Top Critic Average
This is only Act 1, of course, as an agonising cliffhanger reminds us, and as such this can only be regarded as a very promising start. Whether or not the concluding part offers the increased breadth and complexity many will be clamouring for as the credits roll is unclear. But it's hard to see anyone reaching the middle point of Vella and Shay's story and not wanting to stay tuned to see where they end up.
In terms of making people want to play because it looks beautiful and strange, rather than because it's an adventure game. Unfortunately the latter creates huge expectations, an albatross they hung around their own neck.
The completed Broken Age could well be an excellent game, and I'll be back when it's finished to review it in its entirety. But the better the game turns out to be, the more of a disservice it is to play the first act now. To play it now is to be a part of a process. To play it later is to, well, play it.
Broken Age's first act does just about enough to stand alone, though it really wasn't supposed to be this way, and that's clearly evident in a game that's slow to start and ends just as it hits its stride. However, gorgeous visuals, cracking performances, and a wonderfully-written script that manages to perfectly blend the serious and the surreal make Broken Age worth a look at this early stage. But we won't be putting a score on it until the whole thing is in our hands.
Broken Age is both a huge success and a cautionary tale for Kickstarter backers. While the game absolutely delivers on great gameplay, story, and production value rarely seen in the genre, its short length and the fact that you'll have to wait months for the second half of the game are worrying.
I haven't felt this surge of nostalgia and excitement about a game in a long time, and I truly think Broken Age will be looked back fondly as one of the greats. That being said, the first Act is only a few short hours and ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger with no word on how long we'll be waiting for the rest of the game. In some ways I feel cheated, but in the end it's the heart of the game that matters - and that certainly isn't broken.
Joking aside, there's a valuable comparison to be made between Broken Age and Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse. Both are throwbacks to the golden age of point and click adventures made by creators who helped define that era.
Broken Age has delivered what it promised, quite wonderfully. This initial offering of the first half, and the promise of a conclusion to come at no extra cost, is enough to earn it attention for its beauty. The second half, and its subsequent review, will bear the weight of the example its opening gave, and will decide whether this game is worth the score I give it.
[W]e wholeheartedly recommend that fans of any form of fantasy storytelling, especially those who are fans of Pendleton Ward's style (who actually is part of the cast), must play Broken Age: Act 1. We have a good feeling that if Double Fine held off for just another year, the full version of Broken Age would have easily been a nominee for game of the year.
Broken Age works. Its story is compelling and captivating, giving you questions and clues all the way, and the absolutely stunning ending will leave you desperate to continue. The worlds created are fascinating and diverse, tied together perfectly with incredible artwork and music.
Broken Age is charming, attractive, funny, and all-around entertaining. For fans of adventure games, it leaves little to be desired short of its second act. If that meets the standard set by the currently playable bit, Double Fine looks to have dropped a classic in its wake. Regardless, the experience of Act 1 is enough to recommend outright — don't hesitate to add this title to your library.
There may not be much actual "game" in Broken Age Act 1, but as a window into two interesting and charming adventures it easily fulfills the Kickstarter promise. The presentation is beautiful and unique, as are the settings and characters. The puzzles are the weakest parts, with a stripped-back interface that offers little beyond combining things and using them on people and specific spots.
The Broken Age will win you over in minutes, and what it lacks in length or difficulty it makes up for in pure personality. From talking Spoons to a guru who makes people remove vowels from their names in order to attain true lighten-ness, it's a weird world, and you'll feel part of it in way we haven't seen since the lost age of adventure games.
It's simply amazing that Double Fine was able to turn something so inherently ridiculous into something incredibly serious with just a click of the mouse. It's just as amazing that Double Fine was able to transport me back to the late 80s and early 90s, reminding me just how much I loved these type of games in the late 80s and early 90s. I cannot wait for the [free!] update that will bring on Act 2. I also cannot wait to see if Broken Age ushers in a new era of the point-and-click genre.
Broken Age Act One is short and far too easy, and the worst part is, after smacking us with a 'bloody hell, didn't see that one coming' ending, we now have to wait for Act Two to stroll along before we can finally finish the game. If you hate cliffhangers you may even wish to wait until the second half is available. However, the fact that we still massively enjoyed our time with Act One, and can't wait to pick up the story's finale, proves that Mr Schafer has once again produced a stunning little gem.
For any fan of classic adventure games, playing Broken Age will be like wrapping yourself in a big, comfy blanket made of pointing, clicking, and a whole lot of laughs.
The scenes you explore and characters you discover will keep you delighted. 'Broken Age' is charismatic, colorful and, above all, decidedly unique. Double Fine is unafraid to break with the current trends that lean away from this kind of tale and this kind of game. I can't say anybody who hates point-and-click adventures will suddenly find joy in the kind of puzzles requiring your attention, but that's really not the point anyway. Vella and Shay are well-designed characters looking for their own answers in well-written worlds. It's their answers, and not the puzzles', which propel the player forward.
