Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure game produced and developed by Double Fine Productions, an american game developer founded in 2000 by the mythical Tim Schafer, best known as the designer of Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and co-designer of Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island 1 and 2.
Double Fine is best known for their first 2 games: Psychonauts and Brütal Legend. Both games were critically praised by the gaming media.
[alert type=white ]Reviewed on PC
Available Platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, Windows, Ouya, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 14/01/2014
Developer: Double Fine[/alert]
Allow me to start with a little trivia: this title began as a Kickstarter-crowdfunded project promoted by Double Fine and 2 Player Productions. The original goal was of $400.000 to cover the cost of development and documentary filming (by 2PP) but the game raised over $3.45 million within ONE MONTH. Its success helped to establish Kickstarter and other crowdfunding mechanisms as viable alternatives to the traditional venture capital and/or publisher funding model for video game production. Broken Age is, to date, one of the games that has raised the most money on Kickstarter.
The game is your average point and click adventure, but Schafer decided that all interaction options (look, use, take, push, etc) would be summed up in one simple ‘interact’ action — you have your inventory on the lower part of the screen, and you just click to take, look, talk, everything on the game. It simplifies things a lot, and some hardcore adventure fans may not like it — but to them I say grow up, the system is great. Some puzzles make a lot of sense using the items you have, others… Not so much, but it doesn’t frustrate or delay game progress at all. You also have quite a few minigames to keep you entertained.
Vella is a teenager who is chosen (along with a few others) to be a sacrifice for a giant beast called Mog Chothra, this is the only way to avoid the anger of said beast and saving her village
Shay is a young man and only passenger of a spaceship. He’s constantly being watched by an overly-protective computer he calls “mother” and has to put up each day with a kid-friendly routine that involves missions designed for kids and lots of ice cream.
That’s the start of our game. Playing as Vella we will have to find a way to avoid being eaten by Mog Chothra, while finding a way to destroy it and save our village.
And as Shay we have to find a way, with the help of a mysterious wolf-person, to break the everyday routine and start doing grown up stuff.
Both stories clash at the end of the episode and the heroes meet. But I’m not revealing why or how here, of course.
The game art is great, everything looks hand-drawn and the cartoon-ish design of the characters makes everything blend together awesomely. Every background, be it an interior or exterior location, like a cloud-based village or a ship, is beautiful.
MUSIC & SOUND
Composed by Peter McConell, who previously worked with Schafer in Monkey Island and Psychonauts (and also composed the score for Sly 2: Band of Thieves), the music is great.
Still, what I loved the most is the voice acting. This game’s cast of voice actors is awesome, comprised of stars such as Elijah Wood, Jack Black (back working with Double Fine after voicing Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend), Wil Wheaton and many more. All of them do an excellent job bringing this colorful cast of characters to life.
There is a negative though: After the first episode’s release, the game stayed in limbo for a long time, with nobody knowing what was going on with Episode 2 (which is weird considering the game raised $3.45 million, way past its goal), until, luckily, a few days ago we got news on its release date — it’s due next month. Still, they left those of us who liked the first episode in the dark for far too long.