Game review: Broken Age

The kick-starter funding project has made way for some pretty cool games as of late and one of those was Broken Age for the PC, developed and published by Double Fine Productions.

From the mind of Tim Schafer known for the fantastic Grim Fandango, Broken Age is the first act in a series of point and click adventure games aimed primarily for younger players thanks to its cute characters and cartoony art direction.

Broken Age focuses on 2 teenager protagonists which are chosen at the beginning, neither of which seems to be related to each other. Vella is a woman who lives in a world controlled by the Mog Chothra of whom is kept at bay thanks to rituals consisting of offering it human sacrifices called Maiden Feasts. Vella has chosen to be one of those sacrifices but things get a bit exciting when it’s her turn to be eaten. Shay however lives at the opposite end of the spectrum living aboard a spaceship and forced to endure repetitious mind-numbing missions consisting of rescuing cute woolly aliens from ice cream avalanches as well as a straight forward daily routine.

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Shay eventually manages to find a way to liven things up and meets a talking wolf who tells him he has been kept from the bigger galaxy which is begging to be explored, which of course sets things in motion. The two stories don’t seem to coincide with one another throughout until the end. The story is expertly written and keeps you gripped until the end. No real outstanding characters to note although the dialogue is funny, it’s not really laugh out loud.

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    Broken Age is a point and click game set on easy from start to end, most puzzles have the answer under your nose. It’s a good thing as it moves the story along at a nice pace and eliminates ever getting stuck but it takes out that sense of achievement when you eventually complete a puzzle you had been stuck on for decades.

    Broken age is nicely drawn and animated which makes it easy to watch as well as to follow. Its overall aesthetic is similar to that of a Cartoon Network programme, which is certainly not a bad thing and the two main voice actors, Masasa Moyo and Elijah Wood, give exceptional performances.

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    Broken Age takes the classic point and click genre, simplifies it and injects some expert writing skills in it and overlays it with a nicely animated cartoon. These elements will keep you hooked as its funny and cleverly put together although you will miss that challenge.

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    Broken Age

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    Developers: DoubleFine Productions

    Publishers: DoubleFine Productions

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    Genre: Point and Click

    Release Date: 28th January 2014

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    Story – 4/5

    Graphics – 4/5

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    Gameplay – 3/5

    Overall – 4/5