Edna and Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 11.02.2021

Review for Edna and Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition on Nintendo Switch

Hailing from Hamburg Germany, developer Daedalic Entertainment is best known for excelling in the point-and-click genre of adventure videogames. Founded at the beginning of March 2007, the company's accolades include The Whispered Word, a unique approach to a fantasy world setting, and the Global Warming-focused, A New Beginning. Two of the most popular games to come from the studio feature a disturbed young woman and her talking toy Rabbit, with the first of the titles now arriving on Switch in a remastered, Anniversary Edition. Is Edna & Harvey: The Breakout a smashing escape to glorious freedom, or should it return to a padded cell?

Adopting a classic point-and-click gameplay, the player is tasked with examining all manner of objects, and making use of them to progress the plot. Suddenly waking up in a padded cell with no recollection of how she got there, Edna has only her speaking toy Rabbit Harvey for company, as well as a keen intellect. Escaping this cell, in particular, requires interacting with the few items she has with her, and speaking to nearby characters. From here, the game's narrative shifts slightly; all the while keeping escape the main priority, but introducing the mystery of what happened to Edna and her father in the past.

What sounds like a basic plot on the surface, quickly becomes intriguing enough to carry the whole thing forward at a good pace, not getting in the way of casual exploration between major set pieces. A unique mechanic called 'Tempomorph' provides a means of environment variety and narrative addition by taking the characters back into their past temporarily to help figure out a current puzzle problem. The 'Anniversary' part of the title refers to the improvements done to the visuals and sound of the game; a new completely redrawn widescreen view, coupled with a fresh excellent translation dub, reportedly a sore point of the original. A setting in the options menu can switch between the Classic and the New Art in an instant, but outside of nostalgia there'd be little reason to do so.

Screenshot for Edna and Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition on Nintendo Switch

Throughout the game, the left stick controls Edna's movement, and the right analogue moves the cursor onto different selectable objects and people. Strangely enough, the title doesn't make use of the Switch's touch screen in portable mode, but this control scheme works fine in practice. Holding down the A button will bring up a pie-chart-like wheel where interaction choices like Talking, Looking at, and Using Items with, can be done. The Breakout initially eases players in at the beginning, with simple puzzles and enough time to adapt to the control scheme without in-game timers or restrictions. That being said, this does suffer from a common trope of the genre later on; the repetitive nature of trial-and-error gameplay, and seemingly throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, and occasionally taking wild leaps of logic to solve problems.

Compounding this issue is the limited animation that while used sparingly looks great, doesn't help in the case of certain puzzles, like getting a guard to chase Edna from screen to screen, and not knowing exactly where he is until he pops up right next to her. Despite these flaws however, this remains is a fun, compelling adventure title, which offers a surprising amount of object interactivity within its world for a relatively short runtime. Achievements are on offer for the game, coupled with great voice work and characters to banter with. Fans of the genre would be wise to give this one a try.

Screenshot for Edna and Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Taking a PC Classic and reintroducing it for a new audience with a fresh lick of paint, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout takes the basic concept of escaping an asylum and runs with it, offering vast amounts of interaction, backed with great writing and voice-acting. The Switch's Touchscreen feels unusually neglected here, and logical issues relative to the genre are sadly present later in the game, but aside from that, this is one liberation that is worth carrying out.

Developer

Daedalic Entertainment

Publisher

Daedalic Entertainment

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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