Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes by German adventure game developers Daedalic Entertainment was originally released for on the PC back in 2012 and followed on from the success of its predecessor Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. Seven years on, it has now been re-released, bringing the interesting characters and story to consoles.
Our protagonist is Lilli, a seemingly shy and well-behaved student at a convent school. Lilli diligently completes chores to appease the school’s cruel Mother Superior; although on the surface the tasks are seemingly simple, that doesn’t stop Lilli from making mistakes, at times to the detriment of her fellow students. Lilli has a best friend at the school, Edna – an unusual girl who some may know from the previous game (The Breakout). With the absence of family, Lilli is willing to anything to protect her friend. This is cemented when Edna finds out that her enemy Dr. Marcel is on his way to the convent and Lilli steps in to help her make a getaway.
Lilli is quite a clumsy child who inevitably inflicts great harm on her peers and acquaintances, although for the most part she is seemingly unaware of the consequences to her actions. When the times comes for these characters to unfortunately meet their untimely end, the gory scene is replaced with a potato like gnome applying copious amounts of magenta paint in a strange yet amusing attempt to sensor the horror. Lilli is ultimately hypnotised by Dr. Marcel in order to make her behave. She must then follow a set of rules, such as ‘you must not play with fire’ or ‘you must stay away from dangerous places’. With these rules in place Lilli is unable to misbehave and any attempt to do so results in her being shocked. Lilli discovers that she is able to break free from each of these rules by defeating different versions of evil Harvey. Unfortunately, there’s a catch – she can only disable one rule at any given time.
The core gameplay follows the traditional point-and-click adventure format that many will be used to. Items, scenery and characters all have interaction options, and collected inventory items can be combined to create a new objects that are necessary for story line progression. These combinations are not always intuitive, however, and at times you may find yourself combining everything you have in the hopes of finding the solution by chance. As with most point and click adventure games (on console, at least) the control system can be a little cumbersome, as they lend themselves much better to mouse control. Harvey’s New Eyes does a good job of trying to negate these issues, but the system at times does feel somewhat limiting.
For the majority of the game the difficulty is not too excessive – at times the puzzles even seem a little too simplistic – however the difficulty level did not drop enough to remove all enjoyment. There are also a few separate brain teaser puzzles which add a little more challenge. These are optional, as they can be skipped if the player finds them to challenging, or simply doesn’t have the patience for them. One of the more minor annoyances was having to backtrack between environments to see if anything had changed between attempting a puzzle solution and leaving, some events are only triggered on your return to the same area.
The game has some great comedic moments which is bolstered by the sarcastic and witty narrator who provides a running commentary of events and both successful and unsuccessful puzzle solving attempts. Overall the voice acting is good, the voices fit the characters well with only a few exceptions. Our protagonist Lilli is only able to speak very little dialogue. This becomes a running joke, with the poor girl only being able to utter the start of any sentence before being interrupted.
The games colourful hand drawn visuals are charming, and the art style is typical of a lot of games from the point-and-click genre. As these have not been updated for the rerelease they may seem a little dated, however long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgic feel.
With the exception of the opening title most of the soundtrack does not manage to stand out, but at the same time does bolster the overall game experience without becoming annoying at any point.
Without giving too much away the ending of the game may leave some players feeling a little cheated. The outcome almost feels lazy and I think a lot more thought could have gone into tying up the story in a much more cohesive and attentive way – especially as they’ve had several years to iterate!
In conclusion Harvey’s New Eyes is a strange little adventure that does not take itself too seriously. Although the game does have some minor sticking points, it has not lost its charm and is an overall enjoyable journey. As it is not necessary to have experienced its predecessor, it is an uncomplicated adventure which can be enjoyable for a wide audience. Its great to see some older games be brought to consoles and given a new lease on life. If you are looking for a simple and entertaining adventure Harvey’s New Eyes will still do the trick.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.