As a child, a few of my favourite video games mixed side-scrolling platforming with beat-’em-up-style fight. As a lot as I loved Tremendous Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, I spent most of my youth replaying Streets of Rage or Aladdin for the Sega Genesis. One thing about these video games clicked: the music, the visuals, the gameplay. All of it labored collectively in good concord. 

That’s how I really feel about Anomaly Agent; every thing works collectively like a loving marriage. The retro-inspired graphics are the very first thing to catch your eye, however will probably be the fight, which delivers a contemporary method to the basic side-scrolling style that retains you coming again for extra. 

Anomaly Agent Is One Of The Greatest Indie Video games I’ve Ever Performed

What’s actually outstanding, although, is how entertaining the story is. Whether or not it’s the twists and turns, the time-loop-focused narrative, or the well-written characters, I had simply as a lot enjoyable watching cutscenes as I do chaining combos in fight. Moreover, the game gives a dialogue system that, albeit temporary and considerably shallow, nonetheless delivers tangible rewards to assist strengthen your character. Seeing these rewards over the game is a nice shock as a substitute of supplying you with totally different narrative endings. There’s nothing unsuitable with branching narratives, however that’s not the kind of game Anomaly Agent is. It’s all concerning the fight, and boy does to shine. 

The game focuses totally on combo-based, hand-to-hand fight however throws in some platforming. Anomaly Agent isn’t afraid to throw new concepts and gimmicks on the participant, however it by no means feels overwhelming. There’s a pure movement and development in place. You begin with primary assaults, are launched to ranged assaults, can carry out primary combos, and are finally given particular talents to assist defeat extra highly effective enemies. Regardless of being a side-scroller, the game has lots in frequent with Hole Knight. It lacks the Metroidvania features of the favored indie hit, however the idea of dodging/parrying enemies and unleashing devastating assaults is alive and properly. The platforming can be remarkably easy and fluid. There are by no means any irritating moments in these platforming sections, and as a substitute, all of it flows collectively terribly properly. 

Picture Credit score: Phew Phew Video games.

What might be irritating at instances, although, is the occasional difficulty spike. Highly effective enemies or harmful boss assaults are properly telegraphed, however it’s straightforward for issues to be misplaced within the shuffle. Fortunately, the checkpoint system is right here to avoid wasting the day. There aren’t any irritating moments of replaying the identical part time and again since you hold dying to a boss. As an alternative, the game throws you again right where you have been, letting you get again into the melee sooner moderately than later. It’s an understated and delicate design choice, however one I’m grateful for. It makes these troublesome battles that rather more fulfilling. I’m relieved as a result of I used to be in a position to come out victorious moderately than being completely happy, I by no means must play by way of that part ever once more. 

What’s most spectacular is how developer Phew Phew Video games reveals a formidable quantity of restraint within the game. It’s extremely straightforward for a game like this to be stretched too skinny. Anomaly Agent refuses to overstay its welcome and as a substitute focuses on delivering nonstop leisure. Some sections drag on a bit, however they’re few and much between. Many of the game can sustain the tempo. 

Anomaly Agent Nails The Feeling Of Outdated-Faculty Facet Scrollers

Anomaly Agent ties the room collectively, evoking the sensation of taking part in these basic facet scrollers. Sure, it talks the discuss, however it additionally walks the stroll. The one factor lacking right here is the blinking alert that tells you where to go subsequent. 

The one factor actually lacking right here is the flexibility for co-op play, however actually, I’m undecided how properly that may have labored out. Nonetheless, it’s good to see a mini-revival of the side-scrolling style. Anomaly Agent is probably not as pure to the beat ’em ups as, say, Shredder’s Revenge, however I’m okay with it evoking extra of the Hole Knight really feel. For as a lot as I really like video games like Streets of Rage, it typically appears like I’m simply mashing buttons. There’s a rhythm and dance that exists inside Anomaly Agent’s fight that helps elevate it above every thing else. 

The icing on the cake is how properly the game performs on Steam Deck. That is an expertise I like to play on my sofa or in mattress, and I’m grateful for the Steam Deck compatibility. 

Picture Credit score: Phew Phew Video games.

Wrapping Up

Anomaly Agent actually wasn’t a game on my radar, however it must be on yours. Sure, the fashionable visuals might be the very first thing you discover, however the game is a lot greater than that. Fight is a dream that rivals most AAA video games available on the market right now. I can’t understate how fulfilling the writing is; I’m somebody who usually glosses over dialogue in a lot of these video games. I’m not right here for the lore; I’m right here for the fight. Anomaly Agent’s writing had me glued to the display. 

In a world where most hyped releases really feel underbaked, Anomaly Agent delivers. Don’t miss out on it. 

Anomaly Agent Assessment – I Know Kung Fu


Distinctive gameplay that balances motion and platforming.

Trendy graphics.

Combines the very best of old-school facet scrollers with a extra trendy tackle fight.

Intelligent and witty dialogue.

  • I’m the Editor-In-Chief of BossLevelGamer. I am additionally a lover of video video games, meals, and beer.

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