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Hey, so, Deponia, right? It’s pretty OK. The first lushly drawn adventure was worth a few laughs (at least, between all the thinly veiled sexism and crudeness), and the second one, er, significantly less so. Still though, Daedalic is by no means untalented, so its new project, a dark fantasy turn-based strategy called Blackguards, definitely inspires curiosity. For better or worse, humor appears to be taking a backseat this time around, especially given that you’ll be stepping into the sullied shoes of a convicted murderer. It’s a premise that certainly could> wind its way down some fascinatingly gray trails, but there’s always the danger of venturing into grimdark-for-grimdark’s-sake territory.
It really is only three months since the first part of the Deponia trilogy was released. A German point and click adventure from Daedalic, it managed to wobble along the line of decent and frustrating, mostly making up for its biggest mistakes with some fun puzzles, decent voice acting, and a good number of laughs. So what about this time, with sequel Chaos On Deponia? Here’s wot I think:>
Released today on Steam, Daedalic Entertainment's point-and-click adventure game Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes is a gloriously twisted tale of a broken mind. Young Lilli is doing the best to survive convent life, quietly suffering banal neighbors, sadistic bullies and the even more sadistic convent leadership. Her voice is whimpers and squeaks — she's retreated so far inside herself that barely anything comes out.
Her only solace is her friend Edna, fresh from German import Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, a game about a young woman escaping from a mental institution with the help of her stuffed rabbit friend. Separated from Harvey, Edna now hides at the convent, doing her best to stay out of trouble. Her best isn't very good, unfortunately, and soon she attracts the attention of the twisted Dr. Marcel, the antagonist of the first game.
Edna enlists Lilli's aid in escaping Dr. Marcel's attention, and people die.
Not that Lilli notices. He mind replaces scenes of intense gore with pleasant pink paint being applied liberally by potato-shaped gnomes. Her heinous crimes are never acknowledged — nothing bad happens in her fractured mind.
Eventually Edna escapes and Dr. Marcel and Lilli meet, the psychiatrist utilizing his latest brainwashing technique — a repurposed Harvey — to install mental blocks in the young girl's already seriously screwed-up head. She is given a set of rules to follow. Children must obey adults. Children should not play with fire. Children should not drink alcohol.
To overcome these rules Lilli must confront the mind-weaponized Harvey within the cluttered landscape of her psyche. One-by-one she gains power over these rules, but can only turn off one at a time. These restrictions in place she wanders out into the world to rescue Edna. Just a lone little girl in a world already mad enough without her.
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes is a delightfully dark and twisted tale. The problems that plagued the first game in the series — largely a poor translation — have been eradicated in this sequel, the dialogue sharp and witty and completely unapologetic in its humor. In the hallway of the convent hangs a picture that strongly resembles The Last Supper, only Jesus is holding the last cookie and doesn't plan on sharing it with anyone. I'm still giggling, days later.
Eventually I'll stop smiling. Maybe then I'll find myself as disturbed as I should be about this sad young girl's journey through madness.
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes [Steam]
In a never to be repeated adventure game news roundup, I bring you trailers and release dates for two – count ‘em – two> adventure games of the pointing and clicking variety. First up is The Testament of Sherlock Holmes in which the the world’s first consulting detective goes on a murder spree. Or perhaps he doesn’t and the whole thing turns out to be an overwhelmingly obtuse setup, but the trailer would not have you believe that. It is dramatic in a way that only occurrences within the pea soupers of Old London Town can be. The second trailer is for Chaos on Deponia, second in the trilogy. John shared his thoughts on the first, concluding thusly: “I spent more time being frustrated than entertained, and perhaps too much time somewhere between the two.” Watch both trailers now.