If the Game Boy Color Zeldas had split off into a weirdly self-referential mess of dark tones and philosophy, we’d had made it to something like Anodyne sooner. I don’t think I’ve ever played anything quite like Anodyne before. If the hushed hints at a deeper meaning and entrancing dialogue don’t pull you in, the more traditional game mechanics are bound to. It’s an open world to explore in the style of a Legend of Zelda overworld, complete with upgrades and dungeons hidden all over.
It’s a surrealist adventure if there ever was one, with increasingly odd characters and art style changes to accentuate how unnerving the game’s world can be, all replete with a great soundtrack. I can’t recommend it enough. I was absorbed into this world for a long time, and you’ll be there for hours, especially if you dive into the final challenges introduced after the game seemingly ends. It’s an excellent experience that goes beyond being a simple Zelda riff, and is one of my favorites from 2013.
In Honorable Mentions, the best games of the year that didn’t make the top ten are given their moment in the spotlight. While they might not be among HippoChippies’ ten best games this year, they were very, very close to making it there. This year, it came down to a list of 19 games that was trimmed into the Game of the Year list. This is one of the nine that almost made it.