Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes

2:00 PM on 10.22.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

Youth in revolt

The first fifteen minutes of most games give you a good idea of everything that lies ahead. After going through the first two hours of Harvey’s New Eyes, I got the gist of what things were to come. So, this is basically some awkward throwback to '90s E-rated adventure games. At this point, I was tearing my eyes out at the game’s painful sense of humor and terrible voice acting. I actually sent an email to my editor, pleading to take me off this review. Then, I played some more.

By the end of chapter one, it suddenly becomes apparent that Harvey’s New Eyes winning “Best Youth Game” at the German Computer Games Awards isn’t disagreeable -- no, it’s a criminal act against children everywhere. This isn’t a comment on quality but on content, specifically the hard left turn that drives the game far away from child friendly territory.

If this is a game for kids, then Germany has some issues it needs to work out ASAP.

Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes (PC)
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment, Rondomedia
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment, Rondomedia
Released: October 16, 2012
MRSP: $19.99

Usually, I’d reserve the bottom line to, well, the bottom line, but due to spoilers I’m going to drop that information right here: Harvey’s New Eyes is a mostly competent adventure with some novel narrative and mechanic ideas that don’t quite come together. It’s worth seeking out, if you are hurting for a new adventure game and can’t wait for Chaos in Deponia. If this speaks to you, buy it and don’t read this review. Seriously, DON’T READ THIS REVIEW!

I try to avoid spoilers in most, if not all, my reviews but I feel doing that in this review would be a disservice to both the game and readership. To put it simply, there isn’t another game that takes quite as drastic a turn as HNE. It is the Audition of videogames: It either plays on your expectations or your friends spoil the whole thing for you. Assuming you have no interest in purchasing, let me be that friend for you.



OK, no spoilers just yet. Let’s start with what the game wants you to think it is rather than what it turns out to be. After a lengthy, self-indulgent opening credits sequence, HNE introduces the player to Lili, the game’s silent protagonist. She’s a do-gooder sequestered to a convent run by an abusive nun, who tells Lili that she “isn’t even fit to rake leaves.” Soon an evil doctor, who made an appearance in Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, is introduced -- and, no, it is not necessary to play the first game before jumping into HNE.

Of HNE’s three chapters, the first contains both its best and worst moments. This is because you’ll deal with the pedestrian conversations with some dull, cliche characters. Here’s your typical mean bully, ditzy blond girl, etc. Once the plot twist happens, it’s cathartic to see what becomes of them. All of a sudden, dismantling a WWII bomb and dropping a beehive on a student are the least of Lili’s misdeeds. Once the imaginary gnomes show up, shit gets real. You must be thinking, “Oh man! Imaginary gnomes? Now, I need to play this game!” -- but hold on a second.

The main issue with HNE is that it’s just not very good -- don’t worry there is a BUT coming up. The voice acting is atrocious -- and this comes from someone that thought Deponia’s was not bad -- the sound effects are the definition of budget, animation is next to non-existent, character design is crude, the puzzle explanations are muddled, the dialogue is uninspired, and the environments lack the interactivity I expect from an adventure game BUT -- there you go! -- the story is one almost worth seeing for yourself due to the sheer lunacy of it.



Once Lili crosses-over into a psychedelic otherworld to purchase deodorant from what looks like a giant pickle, it’s hard to recall where the story even started. Unfortunately, the story’s bizarre ideas don’t ever really come together. Nowhere is this more apparent then in the limp finale that just kind of cuts things off, regardless of which of the three endings you receive.

Some new mechanics are introduced alongside the dark humor at the end of chapter one. Lili isn’t only suppressed by a nun, she has also been brainwashed by an evil doctor! In order to get past these mental restrictions, she must unlock certain acts of rebellion by diving deep into her psyche. Throughout the game, you’ll need to equip certain restrictions in order to solve puzzles. This is more of a test in patience than a novel mental exercise. The very annoying narrator will tell you what you should have done. In case he doesn’t, there is a rabbit doll that will scold you for choosing the wrong one. Having to see the rabbit slowly walk over and away made me want to throw my keyboard at times. Clearly, I’m no Lili.

So much of what makes the game a repugnant mess in the opening soon makes sense by the end of chapter one, but many problems introduced at the start never fade away. From aesthetics to mechanics, there aren’t many nice things I can say about HNE that don’t have to do with the story. OK, here’s two: The backgrounds are wonderfully drawn, even if they are stagnant, and the game’s soundtrack is one of the best released this year. I’m still undecided if ending the game with a strategy-RPG sequence is a good or bad thing. If nothing else, it certainly fits the game's direction of having no real direction.



There is certainly room for a game that falsely advertises what it is during its opening hours. I wish more games were bold enough to play upon expectations. I also wish that HNE’s big narrative twist came with a sudden layer of polish and craft. Unfortunately, these things are sorely missing throughout.

If you identify yourself as both a big fan of adventure games and a very patient player, it may be worth diving into Harvey's New Eyes' sick, twisted world.



THE VERDICT

5.5

Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.







 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
So I received a mysterious box in the mail today. When I opened it I was blown away...The friends I've made here on Destructoid are amazing (More pics in the comments).
Parismio avatarParismio
FRISK PACIFIES YOUR FACE!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Woe is me. This month's Cblog theme is basically an excuse to draw pretty girls, and here I am with no time.
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe one day I'll reach bronze rank in Rocket League...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
A very Bloodborne-y moment.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Back in tip-top shape guys, feel waaaaay better than I have done these past few weeks. Plus my voice sounds slightly raspy now, meaning my Batman impression has been upgraded. Apologies to Gaj and Solar the most, my male-up kisses go to you: Xxxxxx
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wait... Is that...? Could it be...? It IS! Gravity Rush's Kat has taken a break from rushing and graviting to sacrifice some souls in Soul Sacrifice Delta! Which isn't even going for $8 on the PS Store right now! What a steal!
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
Finally got my in game time down to under an hour in Super Metroid. I'm pretty happy about that.
Shinta avatarShinta
https://killscreen.com/articles/falling-through-a-100-million-stories-in-gravity-rush-remastered/ Really great article about Gravity Rush's director (director of Silent Hill), and his 1970s French comic influences.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Unpopular opinion time: I not only consider Kanye West to be one of my favorite rappers of all-time — yes, I'm being serious — but he's one of the very few people in the world whom I'd consider to be a role model. I truly wish he would notice me one d
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Trying to play through Undertale's Genocide Route. After forcing myself to kill the Greater Dog, I'm really not sure if I'm emotionally capable of handling this game anymore...
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
"I would buy [game] if I had a Wii U." THEN WHY DON'T YOU!? "I don't want to." So you want to play [game] but you're not willing to buy hardware to play it? "Yes." Guess you don't really want to play [game]. "No, Nintendo should make games for Xbox." ಠ_
Torchman avatarTorchman
Nathan D, they say ROCKET PUNCH!
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
There should be an online multiplayer version of Gwent.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Torchman, what do the five fingers say to the face?
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Can we just get a yarn version of Bionic Commando already?
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Alright. All Waifu are garbage because they're all fake. There, I said it.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
All of your waifus when someone gives them a dollar.
Torchman avatarTorchman
IN THE NAME OF GLORIOUS ZEUS, I PROCLAIM YOUR WAIFU TO BE SHIT
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Alright, Torchboy. If it'll shut yo ass up about our waifus, here is Yukiko's privileged little white bum presented for your, uh, "pleasure".
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -