Edna & Harvey isn’t what you might expect. Its cute, cartoonish animation can fool you. While this game may be about a young woman and a talking stuffed rabbit, there is a hidden darkness here. It’s not a horror game by any means, but the story and the atmosphere will draw you in with its growing mystery, while also surprising you with its tone. It’s an adventure game for any lover of a good story.
The game starts with Edna finding herself in a padded cell. She has no tools and no memory, except for her friend Harvey. You soon learn that Edna has been committed to an asylum for the mentally ill, and she has a past that she can barely remember. Edna only has one true goal: to escape.
At least you can’t hurt yourself.
Using touch controls, you can tap anywhere in the environment to have Edna interact. Every room is filled with hotspots, or interactive elements, which Edna can describe, take, interact with, or talk to. As with all adventure game, patience is your best weapon. You’ll need to explore every part of the room and think creatively. Edna starts out the game with nothing, so it’s up to you to find or make the tools you need.
Harvey isn’t without his tricks, either. Besides being an amateur standup comedian, he is Edna’s subconscious. At times, when you’re stuck, Harvey can provide advice. Throughout the game he will even “tempomorph,” which means he can take Edna into her past to teach her a valuable skill. These skills will make Edna a more fearsome escape artist, but they also serve a second purpose: the story.
The story is the real focus in this game. Edna finds out, little by little, why she has been locked up and what has happened to her family. It’s discovered early on that Edna has a connection to the doctor of the asylum, and it becomes clear that the doctor may not be following his oath of “do no harm.” The story keeps you playing. Like a good mystery novel, you will be dying to know what happens next.
A window to freedom.
The puzzles in each level aren’t brain-teasingly frustrating, which is a relief. Adventure games can try too hard sometimes, which can end one’s enjoyment. Instead, Edna & Harvey provides enough hints and tools to help you along your way. A button on the screen highlights all of the environment’s hotspots, so you aren’t left guessing which items you can interact with. There isn’t a straightforward hint system, but often Harvey will provide some clues.
Finally, the game gets a big thumbs up for its voice acting. In a game like this, bad acting would stick out immediately. Instead, the voices are quite humorous and enjoyable. Harvey’s jokes aren’t always the best, but otherwise the acting and writing are delightful.
Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is an adventure game that’s accessible to those who haven’t dared to play adventure games before. It’s easy enough to pick up and learn, and the story will keep you wanting more. It’s also a lengthy game, so you will have plenty of time to get involved in the characters and the world of Edna and Harvey.