2021 Indie Games Week 18: Adventures with Anxiety!
Adventures with Anxiety!, free on itch.io, is a short visual novel about a young girl and her anthropomorphized anxiety in the form of a dog. The choices in the dialogue are all anxious thoughts, the game encourages you to choose your own common anxieties while playing, and the dialogue progresses by you losing battles with your anxiety. The writing does a really good job of balancing very real anxieties with light hearted humor which builds towards a recognition that anxieties are not as bad as they seem. The lesson of the game is ultimately that your anxiety is trying to protect you, it’s a reflection of a past trauma, and it acts — often at inappropriate times — to warn you of something potentially dangerous. Learning to work with your anxiety and acknowledging it is your body trying to tell you something, is an important part of managing anxiety and your own mental health. At under an hour, Adventures with Anxiety! is definitely worth a playthrough and represents another quality entry in independent games using contemporary mental health science in progressive and interesting game design.