Anodyne takes a lot of inspiration from the earlier Legend of Zelda games, only instead of a sub menu filled with objects to use to solve puzzles and fight monsters you have a broom and the ability to jump. But don't go into this game thinking you'll be getting a Zelda clone on iOS, while it has a similar look and feel at times it is definitely its own game.
You play as Young who goes exploring the land with vague directions. To progress throughout the game you need to collect cards and keys to open up new areas. Finding these objects usually involves exploring the land, finding dungeons and defeating bosses. Being armed with a broom alone, Young uses it to attack enemies, sweep up and move clumps of dust to use as a shield, a raft and more. Only having the one item makes progress fairly easy once you know where to go as you either need the broom, killing everything or jumping to progress. This isn't such a bad thing on a phone as the game is long enough. There is a story in Anodyne, but god knows quite what that story is. The dialogue is purposefully vague or absurd, and depending on interpretation it can be intriguing or a bit too random. Either way the gameplay around the story is solid, and for the most part you'll be exploring, not holding long conversations with the NPC's.
Young's adventure takes you across a variety of landscapes which look good and add atmosphere, even with the limited pixelated look. As you move to new areas you're never quite sure what you're going to find, it can get quite surreal. The music like the visuals is atmospheric while you explore, it really suits the game.
Controls are what really hurt Anodyne. The D-pad doesn't feel right and the updated touch-to-move controls don't seem much better. There has already been one update to try and improve upon the controls and it is possible there is more on the way. Unfortunately this game feels like it really needs physical buttons, especially once Young needs to start jumping around. Fortunately the controls don't make Anodyne unplayable; it's just less enjoyable than the game should be.
Anodyne is a fun adventure game that sports a retro look which plays like a Zelda game. This adventure will last you for a while and has some cool moments. Chances are you will either be intrigued or frustrated by the dialogue that veers a bit too much to the absurd. If you can move past some annoying control issues there is a lengthy enjoyable game waiting for you to explore.