Tim Schafer (the maker of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend) and Double Fine recently released his brand new click adventure game Broken Age, and I felt I needed to post about why it’s worth playing. Keep in mind, this is coming from a person that isn’t a hard core gamer and I will do my best to avoid putting spoilers in this review.
For those who haven’t heard what Broken Age is about, here’s the Wikipedia spoiler-free summary:
Broken Age describes the story of two teenagers with no immediate apparent connection between the two, each “seeking to break the tradition with their lives”
Gameplay: I’m not an expert here, but I will say that if you don’t care for click adventure or you’re a big button masher, then you might not enjoy this game as much. If you like a game for a good story and humor, however, this is worth playing. If you’re just a novice player like me, you’ll definitely enjoy this game since the gameplay is literally just point and click, figuring out puzzles all the way through. It took me about 4-5 hours to finish, but this is only part 1 of the game and part 2 will come out later this year.
What I love about this game is that you do have to play both Vella’s and Shay’s stories in order to not just reach the ending of part 1 but also to fully understand what’s happening. The best part? It honestly doesn’t matter whether you play Vella or Shay’s role first. I’ve seen games in which they try to have two characters’ pathes for the same story, but I found often one view point had more details than the other or at least seemed more important.
This is not the case in Broken Age. Both Shay and Vella are very likable though with that said, Vella is an awesome female character. She’s smart, resourceful, brave and not afraid to fight back. From the beginning of the game, Vella is determined to not only oppose Mog Chothra, but to kill it. Oh, and did I mention we also have a main female character that’s a POC too? Woot!
The side characters are really amusing too and there’s a great variety of them. For those wondering, there are plenty of other female characters too. Maggie is probably a favorite of mine, and I hope we see more of her in part 2. With that said, I also want to see Vella’s grandfather in part 2. What’s really touching is that while Vella’s family and the village elder were telling Vella to sacrifice herself, Vella’s grandfather was encouraging her from the get go to fight back. He even got teary eyed when she stood up for herself.
Then there is Shay. I am curious to see how his character develops in part 2. I will admit, I probably did enjoy Vella more as a character than Shay, but it’s not fair to make my final judgement yet since Vella got to go explore the world while it’s clear Shay has been sheltered all his life on the ship. Due to this, he’s only beginning to find out who he really is. I will reserve my final verdict on him until I see part 2, but I am curious to see how his side of the story will play out.
The story is a good mix of humor and adventure. It’s a good story for kids to get into without it being over their heads, but older players upon reaching the ending will realize the dark undertones and themes of what’s actually happening in the story. The ending of part 1 stood out so much that I actually played the whole game again just to get the small details I didn’t before, and my husband and I spent hours discussing the various plot twists.
All in all, if you crave a game with good characters - particularly good female game characters - then I would highly recommend giving Broken Age a try. In conclusion I shall now end this post with my favorite quote of the game, with names obscured to avoid spoilers.
Person 1: Ah, let’s just call a death ray a death ray!
Person 2: Yay!
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