Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Adventures With Anxiety

Go To

Adventures with Anxiety is a short interactive story by Nicky Case about a person and their anxiety, which takes the form of a big red wolf. However, the player doesn't take the role of the human; they play as the anxiety, which just thinks of itself as a guard dog, trying to warn their master of possible dangers. It can be played for free here.

This story includes examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Everyone has a name (including the anxiety wolf Beebee), but they're only listed in the end credits.
  • An Aesop: Anxiety can sometimes make you feel miserable, but fear itself is important for survival. You must learn to live with it as an ally, rather than starving it entirely or letting it take over your life.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The wolf is one of the human's anxiety.
  • Art Shift: When discussing emotional scars with the human, the anxiety wolf suddenly gets an extremely anime-esque close-up while noting that scars are cool, before the human tells them to cut it out.
  • Advertisement:
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Most of the first chapter is spent causing stress over trivial things, like the contents of a sandwich or the possibility of getting trampled at a party. So when actual danger shows up, like alcohol and jumping off a building, it's tricky to convince the human that you're being serious.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Your human learns that their friends were only using them, nearly die and potentially get injured from falling off a building, but you and your human survive and develop a better understanding towards each other
  • The Big Bad Wolf: From the human's perspective, the wolf is their biggest obstacle to happiness. In the credits, it's given the name "Beebee", as in "B.B. Wolf".
  • Brick Joke: If the player ends the first chapter by having the human curl up and cry, there will be a small marsh labeled "Lake Tears" when they return to that spot in the ending. Alternately, if the human destroys their phone, there will be a grave labeled "RIP phone."
  • Advertisement:
  • Book-Ends: The game begins and ends with the human and their wolf eating a white-bread sandwich on a stump.
  • Character Development: The anxiety wolf goes through this, first seeing itself as a guard dog and ultimately deciding it's more of a battered sheltered dog that sometimes screws up but still genuinely cares about their human. The human, in turn, goes from treating the wolf as an enemy to accepting it and hoping to train it better.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Chapter 3 has none of the comedy chapter 1 and 2 had
  • Cope by Pretending: The red-haired person (Hunter) throws parties every week as a means of taking breaks from the stress of life and silencing that inner anxiety animal. However, it immediately becomes apparent that this isn't healthy coping, as their parties go wild fast and are pure escapism.
  • Crying Wolf: Your role, both literally and figuratively.
  • Darkerand Edgier: Despite not being bloody, gory and cynical like some of Nicky Case’s other games it manages to be this by portraying the humans decent towards alcoholism realistically and making it clear that it is unhealthy and dangerous
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The images are black and white, with the exception of red things that can transform into anxiety creatures, like the human's hoodie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It is not until the human and the wolf encounter an actually life-threatening situation that they truly learn how to function together.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the credits, right before the list of real people Nicky Case thanks, there's a single frame of Hunter's repressed anxiety animal. It is a massive elephant, and it seems sad.
  • Group Hug: The story ends with the human embracing their anxiety wolf... right before it panics about them STILL eating white bread sandwiches by themself.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The color red is reserved exclusively for anxiety animals and the real objects associated with them, and the red-haired person has, well...
  • Humble Pie: If you you keep your human from jumping off the building, they'll lock the person who dared them to do it on the roof.
  • Iconic Item: Your human has a red hoodie with animal ears, which the anxiety wolf manifests from. There's also another human with a red hair bow, which turns out to manifest their own anxiety cat in the ending. The red-haired person's dyed hair turns out to be tied to their own repressed anxiety animal, an elephant.
  • Invisible to Normals: When the human is talking with her wolf, other people see the latter as her red hoodie, though the red-haired person is familiar with "dealing with your inner animal". Similarly, when approached by another human and their anxiety cat in the ending, the human and their wolf don't quite know what their deal was.
  • Medium Awareness: While having an open discussion with their human in the ending, the anxiety wolf remarks that they've only really had to deal with three types of fear, and that learning good coping mechanisms is going to be a lot harder than just pressing buttons in a game.
  • Mental World: The human has one where they talk to their anxiety wolf, since it doesn't exist in reality. Notably, the zone is black at first, but becomes white when they decide to sort things out.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether or not you can successfully stop your human from injuring themself in a risky dare, the final scene will either be just like the first, or the human and wolf will be bandaged up from their injuries.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The key to successfully avoiding your human jumping off of a building is to admit that you've caused harm by making big deals out of perceived dangers, rather than pointing out how dangerous the upcoming thing is.
  • Nervous Wreck: All of the anxiety animals seem to be a mix of this and Properly Paranoid, for better or for worse.
  • No Antagonist: The human and wolf eventually decide that their "one of us must win" mentality is stupid, and break their health bars before having a frank discussion. Even the red-haired person, while the instigator of actual danger, is just a person with bad ways to cope with their own stress.
  • Not So Different: It turns out that your human is not the only one with an inner animal. How people choose to deal with their animal, however, makes for a huge difference.
  • People Puppets: Winning an argument with the human allows the wolf to directly choose their next course of action between "Fight" and "Flight", such as whether to smash a phone showing distressing news or to curl up and cry.
  • Reality Ensues: A subtly ironic variant where the consequences of jumping off the building aren't quite as horrifying as the visions you can give your human with your special attack, but they are more realistic and detailed.
  • Shout-Out: If you warn your human that they're just using people on hookup apps, anxiety wolf sings a song to the tune of the Pokémon anime theme song.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: The last we see of the red-headed person is them sleeping uneasily on their couchas their anxiety animal, the massive elephant they've let it grow to become, sadly watches over them.
  • Versus Character Splash: Whenever the wolf and the human talk, it's presented this way, followed by you pointing out fears or the human taking alcohol as "attacks" that drain their opponent's health. They eventually decide this way of seeing things is stupid and smash their own health bars before having a chat.
  • Wham Line: Two, both said by the red-haired person. The first is when they offer your human alcohol to silence you, and the second is when they dare your human to jump off a building.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: