Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes review
The Good:

Twisted humour with dark undertones; charming cartoony graphics; atmospheric soundtrack; more streamlined interface; wacky characters.

The Bad:

Puzzles and minigames too easy; far fewer interactive possibilities this time around; story in third chapter goes a bit overboard.

Our Verdict:

Another entertaining game for those who can’t get enough of the wacky blue plush rabbit, Harvey’s New Eyes simplifies the Edna & Harvey experience but is slightly less fun to play as a result.

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout was a huge success in Germany when it came out in 2008, but since the events of that game made a direct sequel unlikely, Daedalic opted for a spin-off adventure in Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes. Sequels notoriously have trouble measuring up to the first game, and to a degree that seems to be true for spin-offs as well. It's a pleasure to return to this offbeat world of intriguing neurotic characters and talking blue plush rabbits, but despite some improvements in the interface and a darkly dramatic story beneath its lighthearted comic veneer, the new game just isn't quite as fun to play as its predecessor.

Despite being the headline characters, Edna & Harvey aren't really the central figures here. This game is set in a convent school under the strict rule of Mother Superior, who hates children and has a hard time making them obey. Lilli is a young orphan at the school who is very well-behaved and always does as she is told, even when the tasks assigned to her don't always make sense and the other students constantly bully her. Her only friend is her roommate, Edna, although in her innocence Lilli doesn't always understand the feelings others have for her, leading her to believe that she's well liked by all.

When Edna learns that Dr. Marcel, an asylum psychiatrist she escaped from in The Breakout, has been employed in an ultimate attempt to get the children under control, she asks Lilli to eliminate all evidence that Edna was ever at the school so he won't know she's there. Combined with the other chores from Mother Superior, Lilli has a busy day ahead of her, exploring the grounds, talking to other students and personnel at the school, and finding and combining objects. In this case, "talking" is a running gag, as Lilli never actually says anything other than "Ah", "Uhm" or "But..." The others are eager to guess what she is trying to say, however, and finish her sentences for her before answering. Of course, they're often wrong in their assumptions, but in a funny way. At other times, a narrator fills in the gaps and explains, often sarcastically, what (he believes) Lilli is thinking.

For some reason, the other students around Lilli seem to be disappearing one by one, as whenever she returns to where she previously performed such tasks as removing termites from a tree or a balloon from a chandelier or finding a safe place to defuse a bomb, she just finds a strangely beautiful scene where gnomes are painting vaguely body-shaped blobs pink. Lilli is sure the girls have gone someplace else to play and doesn't recognize the blobs for what they really are, but it's immediately apparent to the player, leaving no doubt as to what role the gnomes will play throughout the game.

The first chapter is set in and around the school, exploring areas like a chapel, a classroom and the garden. Eventually Edna manages to escape and Lilli meets Dr. Marcel, who showcases his latest method of making children behave: a hypnotic blue plush rabbit, whom returning players will recognize as Harvey. Harvey hypnotises Lilli with his new eyes, and from that moment onwards she can no longer break any of a complex set of rules, such as: Do Not Play With Fire, Don't Contradict Adults, Don't Play With Sharp Objects, Don't Enter Dangerous Places and Don't Drink Alcohol. These rules are displayed in a kind of pop-up inventory at the bottom corner of the screen. Whenever you make Lilli try to do something from the list, she gets zapped with electricity and Harvey repeats to her the rule she just tried to break. Under certain circumstances, however, Lilli can retreat into her own mind and confront Harvey-demons there, finding ways to trick them into breaking their own rule or persuading them that there can be excellent reasons for exceptions, such as using fire to melt ice.

Fortunately, Lilli gets a little help in the form of a police officer, who convinces her she needs to leave the convent grounds. Easier said than done, but after breaking a few rules she ends up in a nearby village, with its police station, bar and cemetery. To find Edna's hiding place, Lilli needs to break even more rules. The third and final chapter takes place at a location best discovered for yourself, where you'll meet some more acquaintances from the earlier game. Both the somewhat silly story and the people feel a bit out of place in this chapter, but after about ten hours in total you'll reach one of three different endings depending on a decision you make in the last minute, all of them leaving you with many questions about Lilli's future.

