With its weird blend of science fiction, fairy tales and dark humor, Anna’s Quest is the newest entry from Daedalic Entertainment. Being a point & click adventure, it uses a blend of scavenger hunting, talking toys and puzzles to help guide its hero on her journey. While this is definitely a family friendly game and completely appropriate for children, it still has enough of the “what the hell?” factor for the older crowd.
The episodic story follows the misadventures of Anna, a little girl who is suspiciously obedient, not only to her granddad but to the surprisingly tech savvy witch who kidnaps her. The reason for Anna’s abduction is discovered early on with the reveal of her of telekinetic abilities, a feature that the game relies heavily on as you progress. I would like to note, however, that we’re talking about a witch. A witch of the old European Forest variety. Totenkinder. Baba Yaga. Frau Holda. Let me tell you, those babes didn’t need to abduct children from the woods to carry out their juju. They packed their own juice. In fact, they usually just, like, ate kids.
Which leads me to the first round of WTF. It’s pretty obvious from the get go that we’re being placed in an old Germanic style fairy tale, complete with the forbidden woods that Anna only ventures into in order to secure medicine for her ailing granddad. That’s all noble and crap, and you naturally assume you’re in the past, at least until you arrive at the witch’s den and she has her own surveillance gear and a knock-off Cerebro in order to make Anna’s mental abilities come to maturity. Clearly, there’s electricity. Obviously, there’s the internet. So, why go into the woods in the first place? Does this kid not know what Amazon Prime is? Order some meds from Canada like a normal person!
This isn’t the only anachronism that doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things, and honestly, that’s kind of the appeal of Anna’s Quest as a whole. The story itself doesn’t exactly jive, and the little girl is kind of mean to animals and her responses are pretty ludicrous as she doesn’t want to use her telekensis to escape the witch because she’s afraid of making a mess. I have never, in all my years, witnessed a child who was terrified of making a mess. The whole time, all I could think of was if I was in this situation, I would have gone full blown Jean Grey, Dark Phoenix Saga and absolutely wrecked house.
It’s a frustrating aspect of the game, and maybe something is getting lost in translation from its original German, but for some reason that same lack of cohesion made me keep wanting to press on and see if there was going to be some kind of explanation as she made it out of the tower and continued into the woods to find the medicine her granddad needs.
I loved the art work in this as it had a surreal blend of lavender childhood sweetness and progressively morbid Neil Gaiman style imagery as you get further into the story. The music was a soft blend of celesta and strings which definitely kept you in the mood even if your eyebrows were permanently raised at the characters.
Anna’s Quest is available on Steam for both Windows and Mac and is currently on sale for 10% off until July 9th.
The makers of The Whispered World are back with a new point & click puzzler packed with witches, ghosts, spellcraft and an inexplicably polite child.