Broken Age is a unique game. It's made directly for and on the demand of a very specific audience, rather than for any publisher. In some ways it's surprising that - despite being traditional - it doesn't feel like a Lucasarts game. That's likely what backers wanted, and whilst those elements are there, this is a Double Fine game to the final letter. It's gentle, loving, and fun; not a Grim Fandango rehash, but the gaming equivalent of a petting a kitten. If your eyes are not welling up with sheer joy at such a thought, then perhaps Broken Age is not for you. For everyone else, it's probably already in your Steam library anyway.
Broken Age: Act 1 is all about the slow build. Slow isn't boring, however, and a wonderful job is done of carefully constructing the pace while keeping the audience amused. It's a strong start that concludes in a way that makes me desperate for more.
Despite its lack of challenge, Broken Age is absolutely worth playing in order to explore its world, meet its wonderful characters and become hooked by the mystery presented by its story. I might even suggest playing Part 1 now and being forced to wait for the second half of the game to come out in the spring. It gives us time to ponder the mystery, come up with theories, discuss them with fellow fans, and get excited over the kind of mystery that's rare in this day of Let's Plays and Internet FAQs. It may not be the perfect game, but Broken Age is something special that any gamer with a taste for the fantastic won't want to miss.
Broken Age can't quite overcome the problem that's plagued the adventure genre for decades: obscure puzzle solutions that force players to use every item in their inventory in as many ways as they can think of.
Apart from the ending of course, which I'm thinking about a lot. Broken Age: Act 1 is a wonderful piece of work, well worth the time and money put into it, an excellent piece of videogame fiction, but it just needs some work being an actual videogame. Let's hope Act 2 maintains the quality but ups the difficulty.
If the first act truly is half of the game, there is some reasonable concern that Act 2 might need to be considerably longer to resolve everything without resorting to an overly-expository info dump.
You'll find a lot to like in Broken Age. It has a beautiful world populated by a colorful cast of characters and an alluring mystery that doesn't unfold in the way you expect it to. This is Double Fine Productions at its finest, and it's on track to finish strong with Act 2.
Act One of Broken Age starts off strong, with an incredibly well-written storyline that props up some occasionally weak puzzle work. Let's hope Double Fine can follow through with Act Two when it arrives later this year.
Arguably the biggest Kickstarter story sticks its first landing. Broken Age is a cute, colorful tale about growing up. While the 'game' part of the experience is pretty straightforward - like an old-school adventure game - the world is full of charming and unique characters. Sit back, figure out some puzzles, and experience the wonderful little tale that Double Fine has crafted.
Still, a big part of me wishes I'd waited for Act II and played Broken Age in its uninterrupted entirety. It's smart to always leave the audience wanting more, but when a book is snapped shut in the middle of a story, there's a danger of the reader getting his fingers pinched. And mine, frankly, feel a little bit sore.
There will be some who perceive the game's specific design decisions as flaws, and they aren't necessarily wrong, but they were likely never going to enjoy Broken Age anyways. Broken Age falls into a very specific genre, one that rarely gets much attention anymore, and makes a strong case for why it should.
Act 2 simply cannot come soon enough! Oh wait, that should be the final line, right? Broken Age has two parts to it, one moderately intriguing and short-lived, and another that really harks back to the classic days of point-and-click adventuring and goes on just long enough to draw players deep into the tale, leaving the action at a very impressive conclusion. Can it be said now? Yes, Act 2 simply cannot come soon enough! In the meantime, though, do not miss out on the highly polished adventure!
Broken Age succeeds, however, in being exactly what it sets out to be: a tightly woven, succinct, pleasantly told fairy tale, full of enough brain prodding to begin it all over again. A huge endgame twist both satisfies and questions the full extent of the story, accomplishing the challenging task of leaving the player both fulfilled and wanting more. If this is what the Kickstarter revolution will yield—tightly authored works with immaculate aesthetics—then we're ready for much more.
Disappointment? Underwhelming? Those criticisms are far too harsh for a game that is undeniably delightful to play, but they carry a sting of truth. Pleasant but undemanding, gorgeous but lacking in depth - fans will be forgiven for expecting something a little more chewy, a little more experimental, from a developer who made his name by turning adventure games upside down. Here's hoping Act 2 builds some gameplay muscle to go with the supermodel looks.
Broken Age does a fine job of creating an outlandish world populated by interesting characters, but is let-down somewhat by its core gameplay. The style and story are both very strong and will draw you into the game; sadly however, adventure games are generally concerned with puzzle solving, and the puzzles found in Broken Age just don't test your little grey cells as much as one would like. They are logical and integrated into the game very well, but there is very little challenge to them. Hopefully, this is down to the game looking to get progressively harder as it goes on and Act 2 will be more challenging. As it is, Act 1 feels a little light.
Beautiful art style, well rounded characters, familiar humour, and heart. At first glance, Broken Age is a visually stunning, polished homage to the adventure games of the past. But it's over all too quickly, without enough challenges to satisfy, or enough innovations to drive the genre forward.