They don’t make them like this anymore. A classic-style point-and-click adventure, Harvey’s New Eyes offers something not often seen in modern games anymore. Certainly not on console at least. But what became clear to me whilst playing Harvey’s New Eyes, is that to execute a point-and-click game well, is a difficult thing to do. And I’m not sure that Harvey’s New Eyes quite manages to do it.
You play as Lilli, a quiet yet deluded child in a convent. Like all good stereotype convents, the Nun in charge is a brute. Mean and hard-working, she makes Lilli rake some leaves. Easy enough. Click the leaves. They get brushed on to the stone on the middle from the left. Click the middle. They move to the right. Click the right. They move back to the middle. What? Such are the trials of these sort of games, that you need to think a little outside of the box. After three attempts, I finally clicked on a window only to be shouted that that I wasn’t doing it right. I mean, I was really.
I didn’t really have a clue what was going on – it turns out that Harvey’s New Eyes is part of the Edna and Harvey series, and it follows the story in a game called The Breakout where a girl called Edna breaks out of a mental hospital. None of this is explained.
As you progress through the game, the story gets weird. There are secret spies, lots of mental illness references and connotations, hypnosis, and demonic visions. It was enough to keep me interested but only really to see where the story was going, rather than the dialogue with the characters, which I didn’t really enjoy. It’s just a bit of a means to an end, which is a shame as I quite liked the voice acting.
I didn’t really like the visuals either. Initially I thought they were nice and colourful, if a bit simple. But it does feel a bit too simple, and basic movements around the screens feel akin to a game made in flash. This might be a bit harsh as maybe the simplistic look was something they are going for, but for me, it didn’t really work.
With any story like this, you need puzzles. Harvey’s New Eyes does have some good ones (which I won’t ruin) – you collect a seemingly random selection of objects, and piece them together to get to a fitting solution. Most times the solution is in your gift, so you’re never unfairly punished and don’t really ever have to resort to much trial and error.
I think I enjoyed Harvey’s New Eyes mostly because it was something new and different. Is it any good? Well, it’s not bad. Objectively, I think there are some things which could be better that would have you be more involved in the story – starting with a bit of a recap. However, if you don’t have access to similar games on PC, this would be worth a look if you’re desperate for a console point-and-click game.
Reviewed on PS4