Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes – Review
Follow Genre: Point & Click
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: Mac, PC

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes – Review

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10.0
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Rating: 10.0/10 (8 votes cast)

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We’ve hit something of a second wind for adventure games in recent years. Highbrow titles based on pop-culture and a return of old-time favorites nicely complement each other. But there’s also a third venue to be explored: the indie-market. Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes, semi-follow-up to Edna & Harvey: The breakout, falls quite nicely into that niche.

Story:

Unlike in the previous game, Edna, a troubled girl stuck in a harsh convent, is just a side-character. This time it’s up to Lilli to go through the motions. Let’s introduce her: Lilli is a goody-two-shoes, that girl who’s always trying to please everyone, who has a crush on one of her classmates and the girl whose life couldn’t get more miserable. Lilli is also a sociopath.

Although she is blissfully unaware of that fact.

You see, Lilli is a walking disaster. It’s the reason why her fellow students shun her, the reason why Mother Superior Ignatz hates her guts, even though the old crone still has Lilli performing every odd job she could possibly think off.

Lilli’s only friend is Edna. So when Edna’s old nemesis, Doctor Marcel, shows up at the convent to ‘adjust’ the children’s’ behavior, it’s time to run for Edna. With Lilli’s help of course.

The story quickly further derails into standard point & click-faire. Which means Lilli is completing odd jobs and collecting seemingly useless objects to solve dozens of puzzles.

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes’ unique quirk is an emphasis on how badly Lilli screws up. Remember when we said she’s a sociopath? It’s true; whatever Lilli does to help out, it’ll mean certain death for at least one person unlucky enough to be in the vicinity.

Not she realizes this herself. Lilli’s juvenile mind even conveniently replaces blood, guts and any other sign of death with little gnomes painting the scenery pink. Blessed are the ignorant.

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Graphics:

At first glance, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes looks like a colorful children’s tale. Take a better look and you’ll see that the cute drawings are being complemented by some disturbing details that are always foreshadowing the things to come.

It’s those little things, like a change in the way lighting is handled, or amore foreboding color-scheme that turn this into the disturbing game it is.

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Sound:

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes opens with Needle & Stitch, a song that’s both iconic for developer Daedalic Entertainment and for this game itself. For Daedalic, because their best -and more recent– games are all accompanied by similar songs. For Edna & Harvey because the lyrics, proclaiming “I can’t watch children bleed”, fittingly highlight Lilli’s own inability to accept the horrific results of her actions.

The rest of the musical score is decent. Safe for the intro it never manages to stand out, but neither does it start to annoy. If anything it comes close to gaming’s version of muzak -you should all totally go research that on Wikipedia right now-.

The same goes for the voice acting. Voices fit their characters, with only a few cases that made us grit our teeth. Lunch lady Doris, we’re looking at you.

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Gameplay:

The game starts as any regular point & click. Objects need picking up, location A isn’t accessible until object B is given to person C, who sets of a chain reaction for objects D to H. It’s not until the end of the first chapter that things get more interesting.

By then, Lilli has been hypnotized. Having to cope with several restrictions, like not being allowed to play with fire, drink alcohol or go to dangerous places –you know, the sensible stuff- makes solving puzzles a tad harder than it was before.

In other words: put on those thinking caps.

Trying to undo those restrictions takes Lilli inside her own twisted brain, where a, mostly uncomplicated, puzzle needs fixing.

Only one restriction can be lifted at the same time, again limiting Lilli’s ability to comply to the wishes and demands of those near here.

We have two main gripes with Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes. First of all, the game is far too easy. This is a genre that’s often plagued by games adhering to their own twisted logic, but Harvey’s New Eyes is too ‘properly logical’ for its own good. The fact that both in-game characters and the narrator blatantly give away the answer to any puzzle or riddle doesn’t help either.

Our second complaint ties in with that. For all the disturbing and crazy things going on in the game, there could have been more ‘adventure-game logic’. You know, the kind of thing that would never make sense in the real world, but that seems to fit oh-so well in the eyes and mind of the main character.

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Conclusion:

We’re saying it again: Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a disturbing game, one that makes you feel uncomfortable whenever another gnome starts masquerading what should be the bloody remains of yet another unlucky child.

It’s madness, proper madness. As such it’s also a game that’s gleefully different from the usual comedy-theme that’s so abundant throughout the point & click genre. Harvey’s New Eyes isn’t without its faults, it could have done with a little less hand-holding, but it’s certainly a game that we’re glad to have experienced.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (8 votes cast)
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Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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