I’m a huge fan of classic point and click adventures, spending many a childhood year solving puzzles and giggling at quippy jokes.
Truth be told, I’d love to see all companies revisit their back catalogue and give their classic adventures a new lick of paint.
Imagine the old Broken Sword games done in the style of BS5. And what are the odds of seeing the Discworld games repurposed, or perhaps re-releases of the Space Quest series.
Switch is the perfect console for that – I’m still desperately waiting for Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle to pop up on there sometime soon – and Edna & Harvey: The Breakout really drove that home for me.
Speaking of, Edna reminds me so much of Laverne from DOTT. I get to feeling those two would make the best buddy-up adventure!
Anyway, on the slightly negative side, there’s no touch controls present here, which was kind of a letdown. The interface certainly isn’t as seamlessly converted as Double Fine’s Broken Age. Having said that, this still felt like a perfect handheld game.
Adventure Games have always been pick up and play experiences. You get stuck at a certain point, so you put the game down, go away, have a think, and when your thoughts are collected, try again. That describes Switch to a tee.
But what is also massively impressive about this new Anniversary Edition is just how much of a huge upgrade it is. Remember, The Breakout originally released in 2008, so the game is twelve years old at this point and the visuals aren’t exactly complimentary.
Anniversary Edition just looks stunning, though. Less cramped, crisper, the colours really pop and glow, and the characters are more alive and animated. Even the backgrounds are full of nice, subtle little details.
In an era where we are seeing more and more remasters and remakes, this definitely falls into the category of one of the good ones. Even if you played and completed the original, this Anniversary Edition is an absolutely essential purchase as it makes the experience so much better.
Characters are more reactive to one another, you’ll see new animations like leg twitches, combat sequences, and chases that add more emphasis to some of the interactions. Even the UI is cleaner, rather than relying on a big bar at the bottom of the screen you have a dial wheel to access everything.
I get it, sometimes you prefer to play classic games the original way. Monkey Island’s pixelated style, for example, still feels ever charming and encapsulates the mood of the times. Sometimes, you might even prefer it to the more modern interpretation. I wasn’t always a fan of LEC’s re-release and actually found myself playing a lot of the game the old fashioned way.
Here, I find myself quickly switching back to the Anniversary Edition’s style over the original because it is just so much better and made the game that much more enjoyable. The humour and biting wit is still ever-present, but I am honestly relieved to see just how much time and effort Daedalic have put into this.
It’s not a natural transition on consoles, though. You have to use the right stick to move between interactive objects/areas and sometimes it’s difficult to see what you have highlighted, particularly on the Switch’s smaller screen.
The button combinations can also be a little perplexing at times as you have to be in a certain screen in order to perform certain actions. For example, you have to hold the left bumper down to open the inventory then you can interact individually with an item in your inventory.
For the most part, though, Daedalic have clearly spent a lot of time, effort, and energy rebuilding the game for 2020 and it really shows. Not everything is perfect – the game seems to load a lot on Switch, the movement is rather slow with no ability to fast travel and there’s not just a single button that allows you to transition between old and new aesthetic.
As mentioned, some of the interactions are a bit sluggish, but this is still a very entertaining adventure with some smart puzzles, and an intriguing story which is still clearly loved and appreciated by the studio who made it.
Edna & Harvey The Breakout Anniversary Edition is a labour of love for all involved. Another fantastic adventure game that finds itself on Switch that you simply must add to your library.
Edna & Harvey The Breakout: Anniversary Edition is now available on PC, PS4, XO, and Switch
Tested on Switch
Code provided by PR