So disclaimer here, I don’t like point and click games. However, there’s so much Charm (I wonder how often the C word appears in my reviews?) and humour in Edna and Harvey: The Breakout it kept me ploughing through the game despite my usual loathing of the genre.

My issue with point and click games tends to be that everything must be done in a set and rigid order which more often then not leaves me feeling restricted and frustrated. For example at the start of The Breakout Edna must discover where the AC vent in her room is hidden but while you can slash every pad in her padded cell the location of the vent won’t be revealed until you’ve had certain dialogue options and the AC has been turned on. It felt like an unnecessary step that surely Edna didn’t need to have taken, especially as you then have to figure out how to have it switched off.

Humour in Edna and Harvey: The Breakout is fantastic from the outset, Edna breaks the 4th wall from time to time, this may not be seen as anything special in this post Deadpool movie world (She-Hulk did it first) but it’s always enjoyable to me, especially in this instance when Edna makes reference to the games action interface. 

This line had me laughing for a solid 5 mins.

At it’s heart Edna and Harvey: The Break out is a mystery story with tonnes of humour to keep you engaged even if the puzzles frustrate you from time to time. The game opens with Edna and her best buddy Harvey (a stuffed rabbit toy with whom Edna often converses, he also has his own distinct personality) trapped in a padded cell with no memory of how she got there. With the mystery in mind i’m not going to divulge too much of the plot as the story is the driving reason to overcome the challenges and puzzles that seek to stop Edna’s march to freedom. What I will say is murder and conspiracy are core elements and it’s very much worth the effort of uncovering the truth

Uncover the truth.

Some of the animations for instance donking Hulgor on the head with a polo mallet look a tad ropey and betray the actual age of the game, something that’s amazing well hidden by the new artwork for the game. I guess the only other signifier that this game is old is the mere fact it’s a point and click adventure game…as I typed this thought I recalled a reference to ALF, if you don’t know who that is, well, thanks for making me feel old. There a few other examples such as a Who wants to be a millionaire reference but then again this is an anniversary edition so I can’t fault it for feeling dated in parts.

Hulgor, prime target for a polo mallet.

One thing I absolutely adored about the game was this “interaction wheel” this pops up when you select an interactive part of the environment and it has the usual P&C mechanics “Look, take, use, talk to” and so on. Now, in the majority of point and click games selecting an action that you can’t do or more accurately it doesn’t make sense to do results in a message or generic line of dialogue explaining that you can’t do it. However, Edna can and will talk to every single item in the game, I mean, she is crazy after all (or is she?). I discovered this by accidentally asking Edna to talk to a cabinet, instead of a generic response I was delighted to hear Edna ask the cabinet if anyone was in there, of course being polite the cabinet responded with a deep growling ‘no’. 

Being the psychology geek that I am, I loved seeing these two portraits.

The main issue had with Edna and Harvey: The Breakout are the controls. If you don’t know most point and click games are of course built for PC, hence the click. Hovering a mouse pointer and using it to navigating the screen is easy. One PS4 however navigating the screen involves flicking the right stick from item to item, while I can’t think of a better way to do it (well, you could use the touch pad on the PS4 controller I suppose) on console it isn’t enjoyable to do so. Add to that how you summon the interaction wheel, on PC right click, on PS4, Hold X, then use the left stick to navigate the options, this is awkward and at times would lead me to select the wrong option subjecting me to the same dialogue over and over. 

While Edna and Harvey: The Breakout hasn’t changed my overall opinion on point and click games as a genre it has taken top place out of all the point and click games i’ve played. If you’re a fan of point and click and didn’t play Edna and Harvey back in 2008 then I’d 100% recommend picking up this game, as far as P&C go it’s an absolute delight.

I had difficulty seperating my issue with the genre at first but after few hours of playing Edna & Harvey: The Breakout Anniversary Edition it’s quality made doing so simple. The games remastered art looks as unique as the games twisted humour for an experience that transcends the genre and my usual issues with it.

If like me you’re not a fan of the genre i’d still say it’s worth playing, the characters, story and humour are fantastic and perhaps it will cause you to reexamine your feelings towards to genre. I’m off to install Monkey Island and see if I now enjoy it more after really enjoying parts of Edna & Harvey.