IGP First Look – ‘Anodyne 2: Return to Dust’

We have a lovely time with some eggy folks, putting together a balanced breakfast before we get to some emotional vacuuming work in this week’s IGP First Look.

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust follows Nova, a Nano Cleaner with the power to enter people’s minds and clear them of sinister, emotionally-damaging dust. You’ll find those troubled, dusty folks throughout the world of New Theland, meeting a variety of alien characters both funny and deeply thoughtful. Even at a glance, this world feels lived-in and full of interesting people to meet. It was highly enjoyable just to talk to people and learn about their troubles and the silly things in their lives.

The look of the place created this sense of scope within it as well. The PSX-styled visuals set the imagination wild with surreal structures and plant life, calling you to distant shores at sunset and stunning cities filled with unique beings. It’s all quite lovely, and especially when accompanied by the stirring, yet soothing soundtrack.

Exploring was wonderful, but so was the vacuum-based combat (how do Analgesic keep making cleaning products into fun battle tools?). You can use the vacuum to suck up enemies and objects as you delve into the minds of people afflicted by the dangerous dust, firing those objects at other foes to damage them. These powers are automatically put to work on puzzles and interesting battle situations, forcing you to vacuum with purpose. I got stumped a few times before realizing how many neat ways the developers put your abilities to work.

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust shows that the folks at Analgesic have lost none of their ability to create unique worlds filled with people you grow to care about, as well as compelling battle systems that get used in clever ways. It looks and sounds delightful, and I am itching to get done with this article and get back to playing it.

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is available now on itch.io and Steam.

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