Harvey & Edna: The Breakout
I got this due to the immense fun I had with Daedalic’s other adventure games, the Deponia Trilogy.
Most prominently, the humour is fantastic; I frequently laughed out loud at the clever writing, the little jokes and the subtle asides. The easter eggs strewn throughout (like Captain Useless) are hidden just enough without diminishing returns. Another point worth praising is the voice acting; Edna in particular is fantastic with some of the best emotional voice acting I’ve ever heard.
As you might see from screenshots, the art is clearly home-drawn (they even make very self-referential humour about it in one scene), but as this was the studio’s first game I feel this can be forgiven. Considering the artwork they go on to get in future games – with Deponia‘s art still being my favourite of any game, period – this is a solid first step.
Break Out The Bugs
One of the downsides of this game is the bugs. It is new to Steam (at time of writing) and there were two points when I had to change the language to German in order to progress; once with a menu puzzle and the other for the credits to roll. These events, though pretty bad that they exist at all, are brief and few.
I cannot talk about the story without giving spoilers, but I will say that it isn’t as good as Deponia‘s. While I could replay Deponia tomorrow and enjoy it as much as the first time, I am unlikely to replay E&H: The Breakout for a very long time. The story isn’t bad, as such…it’s just not as good. The puzzles are much more obtuse and navigating the world is slow and arduous. Deponia‘s double-tap to warp mechanic overcomes this second issue.
I do have the sequel (which is also pre-Deponia), so I look forward to playing that. Just not the “I need to get play the sequel right now” way I did with Deponia.
Overall, it’s a brilliant adventure game with fantastic dark humour and a compelling, well-voiced protagonist. Not as good as Daedalic’s later games, but worth a play.