Broken Age PC

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 80 Ratings

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  • Summary: Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure telling the stories of a young boy and girl leading parallel lives. The girl has been chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster--but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under theBroken Age is a point-and-click adventure telling the stories of a young boy and girl leading parallel lives. The girl has been chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster--but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but he wants to break free to lead adventures and do good in the world. Adventures ensue. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. May 13, 2015
    89
    Playing through Broken Age brings the player back in time, to the good old graphic adventure days. Double Fine made us wait probably too long, but the final result is a game that you shouldn't miss if you love this kind of videogame.
  2. May 5, 2015
    82
    Overall, Broken Age is a fine game.
  3. May 5, 2015
    80
    Broken Age is a great adventure game with an amazing art style and funny characters.
  4. Apr 30, 2015
    78
    Solely thanks to its fantastic presentation and the sympathetic characters Broken Age can still warm my heart, but the great love is gone.
  5. May 3, 2015
    75
    Despite long stretches of anger-inducing logic in Act II, Broken Age as a whole is a poignant and clever adventure game that is worth playing through, even if it never lives up to the promise of its midpoint.
  6. Apr 27, 2015
    73
    The disappointing second half lets it down, but even at best, Broken Age is far from the genre’s greats.
  7. May 27, 2015
    50
    Upon completion it does feel pretty much worth the effort, although even then it is still a little bit confused and there are unanswered questions.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. May 15, 2015
    9
    I can wholeheartedly recommend this game. It's gorgeous, it has a nice story beginning to end, the characters are likeable, and the music andI can wholeheartedly recommend this game. It's gorgeous, it has a nice story beginning to end, the characters are likeable, and the music and voice acting is excellent.

    I'm pretty okay at adventure games, but not the best. I've played quite some (among my favourite are Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Machinarium and Book of Unwritten Tales), and I'm familiar with the general way of how adventure game puzzles are structured. The puzzles ranged from simple to challenging, but I never found them dull or illogical. I reached for a walkthrough once, and when I read the solution to that puzzle, I immediately realized where I had forgotten to connect the dots. I had disregarded some comment by one of the characters as irrelevant and forgotten about it, but it turned out to be relevant after all. That's something that happens to me a lot more in adventure games, and I'm fine with that. Never have I thought "Well how was I supposed to come up with that?". As is common in adventure games, sometimes you do think "Why can't I just solve it this way? That would be way easier!" or "Surely that other character has the necessary qualifications to solve this issue for me". But obviously, if it were way easier, or you would let someone else fix things for you, you wouldn't have a puzzle to solve, now would you? :).

    There are some puzzles where Vella or Shay will give a hint when you do it wrong a few times. Sometimes I thought they were a bit soon with that, I would have preferred to muddle along a bit more without any hints.

    The characters often have funny things to say, and I've laughed out loud on many occasions. I have properly enjoyed myself playing the game, and I found the end satisfying. Sometimes a game is very nice while you play, but they botch up something at the end that leaves you unsatisfied even though you enjoyed it right up to the end. Luckily, this is not the case here. Oh, on that subject: the pictures surrounding the ending credits give a sort of epilogue to the story, so even if you usually click through the credits, you might not want to do that for this game.

    It runs fine on my Linux machine, which is nice, because I only boot Windows for games that don't run or don't run well natively on Linux. But I could use my preferred OS just fine.

    I could only find one problem with the game, related to clicking on objects in a scene. It turns out I need a lot of explanation to make clear what the problem is; so here goes.

    When you try to use an object from your inventory on an object in the scene, the object in the scene is highlighted. However, when you simply hover your cursor on an object in the scene, it's not highlighted. The cursor does indicate you can click, but the thing you're clicking on is not indicated. This can get confusing when you're trying to determine if something is clickable or not; whether it's background or a usable object. Say there's a person in the scene, and a space ship control panel next to that person. When I hover over the control panel, the cursor indicates I can click. But when I click, it becomes clear I've chosen to interact with the person. This can be confusing: is it indeed the case I can't click the control panel, or was I clicking too close to the person? After several clicks which initiate talking to the person, I'm concluding the control panel is part of the background scene. This can be annoying, because knowing what you can interact with is very important in a point-and-click adventure. Note that there is no pixel hunting in this game; it's not as bad as that. Everything you can interact with has a decent size, it's just that not everything that has a decent size can be interacted with :).

    I'm surprised by the amount of negative publicity around this game. These negative reviews are the main reason for me to write this review, because I think they paint a wrong picture of the game and might put off people who would love the game. So I'll admit I might be somewhat biased in my review, although I'm really doing my best not to be. But I feel a lot of the negativity and bashing is also not because of the actual game itself but because of other things surrounding it. People seem to be actively looking for things to fault the game for because there is something else they don't like for some reason or the other. Whether that be consciously or unconsciously.

