This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).
Time played: 4 hours
I generally at least go to the store page of games that I am not familiar with before I start them, to watch the trailer. With this game, the trailer intrigued me, promising a darkly funny point-and-click adventure.
I was disappointed. The animations are pretty subpar in my opinion, although they aren’t really a dealbreaker themselves. But added to the list of other crimes this game displayed, it certainly didn’t help. In fact, that really sums up my experience with Harvey’s New Eyes – each aspect that I disliked was…not minor, but bearable. But the sum of those not-quite-minor problems was what drove me away in the end.
I finished the first chapter of the game, which in my mind means that I gave it a fair shake. And the main thrust of my problems are to do with the atmosphere, the aesthetics. The biggest culprit is the narration. I don’t know whether it is the American accent, or just the general condescension of his tone that got to me the most, but I was ready to choke him after all of 10 minutes.
The other voicework was terrible, too. Not in the sense of poorly done, wooden acting, but each character has a very specific, stereotypical manner, which is deliberately written, and is horribly exaggerated. Edna is the only character who speaks normally, it seems. Combined with the narrator, it all grates on me terribly.
The good part is that the puzzles are pretty interesting, if not always making sense. For instance, at one point you blow up the basement stove, and then later you light a small fire in there and suddenly the cook can use it again? Weird. I really liked the music, too, very simple but unintrusive.
I ended up really disliking Harvey’s New Eyes, but I will admit that much of it is personal taste rather than poor design. Fans of point-and-click adventures will like it if they aren’t put off by the same things as me.