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+ funny graphic style
- weak animations
- no effects
+ passender humor
- many areas lifeless and sterile
+ appropriate music
- little variety
+ in some cases very funny conversations
- sometimes illogical
+ countless explorable areas
+ around 15 hours playtime
+ many characters
- low replay value
At first look, one might think, Edna breaks out had been painted by a ten year old child. This is not so, the look is intentional. Away from the technology arms race other developer sets Daedalic (Experience 112) with his new game deliberately charm: crude optics, hand-drawn characters, 2D environments, no effects. It is necessary to itself as a genre fan used first, but is then rewarded with a fun and imaginative adventure.
Naturally, this sets you up for a classic style of point-and-click puzzling adventure: trapped in an ever-growing series of locations, surrounded by peculiar characters and collecting every object you can find with the intent to click them on every other object you can find.
In many ways, the game – like its beleaguered protagonist – is of two minds. In its best moments, it feels reminiscent of Amanita Design’s wonderful Botanicula, based as it is on the careful study and harnessing of human relationships. Or at least what Botanicula would feel like if it fell down a hole to Wonderland.
Navigating dialogue trees of painstaking detail, you’re able to discover a method to Edna’s madness and the madness of those around her, obtaining key pieces of information by ingratiating and deciphering the colorful personalities within the asylum.
Daedalic paints a world that thinks completely differently, and manages to get you doing so in the process, bringing you refreshingly out of your comfort zone to sift for logic in a place seemingly lacking it.
Edna sits in a padded cell, not knowing who she was imprisoned there - and why. Therefore, along with her piffling plush bunny Harvey, she dares not only the onset, but also tries to determine the backgrounds of their captivity. That velocities are with simple mouse clicks by a comic Psychiatry and meet all sorts of bizarre characters, makes for fun around every corner, well spoken dialogues. Fortunately the voice acting is very good, particularly Edna and Harvey themselves, so the extensive commentary is at least a pleasure to listen to. Edna’s voice is dreamy with a good balance of innocence and deviance.
As an adventure game, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is ultimately a mixed bag. On the up side are a decent plot, fun and memorable characters, a surprisingly interactive environment to explore, and a fairly lengthy playing experience with cleverness, humor, and whimsy sprinkled throughout.
The game evokes several moods effectively and the end game certainly deviates greatly from the beginning. On the down side are very long load and save times, limited (only 9) save game slots, inventory and interface bugs that frustrate, and some bizarre puzzles.
Score: 68 / 100
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