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Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
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Final Score
7.0
7/ 10


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We liked?


Dark humor, done well

Not so much?


Illogical solutions take some getting used to


Final Fiendish Findings?

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a cheerfully psychotic walk in the world of an adorable serial killer with some pretty hefty denial issues. It has a very dark and macabre humor that is just perfect for Halloween, but it’s definitely not for the kiddos. It’s a great example of a truly challenging adventure game, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely worth a look for those who are not easily offended.

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Posted October 30, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Aren’t you just the cutest little serial killer ever?

Lilli is just the sweetest thing. She’s cute, and quiet, and always does what she’s told…and of course she’d never hurt anyone. So if fatal accidents just happen to occur while she’s around, why it’s not her fault at all. No, sir….sweet little Lilli would never hurt anyone. Edna is Lilli’s best (and only) friend at the orphanage they both live in, so when Edna asks Lilli to “get rid of” her problems, kind Lilli is happy to oblige. In fact, all sorts of “problems” have been disappearing lately, from the school bully to a creepy smoking clown, and Lilli couldn’t be happier with the way things are turning out. Of course, some of the other kids aren’t quite as keen.

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a singularly disturbing new adventure game from Daedalic Entertainment, an acclaimed German developer known for their previous games in the genre. One of those previous games happens to be the precursor to Harvey’s New Eyes, but if you haven’t played it, not to worry. You’ll be just as creeped out and confused whether you’re new to the series or an old hand. This is a game that is just plain weird, and your enjoyment or lack thereof will mostly depend upon your particular brand of humor.

Although the title of the game is a bit misleading, the star of this show is little Lilli. In true adventure form fashion, she is sent off on a series of tasks by the other characters in the game. Mother Superior and Edna are the most demanding of the bunch though, and you are really kept busy with one job after another. From relocating termites to silencing a snitch, the first chapter of the game is made up of running back and forth, trying to please everybody and ending up pleasing no one. Of course, that is the story of Lilli’s sad life, but it’s told here in an incongruously happy way. Lilli herself rarely says anything at all, but the endlessly cheerful narrator gives a constant play-by-play of Lilli’s simultaneously happy and psychotic thoughts.

One might think that a cartoony world occupied by a little girl joyfully doing her chores would be completely free from violence, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is actually a very dark and macabre story – and the cheerful telling of it makes it all just a little bit more creepy. While Lilli is seemingly oblivious to the carnage and chaos around her, it is obvious that all is not right in Lilli’s world (or head). You don’t actually ever see anything bad happen. You simply set up a not at all innocent scenario like a sword poised to cut a rope holding a large stone gargoyle over a loving couple’s head, leave the room, hear a crash, and come back in to see little potato gnomes painting a body shaped lump.

In fact, the first time little Lilli killed someone, I was actually confused when I performed the right actions, and nothing happened. And then I left the room. Like most adventure games, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes follows the rule that not only must you figure out what to do, you must do it in precisely the right way. You’ll soon figure out that you can set up the hit, but Lilli needs to leave before anything will happen. Of course, that makes it hard to figure out when you’ve actually done everything you need to do, and it also means there is a lot of back and forth between various locations going on. It really isn’t a game for the easily bored, or the easily offended.

Nonetheless, Harvey’s New Eyes is a game that does appeal, to a certain type of person. If you’ve played adventure games before, then you’re already well familiar with the endless go to this room, deliver that item, then go back into the first room, turn something on, go back again aspect of the genre. There is some frustration involved, at least there was for me, in figuring out the strange logic of the game. Figuring out strange solutions like pouring a cocktail onto a feeding trough to eventually locate an herb really take a little stretching of the imagination, and there isn’t a hint feature if you do get stuck. You do start to get into Lilli’s head as you advance in the game though – both literally and figuratively – and that does start to make some of the very odd solutions make a strange kind of sense. Which is a little disturbing in its own right, now that I think about it.

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a cheerfully psychotic walk in the world of an adorable serial killer with some pretty hefty denial issues. It has a very dark and macabre humor that is just perfect for Halloween, but it’s definitely not for the kiddos. It’s a great example of a truly challenging adventure game, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely worth a look for those who are not easily offended.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)