Over the last five years, Daedalic has been steadily improving its hand at crafting point-and-click adventure games. From its first game, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, to its latest, Deponia, Daedalic has been refining the aspects that needed work while maintaining the humor and offbeat nature of its stories. So it should come as no surprise that Harvey’s New Eyes is the team’s best game yet.
In case you haven’t played the first title, here’s a quick summary. Edna is a patient at an insane asylum, but with the help of her talking toy rabbit, Harvey, she escapes by pushing her doctor, Dr. Marcel, down a flight of stairs. The first thing to note is that you don’t need to have played the previous entry to enjoy Harvey’s New Eyes.
Despite the name, neither Edna nor Harvey are the stars of the show in this sequel to The Breakout. This time, Lilli is the main character. Lilli is a sweet, quiet, trusting girl with a variety of minor mental disorders, who also happens to be a mass murderer. Oh, she doesn’t mean to be, but people tend to die around her. In any case, her best friend is Edna, the new girl at the convent school. The Mother Superior has quite a temper when it comes to Lilli, despite her sweetness, and so calls in Dr. Marcel to help her deal with the behavior of all the children. Of course, Edna can’t let Dr. Marcel see her, so the adventure begins as Lilli tries to help Edna escape the school.
It’s a twisted story and it is told entirely by the other characters or by Lilli’s narrator. You see, Lilli never actually says anything. She is constantly interrupted by other characters and her internal monologue is recounted to us, in his own words, by the narrator.
As is usual with Daedalic games, your inventory of items is not just for carrying around story items, it is also where you combine some of the items you find in order to get new, more interesting items. Also, to progress through the game. Occasionally, there will be small logic minigames to play through, but if you can’t figure them out, don’t worry. You can skip them anytime you want, if you can’t figure it out or just don’t want to figure it out. A very nice touch is the added ability to hit the space bar and see everything in an area you can interact with.
The graphics, as usual, are hand-drawn and do a great job of being both simple and detailed. The cartoony look does a great job of bringing out the starkly-contrasting themes of childhood innocence and murderous violence. The audio is great, with the songs providing a good atmosphere for the story and the voice acting pretty good, considering how hard it is to voice children.
Harvey’s New Eyes is one of the best point-and-click adventure games I’ve played, and its dark, twisted story is definitely one you should experience. That is, if accidental mass murders by a child don’t disturb you.
Pros: interesting and dark story, nice graphics, good music
Cons: one of the minigames is rather confusing