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Broken Age

Developer / Publisher: Double Fine Productions
28 January 2014
Broken Age - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.81 / 5.0
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195 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#3,694 All-time
#144 for 2014
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I forgot why this game was talked about so much. Playing the game only made me more confused. I forgot it was just a big kickstarter campaign. I remember those. Definitely not this game, though. Despite iconic names in both production and talent, there's just nothing here that has anything to say to stand out even among Double Fine Productions' own catalog. Gameplay feels slow and poorly put together, with the perspective switch gimmick only serving as the most basic visual storytelling technique ever. Anything in the beginning that was charming and proved to be humorous was quickly dashed by annoying puzzles that seem counter-intuitive and require more attention than I think any player would want to give this. An unfortunate yet extremely temporary stain on the independent game development industry, and at least people don't clamor to pre-orders like they used to... I think... I would hope so.
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MtBedhead 2024-03-24T01:00:20Z
2024-03-24T01:00:20Z
2.0
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Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure which was infamously funded via Kickstarter. Double Fine exceeded their goal by a significant margin so increased the scope of the project. However, they then managed to run out of funds so released the game in two parts.

The first thing you notice is the astounding visual design, and the brilliant soundtrack to match. There's some big names to voice the characters, including: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Hale and Jack Black.

The game has two protagonists; Vella and Shay who initially have two different storylines but their stories intertwine. The game doesn't explain that you can switch between the two different storylines whenever you want; you have to discover that yourself. I found it strange there was no basic tutorial. I'm used to single clicking to select, then single click to use, but in this game, you have to drag items from inventory; so there was some initial confusion. Similarly, the opening screen gives you a choice to take control of either character, but it's not actually clear that's what it is. I waited for a while expecting something to happen.

Once you get going into the game, it is intuitive and I barely consulted a walk-though for the entire game. The first half of the game has a stronger emphasis on the story, then after the halfway point, the stories intertwine, and the puzzles increase in frequency and difficulty.

In Vella's story, a monster known as Mog Chothra is destroying villages, so the residents put on a “Maiden's Feast” where they offer three young girls as a sacrifice to appease the beast. Vella has been chosen as a sacrifice, but she plans to put up a fight rather than happily accepting fate like the other girls. Meanwhile, Shay is alone on a spaceship but overseen by an overprotective computer system that poses as his parents. The ship seems to be built as if Shay is a child, but now he has outgrown it and longs for adventure rather than being babysitted.

There's a lot of humour and the surreal situation is well suited to the point-and-click style. I did wonder how the stories are related, and I was incredibly surprised at the reveal. After the reveal, Vella then explores the spaceship and Shay explores Vella's world. You will see the same locales and characters, but the puzzles and situations are different. The second half of the game isn't as interesting as the first, since the characters are fully developed and there's no real plot development; it just relies on puzzles.

I do wonder if the puzzles in the second half of the game were created by a different person though, because the style of them seems noticeably different. For the most part, they were fine, but there's many examples that are tedious rather than fun (especially the final sequence), and a few could have done with a few more hints.

I like the fact you can switch between the stories, because if you get stuck, you can just switch for the time being. Although in the second half, some of the puzzles force you to switch because you need information from the other character. Note: this actually breaks logic, because Vella doesn't pass the knowledge to Shay (or vice-versa); only you as the player have the knowledge.

Overall, Broken Age is a good game, but I was slightly disappointed that the second act didn't live up to the first.
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CaptainClam 2018-04-27T22:42:17Z
2018-04-27T22:42:17Z
4.0
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What’s that you say? The second act was much slower and not as good as the first? Let me ask you this, how would you feel about taking any of your games right now and slicing them in half? Chances are you will prefer one to the other, but acknowledge that they truly are meant to be played as one large piece. This is also true with Broken Age. I too was a little confused by the game’s second act, but giving it more thought, I knew that this was the same feeling one gets when jumping right into an old RPG without remembering what you were doing. Broken Age delivers a solid point-and-click experience with much of the charm and thoughtfulness of many classic LucasArts and Double Fine entries. The puzzles are challenging without being completely obtuse, characters and locations are fleshed out enough to be interesting without becoming overbearing. All in all, Broken Age delivered one of the best games of the year and still remains one of the most successful Kickstarter games to date.
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darcyska 2016-04-09T00:58:07Z
2016-04-09T00:58:07Z
3.5
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Catalog

kirumi Broken Age 2024-05-25T17:29:10Z
2024-05-25T17:29:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Savaaq Broken Age 2024-05-21T01:23:22Z
PS4 / PS Vita
2024-05-21T01:23:22Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
niallquinn Broken Age 2024-05-20T00:13:17Z
2024-05-20T00:13:17Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Psychochimecho Broken Age 2024-04-02T02:09:09Z
2024-04-02T02:09:09Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gb7b5 Broken Age 2024-03-29T12:23:06Z
2024-03-29T12:23:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ali5ia Broken Age 2024-03-25T05:01:34Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-03-25T05:01:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MtBedhead Broken Age 2024-03-24T01:00:20Z
2024-03-24T01:00:20Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuodDixi3161 Broken Age 2024-03-09T18:38:40Z
2024-03-09T18:38:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Moving_zig Broken Age 2024-03-09T17:52:40Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-03-09T17:52:40Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Noahhuds1 Broken Age 2024-03-05T17:18:01Z
2024-03-05T17:18:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
locomotic Broken Age 2024-03-03T15:02:32Z
2024-03-03T15:02:32Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pikekel Broken Age 2024-02-26T21:43:01Z
2024-02-26T21:43:01Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • PoisonYad 2017-07-30 13:07:39.623603+00
    Jesus, Act 2 makes no sense narrative-wise
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  • demianX 2017-08-04 02:52:10.300565+00
    The final puzzle is the absolute worst thing ever.
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  • SiADmedia 2022-12-07 01:56:22.989314+00
    they should've just gone with something simple :(
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  • Moving_zig 2024-03-09 18:27:41.385282+00
    Double Fine excels at doing Double Fine things yet again, but doesn't bother catching up on most of the design principles that other games in the genre have learned to implement. It looks, sounds and feels great, but played dated even when it was released.
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