Broken Age was Tim Schafer’s triumphant (?) return to point and click adventure games. It was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, and was the first game where the campaign got sort of wildly out of hand, in that they asked for like $400k and ended up with over $3 million. Developers everywhere starting looking at crowdfunding and rubbing their chins with suspicious intent, and here we are today.
Because of the funding success, DoubleFine increased the scope of Broken Age and delayed its release. It ended up releasing in two halves (Act Two was added as a free update once it came out), and the first half is really very good. There are two protagonists, a girl called Vella who was to be sacrificed to a big monster in a ritual, and a boy called Shay who lives alone on a weird spaceship with AI parents. You switch between the two, so it’s got a kind of Day Of The Tentacle vibe to it.
I like Vella better as a person, because she has a fuck-you-and-can-do attitude, but Shay’s spaceship voyage is very funny. His AI mother fills his days with repetitive rescue missions, where you have to save little aliens made of wool from a runaway train or avalanche. I won’t say too much in case I spoil it for the uninitiated. The second half goes a bit off the rails, but Broken Age has all those DoubleFine/Lucasfilm adventure things you love: weird ideas, cute puzzles, talking trees. Also Will Wheaton is in it, I guess.
To be honest, my most favouritest thing about it is the art and animation. It looks like you’re playing a lovely illustration in a children’s book. Ah, pretty.