ANONYMOUS;CODE Review – Extreme saving & loading

Reviewed September 11, 2023 on Nintendo Switch


PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch


September 8, 2023


Spike Chunsoft



What if you could influence the future by reloading the past through save files? ANONYMOUS;CODE answers that question by putting you in a high-stakes visual novel where reloading your saves matters. Solve mysteries to protect your friends when governmental and religious forces align to eliminate you.

Reloading saves only happens at certain points in the story, which draws you in as you look out for them. The story’s slow pace allows you to understand the mysteries while bonding with the characters. There are several instances where your willing suspension of disbelief is stretched to its limits. Not to mention the story itself also takes some time to get going, which can be a turn-off if you want something easy to understand. But if you stay the course, you’ll find a thrilling sci-fi mystery that is hard to put down.

ANONYMOUS;CODE starts with Pollon, an aspiring white-hat hacker who wants to make a difference. While talking with his friends, he lies about having a girlfriend and goes to the train station to “meet” her. Miraculously, a girl named Momo appears and goes along with the lie. What starts as an innocent meeting between a boy and a girl eventually turns sour when the army gets involved. Momo is abducted by the army while Pollon is injured and unable to help.

Pollon then discovers his ability to replay the past by “reloading” a save file. Using knowledge of the past, Pollon changes events to rescue Momo. Pollon resolves to use this power to change the world, getting the chance when he learns the world will end. He must fend off the army, other hackers, and a religious organisation using his powers or everyone dies.

The story is ANONYMOUS;CODE’s strongest asset since it’s a visual novel. It’s a sci-fi mystery adventure that successfully delivers on its premise. The setting is properly introduced and there’s an easy-to-access glossary to help you understand the in-game terminology. The mystery is slowly fed to you, keeping you hooked without revealing too much. Everything comes together to create a story that’s hard to put down.

“Lighthearted moments remind you that these are regular humans thrust into an extraordinary situation.”

Despite the heavy scientific focus and dire mission, the characters get enough screen time to help you relate to them. Lighthearted moments remind you that these are regular humans thrust into an extraordinary situation. When crises happen, characters are affected by the consequences and see the damage for themselves. These come together to help you relate to the story and the people within, immersing you further.

This is a story where you must give it at least an hour before it gets good. If you aren’t a patient reader, this could turn you off if the premise doesn’t grab you quickly. There’s also several psychological, scientific, mathematic, and technological concepts scattered throughout the story. They are related to the narrative, but it slows down the pace significantly. This makes it easy to drop the story before it gets good, because it’s harder to jump into than most visual novels.

During the second half of the story, there are plot details that contradict each other. For example, the religious organisation that appears frequently talks about the inevitable end of the world. But they also act multiple times to ensure that the world actually ends. You can also find a few points where reloading the save works better than what the story ultimately chooses. These moments stretch your willing suspension of disbelief, breaking the immersion when you feel something doesn’t make sense. Combined with the heavy scientific explanations, it’s a heavy story that might lose readers before the payoff ends.

Thanks to the visual novel format, you can spend most of your time focusing on the story and internalising the new concepts. The characters do most of the hard work for you which takes away any frustration you would get from technology puzzles. Focusing on the story helps you understand what’s going on without worrying about anything too challenging. It also makes it easier to understand during the second half when events become more complex.

You control what happens in the story by reloading saves at crucial moments. It’s not obvious when you should reload which makes you pay attention to what’s going on. This is a double-edged sword because it helps you feel the pressure and tension of failure. But the windows for reloading are precise and it’s easy to miss, giving yourself a bad ending. You don’t get to choose which save you reload to, which takes some fun out of the mechanic. It’s easy to imagine a better situation for reloading a save, but you are railroaded into the game’s desired outcome.

ANONYMOUS;CODE loves obscure solutions, wanting you to spend time on the game to figure out the right answer. It’s another double-edged sword because it makes you feel great for spotting the answer. But this requires pressing the reload button frequently just to find the small opening where it works. This often breaks the immersion because you know it’s time to reload, but the game only accepts its answer.

The visuals in the game are great to look at, with 3D backgrounds combined with 2D character models. There are animated scenes and the game occasionally switches to a comic book format when action is intense. It’s great for leaving the events up to your imagination, with enough detail to help flesh out your thoughts.




  • Thrilling sci-fi adventure that's hard to put down
  • Perfect visuals and audio for a futuristic setting
  • Reloading saves as part of the story is a novel concept


  • The story takes some time to get going
  • Plot details sometimes contradict each other
  • Reloading saves requires finding the exact moment

ANONYMOUS;CODE is a story that requires a solid time investment from you. It’s a difficult story to grasp at first and things only get weirder from there. But if you do put in the time, you will experience a thrilling sci-fi adventure like no other. The concept of reloading previous saves is taken to another level and it’s done well. You really feel like you stepped into a realistic future that we might experience one day. It’s not a perfect story by any means and there are moments where the immersion is broken. But even with the flaws, it’s a visual novel that delivers on its premise and keeps you hooked.