Adventure Game Girl

Arfle barfle Gloop? A nerdy girl in a pixelated world

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Broken Age (Double Fine)

During my splurge on the Steam Summer Sale recently, I bought Broken Age. This is a brand new game by Tim Schafer who is known as the designer of critically acclaimed games Full ThrottleGrim Fandango and Brütal Legend and co-designer of the early classics The Secret of Monkey IslandMonkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Day of the Tentacle. As this guy is part of so many wonderful games, the second I heard of his involvement, I knew I wanted to play this, without reading ANYTHING about the game anywhere else first!

The odd thing about this game I that I can't decide completely how I feel about it. It was weird, but weird can be good. I felt oddly detached in it. I so badly wanted to love this because of the team behind it. It has some wonderful ideas in it, and I can sense Tim's humour within the game, but it wasn't as prevalent as it is in his other games. This game is only part one (which I only discovered when I finished the game!) so there is more to come, but as far as I'd got, it didn't really make much sense to me, as a game.

There is no denying the beauty of this game...

I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it either. I feel oddly ambivalent about playing it. It's got some big names doing the voices in the game, Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Wil Wheaton! Everything about this game should make it absolute magic, but some sort of spark is lacking. I can't deny that the voice acting is absolutely breath taking, the graphics are beautiful, and the world created is enchanting.. but the puzzles fell flat, and I felt like I was missing something the whole time. I downloaded several games at the same time, and I completed most of the others before I came back to give Broken Age another try, as it just wasn't a game I felt I wanted more of. This said, I will probably try the next part of the game when it is released in the hope it completes the picture more for me, but I feel it's more an indulgence of ideas than something cohesive that works.

Shay the male character (voiced by Elijah Wood)
As for storyline, it's very surreal, but that's not a bad thing. There are two different characters to play and you can switch between the two. There seems to be no connection between the two characters at all until the very end, and it felt a little like playing two different games at once with the same art style. A couple of hints at things that connect the two would have been nice to stop the disconnect in the game. What is interesting is that the concept here is that the two heroes are being babied and controlled with decisions taken from them, and that's exactly how I felt in the game. I was babied with easy puzzles, and felt I had little free will.

I don't like an adventure game that has nothing beyond left clicking on things to interact with the environment, no choosing of whether to look/take/use etc, just if something highlights, you click, and it does the right thing. It feels too easy that way. That is how Broken Age works. Everything seems spoon fed, superficial and easy in that sense.

Vella the female character
Perhaps the problem is that I expected so much more from this game because of the people involved, and that  is why I'm disappointed... It's not a bad game, and it was worth playing... I think... All other reviews I've seen seem to be glowing, so perhaps I'm missing something! For me, Broken Age has many of the right ingredients, but someone screwed up the cooking process I think.

Click below to get the game and try for yourself. Let me know what you think about it!

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I’m useless at these "About Me" things. I’m an artistic type with goffick leanings who sits on her arse all day due to chronic illnesses. I'm a mad cat lady and I'll try my hand at most crafts. That will do for this little box! :D
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