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LONG BLOG

I Love Anna

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Since Iím not the best at describing games, I would say Anna is an explorative horror game. By which I mean you arenít so much chased by horrifying creatures but wandering through a creepy and immersive space where you feel like you might be chased by horrifying creatures at any second.

Officially however, the game is a Ďfirst person horror adventure with 3D graphicsí, is set in an old sawmill in Val díAyas, Italy. You begin the game in a sunny, lush and beautiful garden, seemingly in a remote forest; in direct contrast to the houseís atmosphere. The player must solve puzzles in the seemingly deserted house while their sanity declines, resulting in some terrifying instances.



This scenario is what made me run to my bed at midnight and decide I was done with this game, at least for a while. Every time I walked past this mannequin holding a candle, the shadow flickered. Every time, I nearly †flew out of my chair. Then, the wooden figure appeared. Blocking my way. Facing me while I tried to slip past. Arms stretched out, with TEETH. She seems to appear anywhere and everywhere, leaving me constantly on edge every time I move.
I truly believe the atmosphere of a game can make it stand apart from others. While Annaís gameplay and mechanics have serious issues regarding controls, knowing how to progress, and instinctiveness, it provides a terrifying atmosphere. I was constantly wanting to explore the house, and discover what was really going on there. At the same time, I was shrieking whenever I came around a corner to be faced with a wooden woman with massive gnashy teeth, her pointed twig-like fingers stretched out towards me. I knew something horrible had happened to her, and I found myself imagining what would happen, should I have to encounter her properly. I.e., where she could actually kill me.

Overall, Anna is very much an explorative game, and you will probably need a walkthrough to complete the puzzles. I loved it because it was simply terrifying, in a quiet, unsettling way that survival horrors simply donít provide to me. Anna features gothic music, with haunting vocals by Italian band Chantry, contributing to the supernatural and eerie feel of the environments. Anna communicates a deep and unrelenting sadness, in a way that really permeates how you move throughout the game.
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About emuishereone of us since 5:54 AM on 11.25.2013

Hi there, my name is Sian. I'm a Communication Studies graduate from Australia. Recently I wrote a thesis on how Csikszentmihalyi's Flow theory can be applied to video games, in order to explain how games can contribute to happiness.

Currently I am a PhD student looking at how video game culture creates identities and communities, with a particular focus on women.