Day of the Tentacle, Leisure Suit Larry, Myst. What do all three of these games have in common? They’re all classic point and click adventure games. While some of the older gamers may be overcome with waves of nostalgia, a lot of the younger gamers have never even played a point and click adventure game. That genre virtually died out in the early 2000s. Luckily indie company Daedalic Entertainment is working to revive this long forgotten genre with Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes. But is this game a true point and click adventure, or is it just a poor imitation?
A very important aspect of adventure games is the graphic style. If a game is going for a light hearted story, dark and gritty artwork will seem completely out of place. On the contrary, a dark and gruesome story set to cartoon graphics will leave the player feeling very confused. Luckily Edna and Harvey uses the correct art style for its story. The game is cartoony enough, but it’s still grim and sadistic, mirroring the story.
Like the art style, the audio of an adventure game is crucial to explain the story. With thousands of lines of dialogue, hundreds of lines of narration and countless other miscellaneous sound effects, good voice actors and audio engineers are imperative. Edna and Harvey succeeds in this regard as well. Each character has dozens of lines of completely voiced dialogue, with unique personalities and voices. The narrator is a perfect fit for the story and has the right level of sarcasm and wit. The only drawback with the audio, is the soundtrack. While it may fit the game perfectly, some of the background music does tend to loop during the copious amount of backtracking.
Gameplay is the core of almost any video game. Without fun and engaging gameplay, most games will fail. However gameplay is completely irrelevant in an adventure game. These games are very story driven, and there is very little to innovate or change. Luckily Edna and Harvey doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and does a great job of utilizing the style of its ancestors. With easy to follow controls and challenging puzzles, Edna and Harvey is the epitome of a classic point and click adventure game. Unfortunately, point and click adventure games are an incredibly niche genre. Regardless of how true to the classics the gameplay is, some people will not enjoy this genre.
What gameplay is to a first-person shooter, story is to an adventure game. Story will bring players in and keep them wanting to solve each and every puzzle to find out what happens next. Edna and Harvey succeeds here as well. The player assumes the role of Lilli, a young girl living in a convent. The leader of the convent, Mother Superior, has it out for Lilli, and berates her at every turn. Early on, Lilli is tasked with helping her best (and only) friend Edna escape the clutches of Mother Superior. From there the adventure begins. There is no shortage of checking small areas and combining every item that the player finds to solve the next puzzle. The writing is very dry, sarcastic and hilarious.
Edna and Harvey feels like a game that would’ve been found on DOS back in the early ’90s. With a gripping plot, unique characters and classic point and click gameplay, Edna and Harvey is a true point and click adventure. The only big issues are tied with the entire point and click genre. Slow moving gameplay and copious amounts of backtracking are complaints that are found in almost any point and click adventure.
Edna and Harvey is a lot of fun. Though it is more like an interactive book, it is still enjoyable. While point and click adventure games may not be for everybody, this game is definitely worth checking out. This game is the closest to a classic adventure game a player can get without loading up DOS Box. Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a must for point and click adventure game fans of all ages!
Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is available now on Steam for $19.99!