I will admit that I have a soft spot for a few game developers, for the games they released. Altus for the Shin Megami series, Tecmo Koei for Dynasty Warriors, and also Double Fine for… pretty much every game they ever made. That also includes their latest release; Broken Age, a point-and-click game, in a world where that genre is rarer than a Kardashian that knows the meaning of ‘restraint’.
At the moment, the game gives you access to act 1 of the story, with act 2 being available as a free update later this year. Now, I won’t to go into too much detail on the plot, as I don’t want to spoil the story for those who wish to play it. I will say, however, that as soon as I begun playing, I was hooked on the whole setting, from the quirky characters, to the vibrant worlds, and the very mythos of the worlds. You switch perspective between two major characters; Shay and Vella, both seemingly different to each other, yet both have a need to reach greater heights.
The great voice acting conveyed the right emotions, which meant I warmed up to both straight away. Any obstacle that hindered their adventure, I genuinely wanted them to succeed, reach their goal, and grow to their full potential. It wasn’t just Shay and Vella that had unique personalities; even minor characters were distinctive and one-of-a-kind, like a leader of a cult, a paranoid lumberjack scared of trees, and renegade wolf-like creature. Despite their small appearances, they all felt like they had a full story to tell, and a rich history. I wanted to learn more about every character I met.
Gameplay wise, as I said, it’s your usual point-and-click adventure game. Fans of games like Discworld 2 will recognise the mechanics. Every puzzle requires a particular item to progress, or a certain action to trigger a chain reaction. The solutions are usually very quirky and weird, while still retaining a sense of logic to them, so it never felt like you just needed to use every item on everything else in the hopes something would work. That’s usually the sign of a good point and click game.
Despite this genre being a sadly dying breed, there are still sparks of genius emanating from the smog of shooters and racers, and Broken Age proves it.
As soon I saw the conclusion of act 1, I was clamouring for act 2. I need closure.
What happens to those two kids?!
Release Date: 28th Jan
Price: $25 (Act 2 will update for free)
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux (Ouya, iOS and Android to follow)