Anomaly Agent is one of those games that you just can’t help but be on board with immediately. Players control Agent 70, an individual as part of an agency all dedicated to investigating weird ongoings in the world, be it dimensional rips, a club full of people that just can’t stop dancing… or even time loops. You are to investigate some of these weird ongoings amidst 2D brawler setpieces and its with this in combination of its neon-drenched cyberpunk world that the feeling of ‘indie sleeper hit,’ rolls in.
Ever since 2019’s Katana ZERO have I been looking for a good feeling and fast paced 2D side scrolling action game. A video game so magnetic in vibes and punchy in combat that it just demands your attention. Anomaly Agent isn’t quite that, but it is close. Consider my delight and vindication then when I learnt via a Reddit post that its Katana ZERO that serves as the game’s inspiration. Agent 70 tackles upon considerable amount of foes, using kicking and punch combos that chain together really well once you implement dodges or pistols, magnum revolvers and shotguns you can pick up.
Before long you get more weapons thanks to the anomalies you tackle. A baseball bat that’s effective at stunning, a fist for pushing back bunches of enemies and so on. Upgrades to max health as well as a bunch of passive and active perks including acid bullets, eletric stuns with your bat etc make things just that little bit more worth it, inching that little bit further with each life. Suddenly difficulty spikes that feel impenetrable are now possible. Worst comes to worst you can quickly resume play and respawn within a near instant, always at generous checkpoints.
Each and every character and environment in-game feels incredibly vibrant and brought to life. Developer Phew Phew Games takes advantage of the weird world they posit by creating a weird cast of characters and envrionments. One moment you’re taking on a wrestler, the next you’re trying to work out why the map is bending and shaping against your will as you suddenly are running and platforming along what was once a ceiling. The game and its story move very fast, introducing weird and charming concepts before moving on without a moment’s warming, it’s something of a warm and weird fever dream that I’ve stepped away from fondly even if I didn’t always register what was going on.
Anomaly Agent is Phew Phew Games’ debut and though it isn’t by any means phenomenal it is a creative and thoroughly enjoyable little title. It’s a wonderful first effort that feels like a good proving grounds for the developer to then go on and soar, creating something even bigger and better. Anomaly Agent is available on PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam. Check it out.