[Review] Edna & Harvey: The Breakout – Anniversary Edition – Nintendo Switch

Written by Paige Detlefsen
  • Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
  • Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
  • Release Date: 6/17/2020
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by Daedalic Entertainment

Video Review

Introducing: Edna & Harvey: The Breakout Nintendo Switch

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is a point-and-click adventure game that originally released in 2008. Now the game has an Anniversary Edition that comes with an updated art style and bigger resolution.

Toe-Biting Suspense

edna & harvey: the breakout - anniversary edition Nintendo Switch

Edna finds herself in a padded cell, with only the company of her stuffed rabbit, Harvey. While not remembering much about herself, she’s sure that being imprisoned there is a mistake. With Harvey’s help, she starts her quest to break out.

They’re Coming To Take Me Away

edna & harvey: the breakout - anniversary edition Nintendo Switch

The gameplay is like most point-and-click games. Edna can poke, try to collect, or talk to any interactable object. She moves about the environment with the control stick either to move between rooms, or get closer to points of interest. There are times where you’ll need to move a bit quickly, though thankfully not often. Annoyingly, Edna may stand in front of the objects she is talking about.

She can also use objects on the environment – most notably Harvey, who’ll comment on the item/situation. As you progress through the sanatorium, you’ll collect more items. Some can be combined together in your inventory to create various concoctions. A few times throughout the game, Harvey will Tempomorph the both of you to Edna’s memories. Here, she’ll acquire a new ability by recalling her past, such as biting her toenails off to unscrew door locks.

Once out of your cell, Harvey isn’t the only one you can talk to, as other loonies — I mean, patients — situate the common areas. Here, you’ll try to negotiate what you need to progress, swapping items or relieving them of their possessions if need be. There are achievements, but most entail things like blasting tomato sauce on anything that lets you.

Finger Painting

The game has a very clean hand-drawn style that’s decently animated, with some extra flourishes over the original. A couple interactions in the game have some unique animations, but there aren’t many. You have the option to use the original style of the game which looks good in its own way. If it didn’t decrease the resolution, I’d use it more often. Moving through the asylum, I did feel like it had a real sense of a building and not just screens shoved together.

The game has voice acting throughout and I find Edna’s soft-spoken tone to work really well with her character. You can change the dub to German if you choose, and there are few other language options for the subtitles. All dialogue can be skipped through with the B button, which is greatly appreciated. Text outside of conversations is displayed above a character’s head in colour, which can be a bit hard to read. There’s a small but decent soundtrack. My favourite is the piano tune in the past segments.

Going Off The Rails

The game ran smoothly docked and handheld, and I came across no technical issues. The controls were another matter, as you need to move close to points to select them, then use the right stick to pick an action. In a place with lots of options, it can be difficult to grab onto the one you want. It seems that there’s no cursor option or touch controls.

Conclusion

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout – Anniversary Edition is a humorous classic style adventure game. For the most part, things aren’t terribly illogical, but Edna will need to know the context to use items sometimes. Other puzzles are a bit too reliant on short animation tells. You might be running some circles until shortcuts are unlocked.

Depending on how stuck you get, it’ll take roughly ten hours to beat. It’s stated the game has twenty hours of content, and if you care to listen to every piece of dialogue, I’m sure it would. So, it could be a bit short, but most games in this genre are, and the achievements aren’t really worth going back for. Unlike some puzzles, the main plot point was easy to figure out quite early on, but there is charm and a challenge to be had.

Pros

  • Great art style with the option to use the old
  • Good voice acting with some funny lines
  • The asylum feels like a real building

Cons

  • Fiddly controls with no cursor or touch options
  • Less-than-intriguing plot
  • Text can be a bit hard to read

Verdict

The asylum’s gotten some fresh paint on the walls, but it feels a touch sticky.

3.5/5

Leave a Reply