One of the main complaints about The Breakout involved its clunky interface, which required multiple clicks to change between different actions you wanted to perform. Harvey's New Eyes is completely different in that regard, offering only one or two possible interactions per hotspot. A Harvey-shaped icon with two halves indicates whether you can look at, talk to or take a particular object, person or animal. This makes the game a lot less cumbersome to play, but it also takes away a lot of the first game's fun of combining everything with everything just to see what hilarious responses the developers had come up with. There's a few different comments for silly combinations, sure, but mostly you will just get a variation of 'that's not possible.' Conversations are still conducted by choosing available topic icons, a short description of the subject matter shown on mouse-over. Even with Lilli not speaking, the dialogue is mostly entertaining. Some speakers tend to be somewhat longwinded, but their lines can be fast-forwarded if you're impatient and want to get on with the game.

Continued on the next page...





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Game Info
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Territory Date Publisher
Download October 16 2012 Daedalic Entertainment
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Average based on 14 ratings

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About the Author
Astrid Beulink
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Comments

TrevorNZ
Oct 22, 2012

I’m REALLY enjoying ” Harvey’s New Eyes ” at the moment ....I would give it 4/5 and may go up to 5/5 Smile

Capitalism Ho!
Oct 22, 2012

Defenetively one of the best Adventures for me in the past years.
I also feel more like a 4/5, but def not a 5/5.
The mentioned downsides are pretty much true, though i cant tell about the English translation, es I played it on German on release here.
I really enjoyed it, much like it’s predecessor, Daedalic is one of the best thing that could happen to adventure games.

Comment in the title: The “Edna & Harvey” is only there in the English/International Version, in germany it’s just “Harveys neue Augen”(Harvey’s new eyes). It also wasnt there for the first Title, wich wa scalled “Edna bricht aus!” (Edna is breaking out!) over here.

Oscar Oscar
Oct 23, 2012

An excellent review. 3.5 is a fair score considering The Breakout got the same. Both games have their own unique merits.

The incredible array of responses in The Breakout was a huge achievement and I don’t blame Harvey’s New Eyes for not living up to such a task. But as the reviewer intimated, in a way it is a shame because it could have become known as THE series which removed repetition from adventure games. So perhaps a different path than I would have liked in the series but still a good followup, psychologically mature and entertaining.

LackingString
Oct 24, 2012

Just finished the game and I really quite enjoyed it.  4/5 I would say.  I loved the original and I still think its a better game in many ways.  Edna was a more interesting character than Lilli. 

The big difference in the games was the difficulty.  The Breakout had a few REALLY hard puzzles and a couple of ones that bordered on broken.  The puzzles in New Eyes were pretty easy, apart from one which suffered from a misunderstanding about a biological term.  I wish they could have found a more happy medium but in the end I enjoyed my all too short trip it that creepy little world.  I would love to see a sequel that went back to Edna as the main character.

cassa2419
Oct 24, 2012

Think the review is pretty much spot on. The puzzles were quite easy for not only the lack of options/interface compared to the original, but the lack of hotspots themselves. Puzzles are quite easy to solve with only 3-4 pieces of inventory on hand at a point in time. The logic puzzles were fun, but could have been made more challenging without the hints that were provided such as revealing an additional clue when a grid is filled in correctly or face reactions to a puzzle in the third chapter. Overall, a wonderfully enjoyable experience though!

TrevorNZ
Oct 24, 2012

I’m still loving ” Harvey’s New Eyes ” but I’m up to a part that keeps crashing…..SO annoying Frown

cassa2419
Oct 25, 2012

I did have a similar issue straight after the first scene of Chapter 3 Trevor.  A full computer restart did the trick for me. Smile

Cone of Tragedy Cone of Tragedy
Oct 29, 2012

Awesome game. Definitely 4/5 or higher.

zane
Nov 2, 2012

just finished it and i loved it, quite possibly more than “the breakout.” The puzzles may not have been hard, but i found them very enjoyable. And i liked the clustered immersion (multiple people giving you 3ish tasks simultaneously). The story was awesome.. lots of neat little things happened.
I was a bit disappointed that it didnt have the insane interactivity that the breakout had. But its understandable why they cant do that every time. The game is certainly packed with plenty of entertainment.

lewuz lewuz
Sep 13, 2013

I didn’t like 1st Edna&Harvey;, but I loved this one! I didn’t like characters in the 1st game, including Edna and Harvey, but Lilli is likeable.
The review is good, but various aspects pointed out as negative are positive for me. HNY is really a great adventure.

Fronzel
Jun 29, 2014

Its management of tone and use of plot twists are inferior to the previous game. A horrible revelation late in the game doesn’t really have much in the way of meaning, and there’s a plot twist on literally the last screen of the game which just lays out what seems like should have been a surprise alternate solution.



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