I just finished Anna, the indie adventure/horror game I mentioned in my last post , and I have to say I’m pretty disappointed I spent $10 on it.
I knew going in that the game was supposed to be pretty short; according to the developers, there’s only about 3 hours of gameplay. However, it took me about 5 hours to get through because the interface/menu was slow and the puzzles are some of the most illogical I’ve ever encountered. Adding to the frustration is that the game isn’t translated very well into English, so reading some of the clues and dialog had me scratching my head trying to make sense of it, thus wasting more time.
Gameplay: basically you wander around aimlessly in this old, dilapidated barn where a bunch of weird, spooky shit happens as you piece together clues and try to advance into new areas. But in total there’s only about 5 different rooms you can get into. I found most of the clues to be pretty vague and I got completely stumped several times. I usually welcome that kind of challenge, but in this game’s case I felt it was due to poor design, not intelligent puzzles.
Another big off-putting factor was the crazy, seizure-inducing flashing strobe light effect that this game’s designer seems to be fond of. It’s not scary, it’s just annoying, and I’d wager damn near impossible for someone with epilepsy to play through.
One of the primary reasons I enjoy adventure games is for the story. I like assuming the role of another person and getting completely lost in the narrative, experiencing the adventure as if I were that person. However, Anna didn’t seem to have much of a story, and what little story it did have made no sense; at least not to me. Something about a guy who killed his wife because he fell in love with a statue? Honestly, I have no idea even after having spent five hours living it. The ending cut-scene didn’t offer much of a resolution, either. Supposedly there are three different endings, but honestly I’m not enthused enough to even want to play through the game again to see the others.
The saving grace for me was the game’s music and atmosphere, which I quite enjoyed. In fact, I liked the music so much I was compelled to look up the artist who contributed to the soundtrack, Chantry , who are evidently a gothic/progressive band. However, in the game the music is mostly acoustic guitar with female vocals.
I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on it or just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play it. As a fan of games like Barrow Hill ‚ Rhiannon , Scratches , and other similar titles, I really thought I’d enjoy this one. I guess some games just click with you and others don’t.
5 out of 10 stars.