Originally released back in 2008, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout has a cool new Anniversary Edition and it's now available for console.
Although I don't play them much nowadays, I have a long history of enjoying plenty of point and click adventure games. From Hugo's House of Horrors to Blazing Dragons and Maniac Mansion to The Inner World, there are many great personal memories of mine in the genre. After having played Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition, I can easily say that it's one of the better point and click adventure games that I've played. You begin the story in a padded cell as Edna with a stuffed bunny named Harvey who's merely an embodiment of part of Edna's psyche. Your first task is to escape your cell and doing so involves a surprisingly complex series of events for what you can consider to be the tutorial. From then, you'll explore the asylum in which you're being held while meeting a wide variety of characters and encountering loads of tricky scenarios that often have layers upon layers of tasks to accomplish.
That's right; Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is an exceptionally complex game. On one hand, it's awesome to watch the game world gradually open up as you progress and see how its many facets are connected but on the other hand, you'll frequently wander around without knowing what to do and there's no real hint system in place aside from talking to NPCs and Harvey but the help that they offer is quite limited. On the plus side, the controls are very intuitive and points of interest even highlight on the screen as you walk near them which is super-helpful. I love the fact that you can quickly get so accustomed to the controls that they become second nature as many similar console adaptations can be rather clunky and cumbersome. Whoever designed these controls did one awesome job!
As I touched upon, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition features a wonderful cast of characters and they are brought to life with a talented voice cast. Edna herself is downright hilarious and watching her interact with the rest of the cast will often make you laugh out loud. Of course, the humour only amplifies when you realise how incompetent the staff of the asylum is and once you meet your fellow crazies. Many of them don't seem all that crazy and only possess some quirks but as you talk with them, you'll understand just why they're locked up. To complement the great cast and fantastic sense of humour, there are plenty of secrets to discover by using various items on different people and objects. Heck, you can even talk to your pen and it talks back. Great stuff!
Finally, allow me to discuss a couple of aspects that I wish were improved in this Anniversary Edition. The most notable downside is the animation. Yes, the cast of characters all look fantastic and the artwork is great. However, the characters could definitely use a lot more elaborate animations as watching them warp around a room or fidget about as you try to imagine what they're supposed to be doing can be quite jarring. Last but not least, there are a couple of endings and after watching both, I wish they were longer. Considering it's such a huge and challenging adventure game, the endings simply don't feel like a fitting reward for completing the journey.
If you're a fan of point and click adventure games with plenty of humour then you need to play Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition. Just ensure that you're ready to frequently refer to a guide and witness some truly awkward animations.
- + Elaborate point and click adventure with impressively complex situations
- + Awesome characters and sense of humour
- + Intuitive controls / cool secrets
- - Some situations are a bit too abstruse
- - Visuals are sometimes clumsily animated
- - Endings don't feel long enough