Broken Age: Act 1 Review
Back on February 8th, 2012, Double Fine and 2 Player Productions started a Kickstarter in hopes to raise money for a point-and-click-adventure game alongside a documentary chronicling the creating process of game development. Unexpectedly, they raised $3.45 million by the end of the month, with more promised along the way. When I had first heard about it I was very excited because I thoroughly enjoyed point-and-click games when I was younger. Now I will admit, I was terrible but I still enjoyed and loved the creativity of them. This is also the first game that Tim Schafer has has written for since Costume Quest. There’s also Double Fine’s other games that I was absolutely in love with before this Kickstarter...well...started. Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking and The Cave were all games that I could not get enough of, and currently have them downloaded on my Xbox 360.
The plot to Broken Age is unique as you will be playing as 2 main characters, Vella and Shay.
Vella (voiced by Masasa Moyo) is a young woman in a world that is ravaged by the Mog Chothra, a giant creature that is tamed by offering human sacrifices at their various "Maiden's Feasts". Vella is chosen to be one of those for her hometown's Feast, but postulates if they actually could kill the Mog Chothra and end these rituals.
Shay (voiced by Elijah Wood) is a young man and seemingly the only passenger on a large spaceship. The ship's computer acts overly motherly to Shay, preventing him from learning or exploring the ship too much. The computer asserts he is part of "Project Dandelion", a last-ditch effort of his home planet to chose him as a survivor of his race before the planet's destruction and trying to find a home for him.
The best thing about this game is the story, It’s fantastical at the same time being grounded. Both Shay and Vella are young teenagers stuck in a world of tradition and stubbornness. They are looking for anyway to escape this. Shay’s story is full of science fiction creativity that made me giddy with child like excitement. Vella’s story is full of places and characters that are full of imagination and whimsy. Both were very clearly made with a level of heart and love that most games don’t even come close to achieving.
The visuals of this game is so beautiful that you’d expect to see them in an auction for thousands of dollars. Every backdrop has little nuances that make it feel alive, but at the same time look like proper art. One of my favorite things about of this is how much it all looks like a puppet show or a marionette play. I image this is intentional, making the game feel like a story book.
When talking about Double Fine games, of course you would bring up the characters because they are always so vivid and creative. Every character you run into in this game has a unique way about them that only comes from fantastic writing and wonderful acting. There are quite a few fun cameos too, Jack Black plays Harm'ny Lightbeard, Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) plays The Lovable Gus, and Wil Wheaton plays Curtis The Lumberjack during Vella’s story. And as I pointed out earlier, Elijah Wood plays Shay, who is one of the main characters.
My only grips with it are small, nit-picky ones. The game has a tendency to crash when transitioning areas, but this isn’t a big deal because the game saves after every little thing you do. So as soon as you load back up, you are right where you left off. Some of the puzzles are a tad too easy, as if the game was holding your hand in solving it. That only bothers me because past point-and-click adventure games were tougher, or maybe I’ve just gotten older and know how to play them well.
Overall, this is a wonderful game that will pluck at the heart string of your inner child while at the same time meeting all the criteria of the artistic adult in you as well. The game availble for $15 on PC and OSx January 28th, and will be having a second part some time this year, I cant wait for it. 9.5/10
Did you have a chance to play Broken Age? Did you play point-and-click adventure games as a child or are you just now getting inot them? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook Fan Page or tweet us @MissionStartP.
Thank you for reading
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)
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