    This game might not be your thing, and that's okay. But I find it very hard to find fault with the quality of this game. If you think this could be your thing, don't be disheartened by the negative reviews. It would be such a shame if you decided not to buy this game because of those, and missed out on the great joy you would have had playing it!
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  2. May 3, 2015
    8
    This is NOT a bad game, in fact it's one of the best graphic adventures I've played recently. The problem here is that it is not theThis is NOT a bad game, in fact it's one of the best graphic adventures I've played recently. The problem here is that it is not the groundbreaking masterpiece fans of Grim Fandango and other old glories were waiting for.
    It is funny, witty, entertaining and hard enough for newcomers to the genre (a little bit too much on the easy side for veterans, especially the first half). Puzzles are fun and well done (especially near the end of the game). The score and the art are amazing, the game is trurly a joy to look at and listen to. Voice acting is excellent and the game features people like Jack Black, Will Wheaton and Elijah Wood.
    However, there are flaws. Some characters are a little "glossed over". They come and go very quickly in Act 1 and when they return in Act 2, you basically won't talk to them after the first dialogue. The character played by Jack Black is the best example: funny, interesting and full of potential "wasted" in 2 dialogues and 1 puzzle. Despite the development time, the game offers a little selection of settings (screens) compared to the average old G.A. (what you see in Act 1 is basically what you'll get in Act 2 along with a handful of new locations). Also, the ending feels rushed and generic. I was truly disappointed by it because it sort of gives closure to everything in the lazyest way possible (you'll see) and abrupts the game in a point where I was excited to see what was coming next (again, you'll see).
    I won't mention backtracking as a flaw because it is inevitable in some sort of way in a G.A. I think it is only more evident here because of the restricted number of screens.
    For the record: I am not a backer, but I've watched the Making of documentary on Youtube. I know what Double Fine has been through while making this game, but that is not an excuse for its shortcomings.

    I give Broken Age an 8/10 that would have been a 7.5/10 if it weren't for the art and the music.

    PROS
    + Art style
    + Voice acting
    + Orchestral score
    + Puzzles are hard enough for newcomers to the genre
    + Classic Tim Schafer dialogues

    CONS
    - Puzzles are fairly easy for veterans of the genre
    - Some NPCs could have been used more
    - Very few screens
    - The ending feels generic and rushed
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  3. May 18, 2015
    7
    What is this game?!: A point and click adventure game with two protagonists that you switch between and solve puzzles and meet quirkyWhat is this game?!: A point and click adventure game with two protagonists that you switch between and solve puzzles and meet quirky characters!!
    Pros:
    -Great writing and voice acting
    -Beautiful graphical style
    -The logic is zany but only mildly so making the puzzles much more...well, logical but still fantastical.

    Cons
    -Recycled areas between act 1 and 2 start to make the world feel stale as you get towards the end.
    -I myself wasn't a fan of the end/story and that's all I'll say about that/
    -There are some frustrating puzzles that make checking walkthroughs very tempting. I'm thinking of you wire puzzles!

    Conclusion: It's a game I wanted to like a lot but ended up getting tired of and at times frustrated with. Yet I still do like it.
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  4. Nov 8, 2015
    7
    There was certainly a lot of hype around this game and as a backer I was along for the ride. Fast forward 3 years and we finally have aThere was certainly a lot of hype around this game and as a backer I was along for the ride. Fast forward 3 years and we finally have a completed game. After playing both acts I would say that the game is decent, but not a must have. There’s certainly a lot of charm from the hand painted artwork to the dialogue and music, but charm doesn’t make a great game. While act 1 was fun and full of potential, act 2 felt disconnected. The puzzles became illogical, the story was inconsistent, and there was too much running back and forth across maps. All in all, this was a bit of a letdown for me. I still recommend it, but have realistic expectations - this isn’t a magical unicorn that will single handedly save adventure games. Expand
  5. Jul 14, 2016
    5
    Not the worst adventure game I've ever played but far from the best. Act one is pretty good - the story is interesting. Now many puzzles inNot the worst adventure game I've ever played but far from the best. Act one is pretty good - the story is interesting. Now many puzzles in Act one but at least almost all of them are logical.

    Act two kills the game. The same locations are reused and there is lots of running around trying to find the person who will advance the puzzles you are working on. The puzzles are more challenging but only because the solutions border on the absurd.

    Technically the game is quite good - the graphics are nice and the voice acting is of a high quality. But story and puzzles count the most for me so I can't recommend this game.
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  6. Oct 15, 2016
    4
    Broken Age is an old-school point-and-click adventure game. You play as two characters – Shay and Vella – and can switch between them at anyBroken Age is an old-school point-and-click adventure game. You play as two characters – Shay and Vella – and can switch between them at any point during the story.

    This sounds neat, but unfortunately, while this sounds neat, for the vast majority of the story – indeed, up until the very, very end of the game – it is almost completely irrelevant. And unfortunately, in the bit where it IS relevant, it actually makes no sense. But I am getting ahead of myself.

