The long-awaited game is finally here, but is this point and click adventure a great new addition for this age, or just a broken expectation?
In Broken Age, we follow 2 subsequent stories that happen in different points in the game’s timeline. First are the adventures of Shay, a teenager in look for more thrilling adventures to escape his overly peaceful and safe life, and Vella, a girl that rebelliously wishes to escape her fate of becoming a ceremonial sacrifice. Shay’s story takes place in the depths of space, as he is safeguarded by his overprotective pre-programmed AI parents while he takes on fake missions prepared by the computers within the space ship he’s residing in. Vella on the other hand, wishes to escape her fate of being fed to Mog Chothra, a giant monster that threatens to destroy her village unless sacrifices are offered to him in the ceremonial event of the maidens feast. Both of these character’s stories are very different, but share one particular ambition. The escape of their pre-determined fates.
This game will leave you in awe. The visual style in Broken Age is a timeless and beautiful one, with skilfully made children’s-book-like illustrations and fluidly charming animations, nothing looks dull or repeated. Every character has a unique appearance, down to every little detail, colour and shape; while every single one of the environments, ranging from space to exotic villages are all overflowing with life. To behold this game is an impressive visual experience.
The voice acting is top notch. There are no subpar voice actors and the dialogues are funny, witty, and also serious when they have to be. Listening to all the different characters is a definitive delight. In comparison the music sets the tone for the different scenarios as it should quite nicely, but unfortunately, it isn’t exactly memorable or breathtaking. Considering all the game’s presentation is nothing short of incredible, the music is very good, just nothing really spectacular.
Being a point and click adventure game, there’s nothing special about the gameplay. You advance from scene to scene in the game, almost feeling like watching a cartoon, and when given the ability to move, you control your character by clicking on the areas that you wish to move to, interacting with the environments and items by clicking on them.
Character interactions happen in the same way. Many times you will have to converse with other people, machines or creatures by selecting them. Sometimes all it takes is a click on them and see what they have to say, while other times, when a more complex conversation is involved, you will be provided with options on what your character can say to the other. Choosing the correct conversation paths is a matter of trial and error, but fortunately, there are no wrong options to choose from; all conversations involve asking for hints or advancing the story.
Certain key parts of the environments can be interacted with, in some instances requiring you to pull levers or open doors in order to access certain areas of the game. There is also a simple inventory space in which you store items that you may either find in your travels, or that were handed to you from other characters. Using items is simple and intuitive, simply clicking interact with them, or dragging them towards a source in which they can be used in.
Not everything is perfect however. At certain parts of the game, it can get a bit tricky figuring out what parts of the environment can be interacted with, or what sort of approach must be taken in order to achieve something. It’s not a game breaker, but something that can definitively test the patience of players with a smaller attention span.