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

Review: Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes

2:00 PM on 10.22.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

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.



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 * 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!

Some more of not much tbh.

On The Fence

Five wrestling games in which kayfabe is REAL

Persona Still Reigns Perfection

Cblogs of 11/30/2015 + Saudi Arabian Ban Hammer

Eleven indie games that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in 2016

Should 'Mercy Spoilers' be a thing?

Thankful It's Over: Assassin's Creed 2

Virtua Memories: Virtua Fighter/Remix (Virtua Fighter Month)

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Project M is gone. One less Smash game to suck at!
Torchman avatarTorchman
RIP Project M.
JayfromtheSun avatarJayfromtheSun
Have a [url=]Harvest Moon 64 Review [/url].
Parismio avatarParismio
I thought it my PS Plus would end at November 30th, but it turns out it ends at the last day of December... Well alright then.
Alright guys, check this out; I'm going to write a paragraph, double space it, enlarge the font, then put a cover letter page over it and hand it in to the professor. What do you guys think?! I am best riter. #iwantareallife
TheCrazyEven avatarTheCrazyEven
Valve has lost almost all my respect: [youtube][/youtube]
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I wish more cartoony games would come out. Nintendo makes plenty but there should be more high quality games with whimsy. Where's Jak IV? A proper Crash? Anything that doesn't just involve mashing one button? Realism is fine, but there's a LOT already.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Okay, that's Fallout: New Vegas done. Can't wait for the next one to come out.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I'm new to Ultra Street Fighter IV and I suck and I still dig it a lot
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
R steepled her fingers and smiled as she looked over at S and Z. "We have stopped two shipments of breasts from making it to America as well as Europe, meaning those will be added to our boob coffer. In time, all the breasts shall be mi... I mean, ours.."
siddartha85 avatarsiddartha85
I finally backed Indivisible. After hearing about Red from Transistor, I played the demo again. That platforming is solid and I'm used to the combat now.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Man, I completely forgot how awesome Pokemon Black and White's soundtrack is. The Vs. Trainers theme is probably one of the best I ever heard, if not the best in the entire series: [youtube][/youtube]
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign is over $1.4 million! just a little more!
Dum, dum, dum! Another blog bites the dust! And another done, and another done! Another blog bites the dust! #RIPtumblrbecausefuckit
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Ugh, I've been sick for what feels like 3 weeks. If I die I leave all my games casket because they're mine. Stay away! *hiss, hiss*
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Apparently the upcoming Tri-Force heroes update makes the local-play only items possible to get for everyone. That's pretty great!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What youtubers y'all watch? I need more.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
more quickposts



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 -