Starting life as a PC point n’ click adventure, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is one of the most mental puzzle/adventure games we’ve ever played, and now you can play it on your commute thanks to this iPad port. You play as Edna, a sweet-hearted but ultimately bonkers girl who wakes up in a padded cell with no idea how she got there, and only a stuffed talking rabbit called Harvey as company.
Edna & Harvey: The Breakout looks like your typical point n’ clicker, consisting of dozens of static scenes that you explore and interact with simply by tapping on the screen. What really sets this game apart is the cartoony graphics, which are big, bold and very colourful, snubbing realism for a funky kiddies comic-book style. This design fits the bizarre feel of Edna & Harvey perfectly.
Your first task is to escape the loony bin, but to do so Edna must recover some of her memories, specifically of certain skills she used to have. For instance, in order to break through a vent, she has to recall her special technique for removing screws – which just happens to involve old toenails. Each regression also reveals a little of Edna’s past, and bit by bit you discover just how she ended up in her current fix.
The characters are just as barmy as the premise, with Edna happily arguing with any manner of inanimate objects, including her stuffed sidekick (although to be fair, only when you tell her to). Harvey is a loveable little sack of sarcasm, while the side characters are a memorable and interesting bunch, for better or for worse. We wanted to play on just to see what random stuff would happen next.
The puzzles often border on the surreal, but your objectives are often clearly mapped out and solutions can be reached with a little bit of lateral thinking. Only occasionally did we have to resort to trial-and-error clicking on everything. There’s a handy hotspot highlighter that shows you everything you can interact with on the screen, but that’s as much help as you’re gonna get – apart from the usual internet walkthroughs, of course. It’s a lengthy game too, lasting well over a dozen hours in all.
If you like surreal, cartoony adventure games then Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is a great little timewaster. You can nab it now for your iPad for £3.99.