Adventure games are having a bit of a renaissance in recent years, sparked by the massive kickstarter campaign for what became known as Broken Age.
Since then there’s been a raft of new games in this venerable genre, but really, adventure games never went away. A prime example of this was Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes, which was originally released in 2011 for the PC. Now, with a new iOS port, this game is being given new life.
Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes takes you on the journey of young girl Lili, who lives in a convent and is tasked with helping her friend Edna escape from the severe clutches of Mother Superior. The game spirals down from there. The story is contained within three distinct acts that take you to a surprisingly wide array of locations. The first is set mainly in a convent school, the second in the town nearby and the third in an asylum. While these sound rote, there are plenty of dreamlike sequences that interrupt these locations to give the whole experience an unpredictable atmosphere. The cartoony graphics belie its dark tone that sometimes delves into the surreal.
Harvey’s New Eyes is generally a traditional adventure game, and doesn’t stretch the boundaries of the genre too much. For the most part, you’re talking to NPCs, collecting information and items, combining them and generally messing around so that you can make headway in the game. You are given the option to skip some of the more trickier puzzles, though it’s always best to try and resist that temptation for as long as possible – solving some of these puzzles were genuinely fun once I got into them, and for the most part the solutions flow logically rather than ending up in a MacGyver style crafting situation. Fortunately, you have the ability to press a question mark button and instantly see what objects in the scene are selectable – a godsend that all adventure games should have.
Harvey’s New Eyes is self aware, with a narrator that guides you along your way. Fortunately the game manages the fine line of being witty without becoming insufferable. Perhaps too many games try and break the fourth wall and be “ironic”, but Harvey’s New Eyes does a good job of being funny throughout the six or so hours you’ll be with the game.
Harvey’s New Eyes has been adapted quite nicely to the touch screen, though I did find it much easier to play on the larger iPad than on an iPhone screen. I did find I needed to use the question mark button to move between scenes, as the touch targets were a little finicky to accurately press at times, especially in some of the more complicated scenes.
If you’re looking for some classic adventuring on the go, Harvey’s New Eyes is a great little diversion. It maybe stretches on a bit too long, but as a pick up and play sort of game that shouldn’t really be be an issue. A forgiving save system meant I could pick up and play for short stretches when time permitted, yet the story was compelling enough that I had to see it through to the end in only a couple of sessions. A quirky, strangely dark yet charming adventure, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes has been given new life on iOS, and is absolutely worth checking out if you missed it before on PC.
Released: August 2018
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment</p