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Edna and Harvey: The Breakout
Edna & Harvey the Breakout Cover
Edna Breaks Out
Developer(s): Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher(s): Viva Media, LLC
Lace Mamba Global
Release date: Feb. 8, 2011
Genre: Adventure
Themes: Comedy
Platform(s): PC
Image Gallery

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is an adventure game for Windows. The German version is called Edna Breaks Out.

The German version received an outstanding reception, but the English game merely received a mixed reception with both average and low review scores, mostly due to the bad translation.


Cover summary

Edna wakes up in the padded cell of an insane asylum with no memory of her past or how she ended up there. Only one thing is for certain: She has been wrongfully imprisoned and will have to escape! After all, she feels entirely sane and her speaking stuffed toy bunny Harvey wholeheartedly agrees. Together they undertake a daring escape attempt that sees them meeting a host of kooky characters, including the Man in the Bee's Costume and the siamese twins Hoti and Moti. But the sinister head of the asylum Dr. Marcel will do everything to stop Edna. What evil scheme is afoot? Slowly, Edna starts to recover her memories...

Features:

  • Want classic point & click adventure gameplay? Here you go! Just like in the good old days of your youth, old man (or woman)!
  • Unique cartoon graphics, drawn by an actual person in glorious 2D!
  • You don't have to be uniquely crazy to be a character in this game. (But it helps.)
  • Waste away days of your life thanks to this extraordinarily long game, its challenging puzzles, hours of dialogue and 120 (yes, 120!) locations!

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
  • CPU: 2GHz Single Core / 1.8GHz Dual Core
  • RAM: 1.5 GB (Vista/7: 2 GB)
  • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c-compatible
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0-compatible, Graphics card with 256 MB dedicated RAM or more (ATI Radeon or Nvidia Geforce recommended)
  • HD: 3.5 GB

Gameplay

Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is an adventure game in the same vein as LucasArts pre-1994 games created using the SCUMM engine. The game screen shows a two-dimensional cartoon world where Edna, the playable character is incarcerated within a mental hospital. The bottom edge of the screen contains a list of verbs which must be clicked on before the player clicks on an item within the game world in order to manipulate it. When the player tries to combine or effect one item with another each combination produces a different response, unlike in most games of this type where an incorrect combination would result in a response of "I don't know why you'd want to do that." During play expensive in-game objects such as cars can be defaced by the player, this does not affect the game in any tangible way but represents an act of rebellion.

The game is a very old style point and click adventure game, returning to the on-screen verb interface. Edna has the options to "look at", "pick up", "talk to" and "use" any items (yes, that does mean dialogue lines were actually written for talking to almost every inanimate object in the game). Right clicking also applies the default action to any individual item.

As in many more recent adventure games, the space bar acts as a hotspot indicator, showing up every available item to interact with on each individual screen if the player chooses to use it.

Harvey is a useable object in Edna's inventory. The player can use him to provide insight and sometimes puzzle clues by using him with items. He also performs an important function: if Edna sees something that strongly reminds her of her past, he can "tempomorph" her back into the past so that she can learn a skill or some information.

In the tempomorphing sequences, Harvey is always playable (and sometimes Edna is as well). He can't directly interact with objects, but he can reach places that Edna can't to get her information, and can talk to her about people and items to try and aid her memory. These sequences are quite short and only last until you reach your relatively simple objective.

The game has two different endings, which both lead to different epilogues. The epilogues actually slot together (except for Edna's different fate in both of them); what happened to most other characters is only mentioned in one epilogue, so seeing both endings gives the player a broader picture of what happened to other characters.

Plot

Edna wakes up without any memories in a padded room. She's convinced that she's sane, and decides to escape from her cell with the help of her blue stuffed rabbit, Harvey. With a few tools and help from Harvey, the two are able to crawl into the furnace and navigate their way to Dr. Marcel, the head of the asylum's office and she overhears a conversation between Doctor Marcel, the head of the asylum, and a guard, talking about how they are trying to erase Edna's memory, but no matter how close they get to succeeding, she always remembers. Breaking into his office, she discovers a newspaper article claiming that her father murdered an eight year old boy and subsequently died. Convinced this is a horrible lie and even more proof of a conspiracy, she vows to escape from the asylum and find proof of her father's innocence.

Edna eventually manages to hatch a convoluted plan to make a copy of the master key to the building. Along the way, she discovers in a locked room a shrine to Doctor Marcel's son, Alfred, her old playmate and the boy her father supposedly killed. She also delves into her memories of her childhood and Alfred to remember old skills and more information about her past.

Managing to procure a vehicle and several inmates to help her, Edna heads off home to clear her father's name. However, the car crashes and she finds her father's grave in a church graveyard. Before the priest can explain exactly what happened back then, he gets distracted, leading to a chain of events that lead to Edna trying to leave the church.

At her old house, Edna creates a sturdier house key and unlocks her bedroom, before tempomorphing into the past with Harvey in search of her diary to find out exactly what happened to Alfred. Unfortunately, it turns out she tempomorphed back to the day of the crime, so she resolves to follow her father around so that he can't possibly kill Alfred, but this is complicated by the fact she's been grounded for putting a lizard down the back of Alfred's shirt. Things don't quite work out as planned, although Edna finally finds out exactly what happened on that fatal day and, back in the present, expresses her shock.

Edna is left with a choice of following the advice of Harvey or the advice of Doctor Marcel, leading to two very different endings.

Trivia

  • Originally, the game was a university project.

Reception

Awards

Reviews

Metacritic gave the game a score of 56, resulting in average reviews. However, the German version received scores between 66-96%, giving that version better scores.

See More Reviews

  • "...the German studio has come up with an idea so crazy it... just... might... work. "--From Adventure Gamers
  • "Finally! A game set in an insane asylum that’s actually NOT morbidly depressing. [...] Guaranteed twisted humor for all!"--From Adventure Lantern.

Main Characters

Edna konrad
Main article: Edna Konrad

Edna, who one day finds herself locked inside a padded cell, has always been a rebellious soul. But how did she end up here? Before she can go into that, she will have to break out and regain her precious freedom. Apparently, Dr. Marcel, head of the mental institution, has eradicated her memories, in order to cover up a horrible event in Edna’s past. But what happened on that day?


Harvey mugshot
Main article: Harvey

Harvey is Edna’s imaginary and best friend – and he’s a stuffed toy bunny. Harvey is always within reach when Edna needs cheering up with crazy ideas and biting commentary. He’s her sidekick, “kick” being the operative word: 500 grams of deadly plush can do a surprising amount of damage, once unleashed. Harvey is the malicious voice inside Edna’s head that drives her to do things she might not do without his “well-intentioned” advice – like destroying other people’s property, lighting furniture on fire and mixing arachnids into food. Harvey is an intellectual arsonist of the purest sort and is driven by an unstoppable appetite for distruction. Truly a dangerous bunny, but on the other hand, he is very cute.


Dr marcel
Main article: Dr. Marcel

Doctor Marcel, head of the mental instituion, is the inventor of the patented Marcel electric shock therapy and the controversial “white paper method” that is designed to disable neuroses by deleting the recollection of traumatic events from the patient’s memories. Dr. Marcel was once considered a brilliant scientist but his positive reputation is a thing of the distant past. What is the embittered scientist planning with Edna?

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