Back in the nineties, point and click games were extremely popular on the PC. Fast forward to 2020 and sadly the genre isn’t anywhere near as popular as it once was. There is one exception to this though; Edna and Harvey: The Breakout Anniversary Edition. The game was previously released as a re-master on PC. In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Nintendo Switch version.
The elephant in the room to be begin with is the fact that there isn’t a keyboard and mouse for the Switch. The workaround for this though is to use both analogue sticks, so from that point of view, the issue is solved for the most part. Sometimes it can feel a tad slow moving the cursor across the screen, but this is a small gripe and something which isn’t a deal breaker in the slightest.
The plot is actually quite an intriguing one. Edna awakens in an asylum with no relocation of how she got in there. All she has is her stuffed bunny rabbit; Harvey. Harvey is able to give her tips on what to do next (which is handy). It’s curious; the subject matter is actually quite dark, but at the same time, it’s really charming. It certainly feels like a more mature game, although going by the visuals you wouldn’t think this when you first see it.
It is also actually quite a challenging game. When a puzzle is solved, you do feel a sense of achievement for doing so. It’s actually a nice change to play a game that challenges the grey matter, instead of just blasting everything in sight.
Even when the puzzles were more difficult, it never got to the stage that it was annoying or a chore to find out what needed to be done next. That has always been one of the biggest nuts to crack when it comes to point and click games and The Breakout has managed to crack it with ease. There are some truly innovative ways to solve the puzzles, and I was left grinning from ear to ear when solving the more ‘out there’ puzzles.
The game definitely is a slow burner, so for those that are more interested in fast paced games might feel a bit out of place here. Having said that, that’s always been the case with point and click games. Depending on how indepth you are with it, it should take around 20 hours to finish which is a respectable time for a point and click game.
The original version of The Breakout on PC looked really nice. The remastered version looks even better, though. Especially in handheld mode, the colours really pop. Having said that, in docked mode and when put onto a 42” TV, it still looks amazing. The game is going to tax the Switch hardware, but the artistic flair is amazing. The art team really do deserve a major pat on the back (as well as a hefty bonus), for making this game look so beautiful. Turning it on for the first time put a huge smile across my face, in the same way that Wind Waker did back in 2003 on the GameCube. It just looks so good.
Certainly, art style and appreciation in a game is a subjective point of view. Having said that, I can’t see anyone turning around and saying that this game isn’t a looker.
The sound effects and voice acting in the game is spot on. The conversations between Edna and Harvey are brilliant, and just adds to the overall tone of the game. The supporting cast also do a great job of bringing the game to life.
The music in each area also adds to the charms. There are parts (including in the initial room) that just sound plain spooky and amps up the fact that you’re stuck in an asylum. It makes the game feel more immersive. Thankfully, this is often interspersed with periods of comic relief with Edna interacting with others, including Harvey.
It is available now on Nintendo Switch, as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Edna and Harvey The Breakout Switch Review
Edna and Harvey: The Breakout Anniversary Edition is a great addition to the Switch library. It is a charming game and one that definitely deserves a place in any point and click fans collection.