The Sunday Geekery Weighs in on Broken Age: Act 1

The Sunday Geekery Weighs in on Broken Age: Act 1

Broken AgeMany moons ago (which turns out to be roughly two years), I jumped on the Double Fine/Tim Schafer band wagon and threw money at their Kickstarter campaign. I’m seriously a Tim fangirl. I think back to Maniac Mansion and Grim Fandango with a nostalgia so deep, it might actually be emotional. I had amazingly high expectations for Broken Age that raised 3.3  million bucks (2.9 more than they asked for) and promised to stay true to the nostalgia of the point and click games that came before it. Maybe – my expecations were too high.

Two Things I love.

It surprised me. I didn’t see it coming – Actually said DAY-UM right out loud. Once the story converged, I found myself speechless. It’s a real “Sixth Sense” moment. The answer is in your face the whole time with just enough divergence to make you miss it. I love it when a story surprises me, and that’s hard to do – I’ve seen a lot of movies, read a lot of books, and played a lot of games. Props to Tim for that!

The art is spot on. I really enjoyed looking at the layout of the land. It’s a lovely set of cohesive art work. As part of contributing to the kickstarter, I’ve had access to a set of development videos with a few of them focusing on the artwork. They put an amazing amount of work and time into it and I think it shows in a very positive way.

BrokenAge

What I like.

The dialog. The characters may be a bit on the one-dimensional side, but they are amusing. There’s lot of Easter eggs and nods to those “in the know”. Given how many pop culture references I caught, I can’t imagine how many there actually are!

The Lumberjack! Who doesn’t like the lumberjack?

Puzzles are solvable. I only found myself looking on the internet to solve one puzzle. There’s no way in the world I would have ever come across the answer on my own. Now that I know the answer, I don’t think it is too hard to figure out – if you’re not me!

BrokenAgeLumberjack

What I don’t like.

Not enough meat. Only Act 1 has been released, so I’m being judgmental about 1/2 a game, but I really felt like there was some serious exploration missing. Maybe I’m remembering point and clicks of days gone by incorrectly, but I expect there to be dud items, meaningless interactions, optional quests, and some amount of risk. Seriously – if you did something dumb in Manic Mansion, it blew up and you started over! This one really felt like just going through the motions.

Super short. According to my Steam clock, I played this game for 2 hours 48 minutes. I clicked absolutely everything, talked to absolutely everyone and even tried pixel old school mode. If that’s half a game, we’re looking at < 6 hours for a $25 game. hm. Maybe Act 2 (included in the price) will be far more robust.brokenageI’m on the fence with this one! I want to give it a BUY IT NOW recommendation, but feel like I need to reserve judgement until after I have a go at Act 2, whenever that may be.

Need a Double Fine Fix right now?

May I suggest these two from the archives?

TheCaveVidThumbThe Cave is a brilliant fun game! It’s a clever way to combine different characters with tons of fun puzzles. The Cave itself is one funny guy! My favorite stories are the Twins, The Redneck, and The Spaceman. I’m pretty sure this one is on all of the platforms including pc,  xbox, and playstation.


costume-questOMG. If you missed Costume Quest when it was new in 2010 – go back and get it now. One of my favorites in a good long while. It is a fantastic mix of  adventure, RPG, and just plain fun. I’m pretty sure this one is on all of the platforms too!

 

So what do you get nostalgic about? How do you think a remake would go over? Still be as cool as you remember or should have been left in the past?

4 Comments

  1. I don’t play computer games but if I did I’d have a go at this one, it sounds fun and the characters look really cute.

    Reply
    • Double Fine is a publisher known for their quirky games. They all have a “feel” to them. Nice and light with serious undertones and some funny jokes. If you ever get a wild hair and decide you must play a game, any one of these three are good choices!

      Reply
  2. The only game I ever played was Spiro the Dragon. I loved the, now low tech, animation – the trees springing up as you went by! If I played games, I doubt I’d get anything else done but I do like the sound of games with puzzle solving and a story, rather than just shooting people or car chases. I’m so in the dark ages I hadn’t realized they were invented! 🙂

    Reply
    • Oh yes! They are around! Back in the day most games were text adventures. Literally read type, read type. No graphics, all stories and puzzles. There’s a good pile of them on this site: http://textadventures.co.uk/ Try one out! You might be amused by what us gamers thought was A-MAZ-ING 30 years ago!

      Reply

What say you?