The Ninjabot

Broken Age Act 1 Review: Simple and Fun

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm by Justin Cavender

Broken Age 1

Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure with an intriguing story and gorgeous visuals that you would swear popped right out of a children’s book. I’m a sucker for adventure and this delightful outing by Double Fine had me going from start to finish. Broken Age won’t blow you away with gameplay mechanics or mind-bending puzzles, but you will find great storytelling with fun and interesting characters.

Oy, Teens Have it Rough

The story follows a boy and a girl from different worlds, both of which are trying to escape what life has planned for each of them. Perhaps on some level it’s easy to relate to these two characters, as I’m sure many of us have probably felt trapped at some point in our lives. Maybe you tried to shake things up a bit and did the opposite of what’s expected of you from your friends or family. Discovering who you are and what you’re made of is all part of growing up. The same goes for our two protagonists Shay and Vella. They need to break free and in the process might learn a thing or two about themselves.

Broken Age is truly a delight to look at and there were times when I would just sit back and drink up the scenery. Vella lives in world that I can only describe as a fairytale land. She lives in a small village where its citizens offer her up to a giant, many-eyed monster, named Mog Chothra. Before you know it, Vella escapes certain death and begins her journey that takes her high into the clouds.

Shay’s world is much different than Vella’s and rather than exploring different regions, he is stuck on a spaceship with only a maternal computer to keep him company. Shay has been alone his entire life and has obviously outgrown the toys that were left for him. It’s time for Shay to explore new worlds and save others from enemy threats.

Broken Age 4

Story-Driven With Quick and Easy Puzzles

With any point-and-click adventure it’s up to the writing to keep the players engaged in the story. Gameplay isn’t really a factor here. Sure there are puzzles to solve and items to collect, but honestly they take the backseat in this journey. There were only a few occasions when I got stuck and couldn’t figure out what to do next. This wasn’t really a problem though, because players can switch between characters at any point to take a bit of a mental break. Furthermore, players have the option to skip cut-scenes and even walk faster to move things along.

There were times when I thought the dialogue options were a little on the dull side. This could be frustrating for some, especially if you’re not certain where to go and there’s always the possibility a character might have a clue or item to share with you. However, most items are easy to come by and fairly self-explanatory when solving puzzles. In most cases, you’ll simply click an item in your inventory and then click the object on your screen to complete the puzzle. However, on occasion, some items need to be combined in order to move forward.

I did find Vella’s story to be much more compelling than Shay’s, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time on his spaceship. Perhaps it was exploring the different settings in her world that kept me glued to my seat. With Shay, there were times I felt like I needed to just press on to get to the end of act one. In fact, some of the characters on the ship were just a little too childish for me. I’m sure if I was a kid playing this game I would love the little yarn guys, but they just didn’t do it for me. Their voices simply got on my nerves and I wanted to throw them out the nearest airlock.

Broken Age 5

Fun For All Ages

Broken Age is perfect for those of you looking for a fun and sometimes dark point-and-click adventure. The game deals with some heavy themes like loneliness and sacrifice. Ultimately, it’s a coming of age tale that left me pleasantly surprised after nearly the four hours it took to complete. The puzzles range from easy to moderate difficulty and with the power of the internet at your fingertips, you can cheat your way to victory! I will admit to getting stuck once and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do next. Luckily for me, the Google knows…

Presentation: 10

Gameplay: 7

Replay: 6

Legacy Score: 7.6

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

This review is based on a Steam download of Broken Age, provided by Double Fine.

Follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo for more geek news.

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