Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: PC, Mac
Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a sequel to the point-and-click adventure game Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, which was released in March 2011. Harvey’s New Eyes allows you control of a new character to the series, the seemingly innocent schoolgirl, Lilli. The resident of a convent school, Lilli is made to do plenty of usual chores and tasks. The only problem is that she can never seem to do them right, and disaster seems always to follow. But that is quickly excused by the fact that Lilli is pretty much insane. The game quickly turns disturbingly (albeit never graphically) violent from the tutorial to the end of the game, all while maintaining an air of perfect innocence and denial. Lilli herself never actually says anything, being continuously cut-off and characterized by her friend Edna (the protagonist from the last Edna & Harvey game), her peers, authority figures, and even the narrator.
The story revolves around Edna and Lilli’s escape attempt from the convent and the evil psychologist Dr. Marcel (also a character from the previous game), who is being brought in by the Mother Superior to cleanse the convent of disobedience through reportedly “unorthodox methods”. In other words, escaping seems like a pretty good idea. As you adventure through the world and discover new places and people, you are often stuck wondering how much of the game is real and how much are the psychotic imaginings of a crazy little girl. Regardless, with environments and challenges well-varied, and a good length of gameplay, Harvey’s New Eyes is a fun game to play.
The visual style is cartoonish and quirky, much like the characters and the game itself. Everything is hand-drawn, and while it is not nearly the same quality as some other indie games like Dust: An Elysian Tale or The Binding of Isaac, the backgrounds and animations are still crisp and impressive. Particularly in the more disturbing parts of the game, the juvenile artistic design clashes ironically well with the violence.
The game controls well, and unlike many point-and-click adventure games, there are features to streamline the experience. For example, rather than having to use a separate tool to observe, talk, and interact, these options are all included in the cursor, and only appear when they are necessary. Further, by pressing the space bar the player can see all the objects that can be interacted with, preventing unnecessary clicking. Unfortunately, like many games of this variety, there are many actions that can only be completed in a specific way, making some solutions illogical. For example, you can’t cut off words carved in a tree with a sword or punch a hole in paper with a knitting needle. For the most part, this doesn’t get in the way of the experience, but it can certainly be annoying after a few hours, especially when one needs to cycle through item combinations until something finally works.
The music in the game is unfortunately quite repetitive, although it is well done and varies between areas and scenes. In a point-and-click game where the player may be stuck in the same area for a long amount of time, however, the music can definitely detract from gameplay, and accentuate the more annoying parts of the game.
The price is a bit steep for this game at around $20 on Steam. If you are a huge lover of point-and-click games, then I would say it’s a good buy, but wait for a sale. If you are any other gamer, I would recommend the same, although you may just as well want to wait for Zeebarf to come out with something free.