Anna

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Anna
592400-anna-extended-edition-windows-manual.jpg
Another horror game that's more like a haunted house than a terrifying experience.
Genre: Puzzle
Horror
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
macOS
Linux
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release Date: July 16, 2012
Developer: Dreampainters Software
Publisher: Kalypso Media


Anna is a puzzle game developed by Dreampainters Software and published by Kalypso Media for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. On April 13, 2013, the Extended Edition was released putting the game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Bad Qualities

  1. Low res graphics, which look even worse on consoles.
  2. Some puzzles have no indication on how you would solve them. For example, there's a part where you have to clear dark fog in a room using a lantern, but it isn't pure enough to get rid of it. So, you have to take two leaves that you used previously, put them in a mantel, and crushed them up to create electrum dust to make the light more pure. In no way does the game indicate that you can use the leaves again.
  3. The game isn't scary as the game is more like a haunted house as things just happen around you, but never to you, making it really boring. Similar to another awful horror game.
  4. The game is extremely short. It can be beaten in about half an hour if you know what to do.
  5. The story is dumb and makes no sense. The plot is that a man with amnesia goes to a sawmill, where the man remembers killing his real wife after she defiled Anna's statue. He finds the statue, along with dolls of his children, in a small chamber. As the tunnel to the chamber caves in, he realizes that he will stay in the chamber forever, but he does not care because he has "Anna" with him. Yes, all this happened because of a statue.
  6. The game constantly loops the same acoustic track over and over again while solving puzzles, which gets annoying after awhile.
  7. The movement is sluggish as it feels like the character is sliding and other times feels like he has three legs instead of actually walking.
  8. The sound design is pretty bad as some are either too loud or compressed.

Good Qualities

  1. Okay voice acting, although, there's very little of it.
  2. It has eight different endings.
    • "Good Decision" - The protagonist gives in to cowardice and flees the Sawmill without investigating at all.
    • "Just a Scratch" - The protagonist has viewed the paintings of the girl being killed, but has had little exposure to any other supernatural occurrences. He regards the paintings as a depiction of the murder of a young girl suspected of witchcraft. He flees the sawmill, believing he has no ties to anything there.
    • "So Soon?" - The protagonist flees the house after believing the evil within has contaminated him. Night has fallen outside and the woods are alive with distant chanting and an eerie red glow.
    • "The Truth" - Our fears about the nature of the protagonist are confirmed, and we learn just who and what "Anna" is.
    • "The Whole Truth" - Our fears about the nature of the protagonist are confirmed, and we learn just who and what "Anna" is. There is also an additional scene after the credits where we learn what is hidden inside the chained wardrobe.
    • "Expelled" - The protagonist is overwhelmed by fear and falls unconscious. He wakes up outside the sawmill, believing someone has brought him outside. He chooses to flee rather than to further investigate.
    • "Inadequate" - The protagonist arrives at Anna's Room but he has not seen enough to remember his past. Anna stops him from reaching her and tells him his mind is lost.
    • "Sabot Maker's Way" - In his hopes to find Anna, the protagonist follows the same path as the tragic Sabot Maker... only to find a fate much worse than he ever imagined.
  3. Some of the puzzles are actually pretty good like the colored leaves puzzle that requires you to match certain leaves with certain murals.
  4. It has decent atmosphere that is kind of unsettling and calming at times.
  5. The Extended Version fixes many of the original game's problems.
  6. The soundtrack is okay as it gives off a more calming aroma to the game.

Reception

Anna received mixed reviews from critics. The graphics, story and sound were praised, but it was criticized for the obscurity of its narrative, complexity of its interface, and difficulty of its puzzles. The horror elements were both praised and criticized by different reviews; IGN said that the lack of death removed any sense of threat, while Zero Punctuation praised the horror but claimed the immersion was broken by the necessity of a walkthrough. It received a score of 55/100 on Metacritic.

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