodes its own limits, forces you to wonder what’s intentional and what’s accidental. Is the story deep, or trite, or touching, or nonsensical, or self-indulgent? Or something in between? Was it supposed to be? Was that a glitch, or a secret? Was that a design decision or a technical constraint? Who knows?

The thing is, all games are like that. They’re all the product of the technical and the artistic, but usually the two stand next to each other, uncomfortably tapping their toes and checking their cell phones and pretending the other one isn’t there. Anodyne, though, embraces this tension, as it does the tension between other concepts: Future and past, responsibility and freedom, loneliness and exuberance, birth and existence.

I still don’t know what this game will be to me, exactly, looking back on it, as I move into the future. But I am glad I got to experience it now.

Now, what do we have next?

Up next is…

Oddworld 2!

… by which I think I meant Abe’s Exoddus. Probably.

This is sort of a strange one. I watched my brother play through the entire game back when it came out, but I don’t think I played much of it myself, and I despite picking it up on Steam I’ve never really gotten around to playing it again. As I recall these games were rather nerve-wracking, since they tended to kill you suddenly and unexpectedly and very brutally. Quite a bit like the classic Prince of Persia games, which they were obviously influenced by.

So, that’s what’s up next! This should be an interesting one to revisit.


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