Title: Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher (Developer): Daedalic Entertainment (Rondomedia)
PEGI Rating: “Everyone +12″ for cartoon violence.
Pros: Very funny dialogue and narration, creepy and demented humor as well as game play, unique game play elements and storyline that make the game different from other adventure games, three different endings, includes lots of different puzzles and a RPG battle. Includes humorous tutorials for game play and mini games.
Cons: All endings are bad and unrewarding, the logic puzzles are hard because they involve critical thinking and lots of trial and error but can be skipped, it is rather scary and disturbing for kids (it won an award in Germany for best kids game?).
Overall Score: One Thump Up One Sideways; 87 out of 100; B; * * * * out of 5.
Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a dark and disturbing adventure game that will have you solving puzzles, performing tasks and doing things that you would never think a little girl would do. You will get some laughs out of it as well. Also you don’t need to play the first game to understand the plot of the second but it will give you a bit of background on the characters of Edna and Harvey.
Ain’t as Innocent as She Looks
In Edna and Harvey you play as Lilli, a little girl who lives in an orphanage/boarding school with several other children, including her best friend Edna (who was the star of the first game Breakout).
Lilli is a good girl who always does what she’s told, which usually ends up getting her into trouble. She tries to be good and always listen to Mother Superior Ignatius but, when she finds out her best and only friend Edna is being hunted by an evil psychiatrist, she has to learn how to break the rules to save her.
Although Lilli tries to always do what she thinks is right, her actions usually end up causing horrible results. For example, getting rid of some compost ends up causing a fellow student to be eaten alive by termites. Of course Lilli doesn’t realize this occurred since, every time something horrible or potentially graphic occurs, a friendly little field gnome comes and paints over it with pretty pink paint. In case you haven’t caught on yet, this game is just a bit insane.
What makes Edna and Harvey different from your typical point-and-click adventure is that it disguises itself as a cute little cartoony animated adventure game. In actuality, it is a sick and twisted mind screw. This game will have you doing things that make you cringe and laugh at the same time. The best – and worst – part is that all the crazy, messed up, insanity is being performed by a little girl who is oblivious to the havoc she is causing. She sees nothing wrong with hiding a live bomb detonator in a furnace where a student happens to be hiding, because the student told her he felt safe in there and wouldn’t leave no matter what. Besides, how was she suppose to know that live bombs tend to explode?
The mechanics of Edna and Harvey work just like a regular adventure game, collect items, use them, combine them, etc. You have to interact with people and help them before they help you. I’m not kidding when I tell you that this game is creepy. Sometimes you will have to do something and think “oh man is this the only way?” You don’t actually see anything violent happen because it all happens off screen (perhaps as another way to protect Lilli and cause her to not realize what she has done.)
Funny Yet Demented
There is a point in Edna and Harvey when you are hypnotized by a refurbished Harvey – who is Edna’s stuffed rabbit from the first game – and forced to only do things “good little girls do”: Obey adults, stay out of dangerous areas and not tell lies. At this point in the you get to possess yourself and go inside Lilli’s subconscious to convince herself to break these good habits in order to help Edna. These involve solving twisted and silly puzzles that involve convincing different forms of the Harvey doll that it’s sometimes important to break the rules. For instance, you teach a giant dragon “Harvey” that sometimes it’s okay to touch sharp things by pulling a spike out of his tail (if Lilli couldn’t touch the sharp spike then the dragon would have the spike stuck in his tail forever.) After you overcome the “habit” you can turn it off and be able to perform that restriction again, however, you can only shut off one restriction at a time which gives the game a bit more of a challenge.
The narrator does a lot of insinuating about what Lilli is thinking and says stuff that shows her innocence, like he is protecting her from what’s really going on. For example, when some one dies he will say, “Lilli wonders were her friend has wandered off to.” He also says some very funny things when you click on items or make Lilli do something that probably won’t work. At some point he even says something to extent of, “The narrator has run out of funny things to say and has grown bored.”
There are several logic mini games you have to play and even an RPG style fighting event. These mini games are hard, but a tutorial is given for each one that may help you solve the puzzle. Also, if you find you are REALLY frustrated and just can’t solve it, you have the option to skip it and the game will solve it for you.
No Noose is Good Noose
I loved the humor of Edna and Harvey and even the demented little tasks that Lilli finds herself performing. I even loved the narrator and his hilarious commentary of the game. I didn’t like the endings, though. There are three endings you can get (none are affected by the gameplay because you can just choose the one you want by the end game dialogue) and all three are unfulfilling. If you are looking for even a tiny bit of closure, you won’t get it here. There really is no “good” ending to this game and the narrator even makes a note of it in the dialogue.
Even so, Edna and Harvey is sick, twisted, demented, crazy and all around good fun. It is downright hilarious and will have cracking up and cringing at the same time. The use of logic puzzles and the RPG battle make it unqiue from other adventure games. Plus the use of strategy when solving the “possession” stages while only being able to use one restriction at a time makes it very different and challenging.
Despite its cutesy cartoonish appearance, the game is not for kids and also not for the squeamish. Have fun and don’t forget to bring you sanity.