While it took the enthralling 16-bit adventure Anodyne a number of years to reach the console shores, the sequel has materialized far quicker in comparison. That’s right, Analgesic Productions and Ratalaika Games have brought us a deeply personal lo-fi adventure in the form of Anodyne 2: Return to Dust. It’s going to combine 2D and 3D elements for a unique experience on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Are you sufficiently intrigued?
Well you should be, for many reasons, but let us try and explain what Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is all about. It begins with Nova, The Center’s newest-appointed Nano Cleaner, awakening to a surreal realm of dream-logic. Upon welcoming Nova to the world, the guardians explain her purpose, which involves shrinking. In a shrunken state she can enter the inhabitants of the land, and then remove any Nano Dust distorting their emotions and desires. You must go forth into the beautifully bizarre world of New Theland on a journey that messes with the conventions of genre, perspective, and tone.
Exploring expansive 3D landscapes inspired by the PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 era will become second nature. Navigate the overworld of cities, wastelands and valleys – by car if necessary – before shrinking down to enter locals in need of some assistance. And that’s where the other side of proceedings comes into play because upon entering their mindscapes, the world shifts to a gorgeous 2D GBA/SNES-like aesthetic – essentially representing Anodyne 2’s dungeons. Here, Nova’s Nano Vacuum will be handy for solving puzzles, battling bosses, and, of course, cleaning up the pesky Nano Dust.
By investigating the many mysteries of New Theland, you’ll discover Cards which, along with Nano Dust, can be deposited at the main city to unlock more of the world and encounter perspectives differing from The Center’s established ideals. Continue to donate Nano Dust to The Center to maintain a safe status quo, or learn an altogether new way to live.
If the whimsical, yet often strange, 2D and 3D adventure proposed by Anodyne 2: Return to Dust seems like the unique offering you’ve been waiting for, it’s now available for purchase on all of the digital stores belonging to the aforementioned platforms. For us though, that means venturing to the Xbox Store, where it’s going to cost £19.99 to own it. Be quick though, because there’s a discounted price in place for two weeks, meaning you can snap up Anodyne 2: Return to Dust for £15.99!
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust combines the thrilling scale and cinematic storytelling of 3D games with the tight design and easy-to-pick-up satisfaction of 2D action adventures. Explore gorgeous and haunting locales, speak with strangers, and make both friends and memories along the way. Nano Dust infects the islanders of New Theland, distorting their emotions and desires. You play as Nova, a Nano Cleaner tasked with seeking out the sick and shrinking inside their bodies to suction up the Dust. Traverse cities, valleys, and wastelands then shrink into the varied mindscapes of characters, from snowy, aurora-lit valleys to perilous volcanic construction sites with art that re-imagines the 16-bit and 32-bit console eras.