Double Fine’s KickStarted game makes half an appearance.
After a hugely successful KickStarter campaign, which managed to raise more than $3.3 million back in 2012, the proposed point and click adventure game Broken Age is now available on Steam. Well, by available, we mean partly available as the game was split into two acts, and the second act will be coming later this year. Where does this leave the gamer on finishing Broken Age act one? Pretty much wanting more…
Tim Schafer’s Broken Age tells the interesting and immersive story of two young and vulnerable teenagers, Shay and Vella, craving liberation from the circumstances life as set upon them and some understanding of their lives and destiny.
Shay’s only experience of the world is through a daily routine inside a spaceship constructed for toddlers. Shay has little say about how, why or what his life should be about and is carefully monitored and routinely overprotected by a computerized mother figure, who ultimately wishes to keep him safe and protected. The spaceship where Shay resides is decorated with cuddly toys and hanging mobiles, creating a perfect child friendly environment. Special robots tend to his every need, whether it’s getting him out of his clothes or delivering him some nutritional cereals on a training spoon. All his wants and needs are catered for in this secure and preserved habitat.
Shay’s daily routine revolves around completing missions, rescuing his yarn friends from the perils of an ice cream landslide, or carefully guiding a runaway train away from instant disaster. His life is boring, monotonous and repetitive. He longs for something more exciting and meaningful. Fortunately, he won’t have to wait too long.
Vella, on the other hand, has a different sort of life and takes a different path in her search for her destiny. The village she resides in has chosen her to be sacrificed to a creature called the Mog Chothra, who comes from a long line of distinguished mogs. A grand mog emerges every fourteen years, descends onto the land in search of a maiden as part of the maiden’s feast. Strangely, Vella just doesn’t want to be served up to this monster, no matter how much of an honour it is. Fearful of her future, Vella begins a journey to rise against this creature and defeat it before it ultimately devours her.
Two souls with two individual stories that are set to intertwine. Broken Age enables you to swap between each of the characters within the game, allowing you to move their separate storylines along while experiencing this beautifully created fantasy world and the existence of these two teenagers.
Broken age is beautifully illustrated, enriched with striking scenery and enjoyable characters to play each part. It is bright and colourful, and plays host to a stellar cast of voice actors, including Elijah Wood and Wil Wheaton.
The puzzles in Broken Age tend towards finding objects and interacting with things in the environment.Some of the puzzles will leave you perplexed, forcing you to think outside the box to find an answer. However, they all seem to make some kind of sense and are not especially complicated for the most part.
Double Fine have delivered a finely crafted point and click adventure, and switching between the two storylines is both enjoyable and immersive. Shay’s environment is more limited to one area and relies on more interactive elements, whilst Vella’s focal point is engaging in dialogue. Each character is well balanced as they each try to escape their current fates. Broken Age may not make any great leaps or bounds for the point and click genre, but the game will ignite your imagination, leaving you wanting more and worrying about the fate of these two characters.
The stunning scenery and environment mixed with the gameplay and the enjoyable characters makes this a thoroughly enjoyable title that ends too quickly. You never want the journey to end, and having to face a wait for the second act to come round is pure anguish. In this first act, there will be times when you are confused or lost. But eventually the lives of Shay and Vella come together, suggesting an exciting second act. Whatever comes in act two, Broken Age act one is a carefully crafted and beautifully orchestrated masterpiece.