Edna & Harvey: The Breakout (iPad only) by Daedalic Entertainment started out as a student project in Germany, and made an English debut on Windows a couple of years ago. While the game – originally in German – was a hit in its own country, it wasn’t particularly well received when it arrived in North America. Daedalic Entertainment is hoping the iOS adapted controls and re-release as a mobile version will help bring the multiple-award winning adventure game the accreditation it received in Germany.
Gamers play through the point-and-click puzzling adventure game as Edna and her stuffed rabbit sidekick Harvey, whom she talks to throughout the game. At the beginning of the game, Edna finds herself in an insane asylum – she’s not sure how or why she’s there, but knows she definitely wants to get out!
The main gaming screen is a two-dimensional hand-drawn cartoon world, and gamers manipulate and interact with various objects on the screen in four different ways: look at, pick up, talk to, or use. Edna also collects items into inventory which can be used to manipulate other objects in the game – sometimes simply for fun, and other times to advance the story.
There is an impressive amount of dialogue – all with voice acting and unique responses to almost every interaction. While these unique responses are undoubtedly responsible for the 1.2GB+ size of the game, it’s all the spoken dialogue and individual responses that set it apart from many other games in the adventure genre.
Not only are the responses to every interaction different, but many are are witty, well thought out jokes and remarks, which contrasts the industry standard of the “I don’t know why you’d want to do that” response to most incorrect actions. Most puzzles use a combination of dialogue and inventory to advance the plot, and even though the limited comic book style animation is not overly impressive, the music and sound effects do enough to keep players engaged throughout the game.
While it’s been considerably cleaned up from the original English release, it’s not quite perfect yet, with some missed/awkward translations and mis-labelling of objects. In addition, to advance the plot Edna must travel through a series of rooms, sometimes over and over, forcing players to listen to the same dialogue many times which becomes even more tedious when stuck – something that frustrates all adventure gamers.
That being said, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is an old-school adventure game full of unique humor and crazy characters. For fans of the adventure game genre, this is a must buy.