Harvey’s New Eyes Review: The accidental serial killer

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is the unexpected venture through the consciousness of a schizophrenic serial killer. Dressed up in storybook animation, facetious narration and a deceitful angle the adventure takes you on a journey of a damaged child fighting for the well being of her best friend.

Welcome to the psyche of Lilly, a friendless, parentless, and unloved adolescent girl who diligently obeys her Mother Superior, head of the convent where she tragically lives out her childhood years. Lilly is frequently verbally abused by just about every one around her, never allowed to finish a sentence. She only has one friend, Edna. Edna is a whimsical older sister figure living in a fantasy world of space pirates and insect circuses. She’s the only one that understands and cares for Lilly, holding the premise of a possible escape from this dark life to a better place.

When the malevolent Mother Superior abruptly announces that the infamous children’s psychologist Doctor Marcel will visit the convent to rehabilitate the disobedient children, Edna is immediately frightened and in direct danger. Edna and the good doctor have a history and she knows that he’s come to reclaim her for his sinister work. Edna turns to Lilly for assistance and tasks her to get rid of all evidence of Edna’s existence in order for her to escape safely and leave no trace behind.

While Lilly nobly attends to these tasks she leaves an eerie trail of bodies behind her. It all seems inadvertent; the gruesome fates met by Lilly’s victims are consequences of her childlike innocence and ignorance. Lilly appears to have no awareness of the corpses, tiny potato men cover each corpse with pink paint, instantly rendering them non-existent to those around them. As events escalate Lilly becomes more anxious and desperate to complete her tasks and a feint glimpse of possible malice starts showing through the cracks. When Lilly manages to complete the last task for Edna and returns with the good news, Edna had already gone. She couldn’t stay any longer. 

As much as Edna’s escape should be a great relief, danger is never far away. Lilly is next on the doctor’s hit list and not even the undercover police man trying to expose the repugnant crimes of Mother Superior and Doctor Marcel against children, can save her from what’s about to happen next. Utilising a bizarre Harvey doll, Lilly is brainwashed by Doctor Marcel. She’s now unable to disobey the adults and escape her turmoil. Conquering a series of trances, Lilly is able to lift restrictions in aid of her escape and when she does, she finds herself in unknown places meeting an array of macabre characters.

It is not until the very end that you realize that Lilly is not who she seems, the world you are in is a delusion and this adventure had not been an adventure at all. Posed with the crux of Lilly’s dilemma, you have to decide what you choose to believe. It is not an easy decision. The twisted end to the tale is a deafening shot.

In many ways, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is a reflection of the delirious world we live in. It is not that far fetched that in reality such children or childlike individuals exists. Products of the horrors which creep in the darkest, repulsive corners of this world, one can not imagine what it must be like in the mind’s eye of a damaged child. Harvey’s New Eyes gives a perspective on that subject, whether it was meant to or not. Its simple gameplay is effective and hardly ever distracts you from the experience. The fact that you are able to choose whether you’d like to solve certain puzzles in between, or skip it without any penalty, prevents you from experiencing unnecessary pauses in the game. 

When I started up the game I was caught out completely by the opening credits and song. I couldn’t stop listening; I didn’t want to skip it. Listening to it after completing the game makes every doubt I had disappear. All of a sudden I just know what the story was about and it was heartbreaking. 

After doing the first couple of tasks I wasn’t quite sure about the game, but before I knew it I was engaged and immersed in a point and click adventure game about to take me on a journey I had never planned to take. I could never have thought that this game would be such a brilliant piece of work.

Scoring:

Gameplay: 8.0/10

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is simple to navigate around, but don’t be fooled by its point and click nature. Some puzzles may be harder to solve than you had anticipated and challenges you to think out of the box. Even with the aspects of puzzle solving, it is more of an experience than playing a game. Players convincingly step into the shoes of the host, Lilly, seeing the world and the events in it, through her eyes.

Design and Presentation: 8.0/10

This game really caught me out. It pulls the wool over the eyes of any one playing a title in this “franchise” for the first time. The animation, dialogue and humour completely blind sights you on what’s to come and bloody brilliantly so. It’s easy on the eye, the use of colour contributes to the illusion created by the other aspects of the game, including the soundtrack.

Value: 8.0/10

Edna & Harvey:Harvey’s New Eyes offers about 10 – 15 hours of game time, depending on the pace you play at. It’s worth every cent paid for it. I have to mention though, if you don’t enjoy art like games or games with deeper meaning, then you might not enjoy this game for what it is.

Overall: 8.0/10

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is the most unexpectedly gruesome and delightfully deceitful adventure game of 2012.

 

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Author:Yolanda Green

I like bacon and games, and occasionally I say something coherent about it. I'm not old or cynical, and I'm not the Dork Knight. I AM SHE-RA! Wait, what?

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