Anna – Extended Edition was developed by Dreampaints and published by Kasedo Games. The game was released on multiples dates during different years. The game is variably priced and is available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Steam.
When I prepared to play I was eager to get enveloped in a horror-filled game. I turned on my TV set, got a glass of water and waited for Anna – Extended Edition to download. I was not expecting much from a game that got mixed reviews at launch on the PC. I was nevertheless thoroughly surprised to find out that Anna is a slightly above-average game that has some redeeming qualities. Anyway I sipped my water and again waited for the download to finish. Since the recent console generation switch the gaming community has seldom seen a release of an Xbox Live Arcade title. Released on September 26th, 2014, developer Dreampainters first’s game Anna – Extended Edition has intrigued some people interested to see how different the extended edition would be from the original version of the PC.
What I Liked:
The backstory: I enjoyed Anna’s story and some of the backlogs that the journals you find provide. In other words while the story is somewhat confusing it is still enjoyable and unique and definitely makes the game special. Unique story telling is something games often strive to achieve and that aspiration was achieved in this instance albeit in a somewhat confusing manner.
Sound off and look good, Anna: The only thing that hinders the atmosphere of the game are the games graphics .They are sub-par and make the game look and feel like an Xbox original game. The graphic styles in no way make the game unique. I similarly felt that the soundtrack of Anna is quite excellent and definitely enhanced the Anna experience. This is especially true for the games wonderful background music.
There’s more?: Dreampainters has taken the liberty to add around one hour of content to the already existing for from the original PC version whether it be through the story, through the games puzzles, through journals, or objects. This addition is necessary in order to justify the games price point. These additions subtle additions are excellent and unquestionably make Anna a better game.
What I Disliked:
What just happened?: You are an unknown person who has become obsessed with someone named Anna. You have just arrived at an abandoned sawmill unaware as to how you got there and unsure how to proceed. Anna documents her (and ultimately your) struggle to find someone but is rather confusing in doing so. At certain points during the game I found myself questioning, “wait, that made no sense,” or “what does that even mean?” This is due to the fact the Anna has no voice acting which makes for a harder time following the overall story arc.
This isn’t supposed to be happening: Anna starts off with a certain sense of calmness and serenity which is elegantly displayed by the surrounding river in the initial scene. Needless to say with a horror game calmness and serenity are transformed into darkness and despair followed by a touch of relief. With these things in mind the atmosphere of Anna is excellent. It is exceptionally eerie, and fits the tone of the story. In contrast Anna’s controls were terrible. They felt like they were PC-level graphics and that no work was done on Dreampainters part to improve the controls so that they could be at least played on console. The controls of Anna are a definite moot point and really detract from the core game.
Anna is an excellent first game by Dreampainters and I enjoyed my time with it. With a little more polishing particularly in terms of the story clarity and controls Anna could be a fantastic game or even a contender for game of the year. I recommend Anna to anyone who enjoys a unique game. I would also recommend Anna to anyone who wants to make a splurge because they have nothing to do for five hours. On sale Anna should be a no-thought-needed purchase because of its uniqueness. At normal price however you should think twice before hitting the “buy” button.
Score: Wait for a sale
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