I first reviewed Anodyne in 2013. In fact, it was my very first game review as a full-time game journalist, way back in my first month at Polygon. And it forever has a special place in my heart as one of my all-time favorite Zelda games (even though, of course, it’s not actually Zelda).
It’s a thoughtful, beautifully designed top-down game in the vein of Link’s Awakening, aka, the trippiest, most playful of the proper Zelda franchise, and the sleeper favorite of many a fan. Anodyne is alternately darker—hitting on themes of violence and alienation—and goofier, with gentle game parodies and wilder settings. It’s still an all-time favorite, and you can watch a little bit of the game here, in a Guide to Games video we made about it back when I had long hair:
The game is finally on consoles as of today. If you’ve always been curious and you never grabbed it on Steam, this is a pretty perfect week to play it on PS4 (out today) or Xbox 1 (out on the 21st), and dive right into the adventures of Young, the game’s intrepid protagonist.
Have I mentioned yet that the music and visuals are amazing? And that this game started life as a student project (I still legitimately have a hard time believing that, as someone who’s taught game design). It's the product of Analgesic Productions, largely a two-person studio, who also made Even the Ocean in 2016.