Monday, 15 June 2020
REVIEW - Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition
Review By Jon Donnis
I was kindly sent a copy of Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition by Daedalic Entertainment for review.
You play as Edna, a young girl who wakes up in a padded cell of an insane asylum with no memory of her past or how she ended up there. Her only help is her talking toy bunny Harvey. Will she be able to escape, regain her memory and find her way home?
Originally released over 10 years ago on Windows PC, you can play the game in its original graphic mode, or an updated HD mode. The basic games mechanics find you trying to solve puzzles, and get to the next part of the story.
Now I have not played this game on PC, but from videos I have seen you play with a mouse, as you would expect on what is a "point and click adventure", on Xbox instead you have to choose pre-selected points with your right stick, while moving around you character with the left stick. I hate to say this but it is a truly awful control system. It completely ruins the game when you first start and I imagine many players will simply give up. Why you cant just have a cursor on screen that you can move about with the right stick as you would a mouse I will never know.
However I am not many players, and I did not give up. And I am glad I did not, eventually you will get used to the control system, it will take a while, but when you do you will find yourself quickly forgetting how frustrating it felt when you first started the game.
The puzzles can be quite hard, and with no built in hint system, this soon turns into a game where you tend to rely more on trying every possible options, clicking every possible interactive element, as opposed to using pure skill. This is an annoying game mechanic, as it takes away a certain feeling of achievement, since you rarely feel like you get past an area or puzzle purely on skill, but more as on a trial and error basis.
With all of that said, I still felt the need and desire to complete the game, the graphics are fantastic in the new version compared to the older style graphics which you can swap between at any point. The characters you interact with are fun, well voiced over. And with two slightly different endings, you will want to make sure you make a save near the end of the game, so you can see both.
I am unsure how to score this game, I really came close to just giving up on the very first screen at the start of the game, and then again the first time I was supposed to swap controls between Edna and Harvey due to the fact it was almost impossible to figure out how to swap between them, as the game doesn't tell how, and the little clue (press up on the control pad) was obscured by onscreen graphics. I figured it out in the end purely by luck. Now I did not give up, and once I got going, I did enjoy the game, and I even started a second play through as I wanted to see how the early parts of the game would play, now I actually fully knew the controls, and I sailed through it.
I enjoyed the game in the end and as such I will score the game 7/10. But with that said, I implore the game makers to release an update so people can play the game closer to how you would on a PC, either with a plug in mouse, or with an onscreen cursor controlled by the right stick. Add a bit more of an on screen tutorial, at least until the first time you swap characters, and I would push that score up to an 8/10
Review By Jon Donnis
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Daedalic Entertainment releases Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition for the first time for the current console generation. From 17 June 2020, the award-winning adventure hit from Hamburg-based adventure game specialist can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.