The PS One may be long confined to the history books but there are plenty of recent games that look back to that era for inspiration. Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is one of them.
Analgesic Productions and Ratalaika Games have released Anodyne 2 today for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, coming hot off the heels of the game’s successful release on PC… in 2019. OK, maybe not so hot off the heels, but it’s new for us console players.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust takes inspiration from the PS One era of gaming with its chunky visuals and retro aesthetic.
The game is a mixture of genres, described as being whimsical one moment and tragic the next. Anodyne 2 features puzzling gameplay, platforming, adventuring, and boss battles that switch the game from retro-3D to retro top-down SNES-style 2D.
Nano Dust distorts the emotions and desires of the dreamy denizens of New Theland. To help save those afflicted, The Center creates people called Nano Cleaners, capable of shrinking down, entering beings, and removing the Nano Dust. One such Cleaner named Nova awakens, ready to scrub minds and win hearts.
Traverse a fantastical lo-fi 3D overworld that feels like a half-remembered dream rendered on a PlayStation 1. Drift across genres and tones, feeling whimsical one moment and tragic the next. Roam by foot or transform into a car to find those suffering from Dust, then shrink down to enter their mindscapes. Once inside, wield Nova’s Nano Vacuum to solve puzzles and battle bosses in top-down 2D dungeons inspired by SNES games to remove the Dust.
Deposit Dust to further expand the world and find new citizens to assist. Meet new characters who question the ways of Nova’s creators at The Center. What exactly is Nano Dust? How does it really affect everyone in New Theland? Nova’s curiosity just might lead her to a whole new perspective if she listens to her heart.
With only two creators behind Anodyne 2, each aspect of New Theland feels lovingly crafted. Unravel late-game secrets to explore cut levels and better understand the oft-understood world of game development with commentary straight from the devs. Wander through Marina Kittaka’s surreal dreamscapes accompanied by Melos Han-Tani’s eclectic, emotional soundtrack.
“Anodyne 2 is a unique sequel, accessible to newcomers and fans alike, filled with Marina and I’s peculiarities and design sensibilities,” said Melos Han-Tani, co-founder of Analgesic Productions. “Games as groundbreaking as Anodyne 2 rarely come along, and I guarantee you’ll find yourself affected by its emotional narrative and surprising mixture of 3D and 2D gameplay!”