Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes Review (PC)
There’s one fairly major aspect that people seem to overlook about point and click adventure games, and that’s the humour. Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is absolutely dripping with it, but I didn’t expect anything different from the guys at Daedalic Entertainment.
The game starts with a man and a guitar serenading you with a song about his dislike of seeing children bleed as the credits roll by. It then fades to a garden with a small girl raking leaves. A narrator then informs you that through the use of the spyware the game has installed onto your machine they know a lot of children are at your screens at the moment of playing, so they aren’t allowed to tell a more exciting story full of explosions, violence and robots. Instead you are introduced to Lilli, the character you will be playing throughout the game.
Lilli is a young shy girl who is bullied by the Mother Superior at the convent school you attend. You have been tasked with the impossible chore of raking all the leaves off the path and this works as a tutorial to introduce you to the mouse pointer and how to use and inspect objects in the world. It also tells you about pressing space bar to highlight selectable objects.
The aesthetics for the game are very cartoony and (trying not to sound negative here) childish, but they work perfectly with the game. To sound very pretentious, the art style reflects perfectly upon the supposed innocence of Lilli, but the dark humour of the narrator and the way you complete tasks offset it beautifully. For instance, one of the first tasks you need to complete is to get the cellar key out from the bottom of the well. You complete this by using reverse psychology on one of the “totally cool” kids to climb down the well to get the key. However, through the conversation he continuously berates and insults Lilli, so for good measure you knock a beehive down the well onto him and he squeals in pain shouting how he’s allergic to insect bites and stings. You then have to fill the well to get the boy out but he refuses to give you the key, so you lead a trail of termites and fire ants to him with honey. As you return to the screen where he was you find a potato-looking gnome that only Lilli can see painting the area pink. I didn’t understand the meaning of this until later on until I remembered two facts; 1) Lilli is meant to be an innocent little girl, and 2) German games are not allowed to show red blood…
The use of a narrator to explain Lilli’s thoughts and actions was an excellent method to have a near silent protagonist, but it also allowed the game to break the third wall a lot without having the character turn to the camera, which is what is done in other point and clicks when they’re trying to make a joke. This, along with the complete lack of realism, made for some very funny points in the game. For instance, there’s one part where you loosen a bolt with a balloon wrench, but before you do this the narrator informs you that the internet reviewers will just need to ignore this part.
I fell in love with this game nearly instantly. The art style, although cartoony, is beautifully done. The puzzles start easy and slowly get more complicated. The humour is second to none in recent games (Deponia coming a close second). Although slightly confusing at the beginning, the story unravels quickly but makes you want to keep playing. You want to find out how Lilli will next murder someo… I mean how a terrible accident will happen to someone Lilli came into contact with.
The only problem I had with the game was sometimes when the screens were changing it would freeze, which was a little worrying the first time it happened, but reminded me I should be saving fairly regularly anyway, and it never actually crashed. If you like point and click adventures I couldn’t suggest picking up Harvey’s New Eyes more, but I’m not sure it’s the best game to cut your teeth on as your first experience.
8 unexplained-deaths out of 10