The year was 1996 - I was four. We had this old PC and I always shared with my two brothers. We each took twenty minutes before switching to the next person, with the aid of an egg timer. But there was always an exception to this rule, and that's when our dad came home from work and we all gathered around to play either Myst or The Dig. All four of us always tried to figure out how to get past the next puzzle, until eventually we gave up on The Dig because the disc broke. But man, that game was hard. It took us weeks to get out of the cave that was just after the start of the game.
No other game had rivaled that kind of difficulty. We stopped playing point-and-click games for a while and my two brothers stopped playing games altogether years later. I'm the last gamer in my family, and no other game was able to stump me quite as much as The Dig had. But then, I picked up Edna & Harvey.
I've never spent so much time on one puzzle as I had in Edna & Harvey. No other game has made me want to so desperately look up a guide on the internet, but I hate doing so cause it feels like cheating. There's no hints, there's no arrow pointing you to the next room, and it's probably the hardest game I've played to date. And I love it.
I can't really go on and on about the puzzles, cause that'd be technically ruining the game for you. All I can say is that the puzzles feel just like the difficulty that me and my brothers faced in The Dig. I had to run around and around the hospital multiple times, keeping myself from screaming "What do I do?!"
Which, now that i think about it, was part of the problem I had with Edna & Harvey. the loading time it takes to move between screens is around two to three seconds, which is far too long for having to move room to room. It may not sound like much now, but when you wait a couple of seconds only to have to wait a couple more seconds and a couple more seconds, it really starts to get on your nerves.
Another gripe I had with this game was the fact that the resolution never went past 800x600, but I got used to it after playing a couple hours. That's probably something that many people will probably call a dealbreaker, but honestly I find that the bugs are more of a problem. I only encountered two bugs, one of which was a simple visual bug that just seemed out of place, but the other one was a game-breaking bug where I had to look on the Steam community to find a patch. It took a few minutes but the problem was solved and away I went. It wasn't that big a deal for me, but I think it's only fair to provide all the information that people may need to know about this game.
Onto other avenues, the graphics are very colorful and stylized, yet the way the character's are drawn sometimes just rubs me the wrong way, especially when the human anatomy is seemingly disregarded at times, but then again we're seeing things through the mind of an insane woman, so I think it fits. Speaking of the characters...
Daedalic Entertainment, who made the Deponia series that I enjoyed, has once again pulled off the ability to create insanely interesting characters and environments, along with a story that kept me wondering "What's next?" as you lead Edna and her talking stuffed rabbit escape the asylum and find out the truth. (OK, maybe the mystery that's behind it isn't all that hard to figure out, but it's more of a "What event lead to this moment?" kind of wondering.) I also would like to point out that Harvey reminds me of Max, and it only makes me sadder that we may never see a Sam & Max Season 4, but that's a tale to tell another time.
And who can ever mention a point-and-click adventure without the humor woven throughout everything in the game? Unlike Deponia where everything is whimsical and colorful, everything about this game is extremely dark (except the way it looks.) Murder, depression, bipolarism, schizophrenia, everything that would be uncomfortable to talk about at the christmas family dinner is turned wonderfully humorous in this game. The story is simple, yet brilliantly executed. You'll figure out everything pretty quickly, but it's less about the destination and more about the journey.
Which brings me back to the simple yet elegant gameplay. I haven't played any new point-and-click adventure game that allows you to use anything with everything, and usually the results will be hysterical.
In conclusion, I found this game to be highly enjoyable despite some iffy parts, such as the art style at times and the slow transitioning of rooms. I was able to grab this game on a sale, though, and I found it to be well worth the price I paid. I'll be checking out the sequel, Harvey's New Eyes, pretty soon and I'm looking forward to what new adventures I can check out from Daedalic Entertainment.
Grab a copy of the game on Steam here!
What do you guys think? Does this game look like fun? Or a waste of money? Perhaps my hazy memories of The Dig isn't all that's cracked up to be and it's the easiest game in the world? Tell me in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This game was purchsed by the reviewer and reviewed on the PC Platform (Steam)
The extreme difficulty challenged me and I find it's dark and murderous charm quite infectious.