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Game Info:

Broken Age 
Developed by: Double Fine
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Available on: PC (reviewed), Mac
Genre: Puzzle
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $24.99

Broken Age is one of the most successful Kickstarters to date with over 3.3 million raised from their $400K goal.  I was one of the proud backers and gained access to the beta of which this review is based on.  Double Fine has been around for a while and has a great portfolio including games like Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking.  Prior to Double Fine, their founder, Tim Schafer was involved in many great adventure game classics including Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series.   

Even though I had to wait nearly two years, I was confident that the end product was going to be good.  In the meantime I was granted access to several behind the scenes movies and it was fascinating watching this game come together slowly but surely.  Despite the massive funding, Broken Age wound up being too big of a game. For Double Fine to deliver it in a reasonable amount of time, it had to be split up into two acts.

Broken Age is a 2D point and click adventure game that intertwines the lives of a boy and a girl that are   trying to fight for their independence.  You can pick who to play as first, I chose Vella's story.    According to Vella's town, she has the “honor” of being offered as a sacrifice to ensure her town's safety.  She doesn't feel so flattered and would rather defeat the monster instead of appeasing it.  Meanwhile, Shay lives in a spaceship that has a motherly computer system that keeps him from harm.  He is tired of being treated like a baby and would like to do real missions by helping those in need across the galaxy.

Highlights:

Strong Points: An excellent adventure game with witty dialogue, likable characters, solvable riddles
Weak Points: I have to wait for Act 2
Moral Warnings: Some language, using the Lord's name in vain, potty humor, and innuendos

Like all adventure games, you have to collect various items that will prove useful later in the game.  You must keep an eye out for objects that you can grab or talk their respective owners out of.  In some cases, reverse psychology is required to have the owner want to part with the desired item.  While many items are used as they are, others have to be combined in the inventory area.

The interface was pretty straightforward and easy to use.  Even though the takeable items didn't really stand out from the game's art, the mouse cursor let you know otherwise.    The graphics are unique and very colorful.  The animations are fluid, but I did notice some minor glitches that have already been brought to the developer's attention.  I'm pretty confident that they will be ironed out in the final version of the game. 

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 71%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 2/10
Sexual Content - 8/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

The audio is well done with an awesome score that fits the game's mood perfectly.  I loved the James Bond/Battlestar Galactica style music on Shay's spaceship.    The voice acting is top notch with voice talent from Jack Black, Elijah Wood, and Wil Wheaton. 

As you can imagine this is a pretty well polished game and a lot of thought and Kickstarter backer feedback went into it.  The puzzles in it were challenging enough to where I had to sleep on it and figure them out the next time I played.  I'm proud to say that I did not need the help of a walk through to complete the first act (which took me less than five hours).  

While I highly recommend this game to any adventure gamer out there, there are some appropriateness issues worth mentioning.  There's some toilet humor, sexual innuendos and mild language.  The complete OMG phrase is used repeatedly throughout the game. If that doesn't bother you, then I would recommend picking up the full game on Steam for $24.99 or less. 

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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