Daedalic Entertainment has done it again with Anna’s Quest and boldly waving that flag for the point and click adventure game. By now, we should have zero doubts that the genre is thriving with some quality titles.
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Why is it that seeing a figure like 2015 makes it feel old? If you think about it, it wasn’t that long ago – the PS4 was going strong as it is today, albeit due to PS5 shortages. While I wouldn’t part with mine, being an early adopter wasn’t worth it.
Still, this PC game from all those years ago makes the transition to the PS4, which this was reviewed on. A point and click from six years ago, played with a controller on PS4. Is Anna’s Quest worth it on console? Let’s find out…
Anna’s Quest (PS4) Review
Anna’s Quest is a Brothers Grimm variant, to some degree. Anna is a naive young girl that lives with her grandpa. As his health deteriorates, Anna ventures into the woods to find a cure for him. This is against his wishes, but he doesn’t have much choice.
She’s immediately captured and imprisoned by an old witch named Winfriede, who experiments on her. Nothing notably dark, just locked in a room with various stuffed animals, possibly poisoned soup and a camera affixed on her at all times. Oh yeah, she repeatedly sits under a device that sends ominous energy to unlock her potential.
Anna has telekinesis powers – which is a surprise to her, but also Winfriede when Anna promptly uses to her advantage and sets out on her journey, Anna’s Quest, to Wunderhorn and seek that cure that definitely exists.
Being so naive works against her, but as she’s so readable, she enlists some helpers too. A fairly useless teddy bear named Ben and a ghost, Joringel, soon to be detached from his skeletal prison, join Anna in the second chapter.
Move And Click
In the early chapters, you’re imprisoned by the witch and have to find a way to escape. This involves all the traits that can be expected from a point and click adventure as you pick up seemingly valuable items to be used in a later solution or helplessly combine everything in your inventory in the hope it works. We all do it, right?
Anna’s Quest resembled Day of the Tentacle, and Winfriede reminded me of Nurse Edna at first, but in reality, she’s not remotely mad and very switched on. There are comical moments throughout, but with Anna at the helm, it’s of a much more naive nature than snidey self-aware remarks.
Like the LucasArts title, it’s translated well on console. Moving the thumbstick will move Anna directly, and the right stick will highlight points of interest with a simple verb wheel. Pressing down on the d-pad will allow you to inspect your stash in full, or you can rotate through pressing up, then left and right.
It’s possible to highlight all interactive elements on a screen, but what’s interesting about Anna’s Quest is the number of misleading points. There will be items to interact with that serve no immediate purpose, throwing you off the scent here and there.
A Family Adventure
I’ve been playing point and clicks for decades, and while that may qualify me as a veteran, that doesn’t make me a pro. Some of the puzzles in the game aren’t ludicrously hard but are illogical, and on a couple of occasions, the only way I was able to solve them was a fluke, or Anna would let out an undeniable hint.
That said, the way the story and challenges flow, it’s very natural, with a nice tempo to the game. There aren’t visible objectives, but there are enough hints and repeated dialogue to redirect you should you need it. Once again, the tale goes at a nice pace, unlocking some revelations as you go along.
The most appealing part of Anna’s Quest on PS4 was playing with the family. I always hope to coerce my eldest into playing these sorts of games with me as she did with Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, and having this up on the big screen not only piqued her interest, but my youngest’s too.
That means a lot to play a game together that isn’t always going to be Gang Beasts, and while the youngest can’t read properly yet, we all took turns to solve the puzzles together, the reward in Anna’s Quest being the unravelling of the story.
A Moving Picture Book
There are six chapters to Anna’s Quest, aptly organised as a fairy tale in its presentation, with the menus for things like save games and bonus material displayed as if looking through a book.
When you get into the story, you realise it’s that, as well as the characters, that make Anna’s Quest a standout. Anna is very likeable. Her goody-two-shoes persona does grate in a few places, but for the most part, her kindness is infectious, and you want to see her journey through to the end.
While the voice talent was excellent, hearing every single piece of dialogue from the perspective of Anna was a little whiny at times, and the noise she makes when using her telekinetic powers sounded like she was having a dump. Nnnnhh! Generally speaking, though, as can be expected in the presentation department from a Daedalic game, it was of a very high standard throughout.
Anna’s Quest Review Summary
The title and question posted was ‘is Anna’s Quest worth it?’. Yes, absolutely. It’s a standout point and click that will appeal to fans of fairytales, fleshed out characterisations and problem-solving. Though it has its moments, it’s not a laugh out loud experience, but one that can be that doorway into family-friendly adventuring.
- Well-written dialogue.
- Beautiful presentation.
- Engaging story.
- Feels great to play on a controller.
- Anna can be a little too whiny at times.
- As cute as he may be, Ben’s annoying.
- Some puzzles aren’t so intuitive.