Posts Tagged ‘Analgesic Productions’

Even The Ocean shows us how good people let bad things happen


Videogames aren’t much for quiet. They trend towards spectacle, to grandiose statements of scale, and the intense catharsis of violence. And sometimes that means we won’t hear a message unless its shouted at us, unless it roars above the noise ever present in this space. We prefer meaning to be blunt and dramatic.

So it’s easy to see how Even The Ocean, the second game from the creators of Anodyne, became lost at sea. The game’s core is in the subtle ways it reinforces its story with its puzzles, without a moment of combat in sight. But being free of combat doesn’t mean it’s free of violence. Here the violence is structural, rather than physical. It’s a story about who we harm on our climb up society’s ladder, and the ways we reinforce harmful structures to support ourselves. It’s a far cry from the cheeky surrealism of Anodyne, and a more measured story from a more mature team. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Anodyne?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Anodyne is a top-down game that acts as a junction where Zelda meets Earthbound, while Silent Hill looms large on the horizon. It’s a coming of age story with a side order of anxiety, as well as a game about games and the worlds that they occupy.

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Ulterior Design: Anodyne

I have a problem. In fact we all do, but it’s a good problem to have. The problem is this: there are far too many games to write about. I can’t open my inbox without finding news of something that deserves at least a paragraph of attention and more often than not there’s something that I’d like to dedicate a few hours and a thousand words or so to. Anodyne’s demo was like an injection of surreality and mystery straight into the brain-stem and now that the full game is out, I’m determined to play it. But when? Perhaps you have already taken the journey? Any thoughts? There’s a tantalising trailer below.

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Dungeons And Dreamscapes: Anodyne Demo

If the original Legend of Zelda had been an interesting legend about a man with a broom flitting between alternate realities – sometimes wholly fantastical, sometimes like our own world after some sort of unpleasant apocalypse scenario* – it might have looked a bit like Anodyne. Drawing influence from Yume Nikki’s dreamscapes but with strongly Zeldalike single screen puzzles. The demo, which requires Adobe Air, shows some smart design and has a charming weirdness to it. Before entering the main dungeon, after having your weapon mockingly appraised, travel right and then down to meet an odd man and hear his tale of mirrors. It’s suggestive of interesting and strange future-tales. Out soon.

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