    Broken Age is an old-school adventure game. You have a (very small) inventory, though unlike some old games you can’t create unwinnable situations or nonsense like that. There are puzzles you have to solve in the world, primarily by taking inventory items, combining inventory items, and delivering inventory items to people/locations to solve problems. Some of the items have to be manipulated within your inventory – in particular, you get a robot later on in the game which you repeatedly have to rewire to perform various tasks on your behalf.

    The actual story is split into two parts – Shay’s story is about him trying to escape from his rather controlling ship, where “Mom” (a woman’s face in a glowing orb) is rather controlling and has him do ridiculous “missions” which are all just fake adventures. Robots serve the roles of NPCs in these adventures, and it is only when Shay deliberately breaks one of the adventures that his story really begins, as a stowaway wolf (or, more accurately, man in a wolf costume) offers to help him find some REAL adventure – saving some innocent creatures. But he has to go around the ship and bypass various security and safety mechanisms in order to do it.

    Meanwhile, Vella’s half of the story is that her people periodically sacrifice maidens to Mog Chothra, a tentacled flying monster. She has been chosen as one of this year’s sacrifices for her hometown, but she isn’t going to go down without a fight – this whole thing is stupid, and Vella believes they should fight the monster rather than appease it. This leads to her doing exactly that, and her going on an adventure which eventually results in her battling the thing.

    The second half of the game has the characters switch places – Vella has to go through Shay’s ship, while Shay has to deal with Vella’s world. Both realize that not everything was as it seemed, as does the player.

    Unfortunately, this reveals one of the three major flaws of the game – you basically spend almost the entire game backtracking back and forth across two fairly limited areas. The ship is smaller and quicker to go through than Vella’s area, which requires significant backtracking. Thus, even though there’s not that many areas in the game, the game as a whole takes nearly ten hours to complete. This can make the game feel a bit tedious at times, doubly so because there just aren’t many new areas to explore after the first half of the game.

    The second problem arises from the fact that Vella’s part of the game is just generally more interesting than Shay’s ship. Shay’s ship has basically one joke, and it is repeated over and over again, while Vella’s area is more varied and has more interesting people to interact with. Vella herself is a kind of bland character; Shay is somewhat better, and his companion, a spoon in his inventory, is more interesting to drag around. It also is with him longer; Vella acquires a fork and knife, but they are less interesting NPCs and have fewer interesting things to say (though they, too, are amusing).

    Alas, by the end of the game, the whole thing has worn a bit thin, and it felt like the central villains in the story don’t have a major role at all for a large portion of the gameplay due to Vella’s world being larger and longer than Shay’s. And honestly, the ending felt a bit rushed, with the bad guys apparently being thwarted, but half by accident, with everyone coming together to sing Kumbaya at the end in a kind of dubious way.

    The third problem comes from the gameplay itself. It has some of the flaws of the old-school games, most notably the “Try to combine everything with everything and everyone” problem. There was at least one puzzle in the game that I only solved by trying to combine an inventory item with everyone in the game until it finally worked, as the vague hints were… well, vague. I knew I had to get an item from a “chain of deals” type thing, but I was missing an intermediate step and it took a bit to figure it out.

    While it all made sense in the end, it still ended up involving a lot of backtracking.

    A larger issue, however, lies in the endgame – there are some puzzles which are pretty obscure and require you to notice some symbols in the background of a photograph. Worse, this is not really called out in any major way, and it is extremely easy to miss.

    However, the largest problem lies in the fact that this puzzle – along with a puzzle that Vella has to solve – require the characters to get knowledge from the other character’s section.
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  7. Jun 28, 2015
    4
    First, I am a backer. Which means: for every positive review I am considered a fanboy, for every negative review I just did not understandFirst, I am a backer. Which means: for every positive review I am considered a fanboy, for every negative review I just did not understand what I was backing.

    That sad: a funny old-style adventure was promised. They got 10 times the money they asked for. They needed an enormous amount of time to deliver the game, were other companies that got way less money delivered real gems. Well, that would all be ok if the result was a gem too. It is not, sadly.

    While the graphic style appeals to me and the voice acting is superb, the story starts very interesting in act 1 just to succumb to complete meaninglessness. Every "Oh, what's that?"-moment in the first act was deeply disappointing explained in act 2.

    The puzzles did not get harder, just much more painful to solve which much trial and error and revisiting the same locations over and over.

    The game ended for me after ~10 hours of playtime with a real bad written ending. This game only achieved one thing for me: never buy a game again where Tim Schaefer is involved. He betrayed the trust of his backer and his legitimacy as a story writer. He finished writing the story after more than 3 years according to his own words. 3 years for that short story with so few good ideas? Wow.

    I can recommend the game if you want to enjoy the graphic style and voice acting. I also recommend to stop at the second time the characters start over on a split screen. Your expectations of a good story unfolding will be disappointed and you will see already often visited screens over and over again to solve some really boring puzzles. It's just sad....
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