Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes Review

There are a number of solidly challenging but intriguing puzzles in Harvey’s New Eyes, and the game story and setting do a great job of presenting good adventure game fodder. After that initial hurdle with the puzzles, as well, they tend to feel much more solvable as time goes on. There may be a lot of elements to solve for at once, but on the whole, Harvey’s New Eyes provides players with constant forward progress, which keeps the game from getting daunting.

Mixed in with the standard “find the item or items necessary and bring them to the right location” sort of puzzles we see a lot of in adventure games, Harvey’s New Eyes also features a small set of mini-game puzzles. One has players matching characteristics to fruit to figure out a puzzle, another requires a series of logical mathematical equations, and still another is like a turn-based RPG-style battle of characters. The best part of these puzzles is that they’re not mandatory — they’re fun on their own, but if they stall you, you can shuffle past them with the game’s handy skip button.

For the most part, the hints are handy but well hidden throughout Harvey’s New Eyes. Characters give you the information you need and everything is possible to parse through, and Daedalic cuts you some slack by making it possible to see everything you can interact with on a given screen by holding down the space bar. Just what you have to do with some of those things takes a little longer to figure out, but the information is always there.

Undoubtedly, the best parts of Harvey’s New Eyes are the “trance states” that Lilli enters in order to fight off her mental demons. These are the sequences in which Lilli breaks her mental blocks, allowing her to take certain actions forbidden to her. Venturing into her own mind, Lilli has to confront several inner demons to open the way forward, and the screwy, dreamlike world is surreal and intriguing.

Harvey’s New Eyes is a pretty great entry into the adventure game genre, and if you’re a fan of it, you’ll likely have a lot of fun here. Daedalic’s dark humor is a lot of fun, as are the knowing references to a lot of different bits of video game and nerd culture. The game stumbles very occasionally with translation issues — it was written in German, so some words don’t really make the transition to English, and there are a couple of minor sections that missed getting English subtitles — but for the most part, it’s really solid. It’s hard not to have fun with a game that does such a great job of not taking itself too seriously, but without pandering or being overly silly.

Pros:

  • Darkly humorous story
  • Challenging puzzles
  • Several solid hours of content
  • Cartoonish art style is goofy but a lot of fun and sets off the dark humor well
  • Lots of great jabs and prods at video game and nerd culture
  • Translation is largely great

Cons:

  • Occasionally a bit esoteric in its puzzle solutions
  • Some very minor translation issues
  • Fairly weak ending; a few plot threads never really get handled to satisfaction
  • Some points might stall players

Final Score: 80/100


Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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