Reviews

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout review

Are you sane, for real are you really when it all comes down to it?

Let’s go nuts, or squirrel or whatever. Do not expect to keep your sanity throughout the hours you spend in the bare, albeit manicured feet of Edna. Nope this is probably the zaniest most wacked point and click adventure I have ever played. At times it runs laps around the solutions found in Simon the Sorcerer, and The Secret of Monkey Island series. This can be quite fun, but at times it goes to far from the beaten path. When a puzzle can’t be solved by deduction, induction or combustion I have had to resort to finding online walkthroughs. Yes that is right, this is one of the few iOS point and click adventure games where you don’t get a hint system. Some how this further annoys me when I can’t figure out what the heck the puzzle is in the first place.

Rewinding a bit to tell you about Edna, and her teddy bunny Harvey. Edna has experienced quite a lot during her brief stay on Earth, and this has scarred her deeply. For one she talks to inanimate objects giving them names, and feeling sorrow when she has to use them. The fact that Harvey talks to her is not that weird considering that everything seems to talk to Edna in some way or another.

Waking up inside a padded cell with a jailor with an obsession for mini-golf is just the start of it all. Just getting out of the blimming cell is an undertaking on it’s own, and it takes a lot of poking at walls, and inane conversations to get anywhere. Edna can also learn a trick or two from Harvey that are highly useful. There is also a bit of time travelling going on, and without getting too close to giving away spoilers I can say that nothing is what it seems anywhere with anything.

The controls in Edna & Harvey is a simple tap to move somewhere, and tap to open a point to interact with. There are four basic interactions: talk, use, take and look at. A basic rule is to look at everything, and listen to the description thoroughly. At times the least probable item might be the most important to complete a puzzle. Talk means that Edna, well talks to whatever you are interacting with. A lot of time talking to inanimate objects is a big part of exploring the world of Edna. Take is also rather useful, and I tried to take almost everything just because you never now what might become useful later on. Finally the use option that turns on lights, machines and open doors for example.
There is a lot of trying all actions pretty much everywhere making the game tedious at times.

To help Edna finding interaction points there is a handy question mark that gives you circles where it is worth poking at. It also shows where paths are by means of white arrows. Most of the time the controls work really well, albeit there are some times where quicker actions are required that have to be retried when Edna is too unresponsive.

There is a massive amount of content in Edna & Harvey, and this is the real strength of the title. If you are to complete the game without using an online walkthrough you might have to spend more than twenty hours running about. If you only promise yourself to use a hint when stuck you still get more than ten hours worth of crazy puzzles.

The presentation is cute, and although Edna might be lacking in animations those expressions she makes are hilarious. All characters are wonky, and add to the crazy vibe of the game. Environments are vibrant with something deliberately deranged about them. To some extent the game has a style reminding me of classics such as Day of the Tentacle, and Maniac Mansion.

Something further lifting the game is the great voice acting throughout. It enhances the characters, and gives a deeper connection to them. Complete voiceovers are available in English, and German. Being ok at German I can only say that Edna got even more insane listening to her in her native tongue.

In the end what matters most is how fun, and stimulating a game is. Sadly Edna & Harvey demands a bit too much tapping about on everything, as the puzzles are a bit too illogical at times. After a while I also start to feel that I don’t really care for Edna, and she might actually be better off in a padded room with a lot of heavy sedatives. The strenghts are definately the long play time, and the brilliant presentation.

Final Rating

good

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout $5.99 iPad only
Version: 1.0
Seller: Daedalic Entertainment Gmbh

 

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