A family friendly, hand-animated, puzzle-filled adventure game with an all-star cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Masasa Moyo. Funded by a record breaking crowdfunding campaign and designed by industry legend Tim Schafer, Broken Age is a timeless coming-of-age story.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,825 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 28, 2014

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"A return to form for point and clicks with a beautiful art style, engaging story and great puzzles. It also has Jack Black and Will Wheaton."

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April 27

Broken Age Act 2 Now Available!

We’ve made it! Believe it or not, the Double Fine Adventure has reached its end! (the game… not the company)

This has been a long and crazy journey for all of us, unlike anything we've ever done. First it was a crowdfunding campaign, then a watershed event, then a movement, then a controversy. But now, finally, it's just a game.

Well, a game and a documentary. Just a game, and a documentary, and a soundtrack. And an art book. A game, documentary, soundtrack, an art book, and a couple of backer bowling parties, but THAT'S IT. Oh, and a bunch of t-shirts.

As the novelty of its funding story fades, what remains is just the work itself. The story of two young people leading separate, but parallel lives, pushing against the scripts that have been written for them, taking control of their destinies, and then taking responsibility for the consequences.

Broken Age was designed not as two separate episodes, but as one complete story.

If you already played Act 1 then your save game will still work after the update and you can continue from the start of Act 2. But keep in mind--there are many puzzle hints and narrative set ups in Act 1 that you might have forgotten in the year since it came out.

"So why didn't you make a, 'Previously on Broken Age...' video?" you ask, from that part of your brain that really, really misses LOST…

Well, we thought about it, but I felt that would have drawn too much attention to the hints and made the story set ups too obvious.

With all that in mind, I'm hoping and recommending that you start from the beginning so you can judge the game as a complete work.

Hey, you know all the puzzle solutions anyway, right? And you can double-click on doors to fast-travel, so it won't take any time at all. Also, there are new achievements in Act 1 that you don't want to miss. And are you 100% sure you heard all the stool jokes the first time through? But hey, I get paid the same either way so what do I care? :)

Your time is valuable, so let me just sum up Act 1 here for you: It was amazing.

However you play, I hope you enjoy Broken Age. Happy pointing and clicking! And tapping and dragging and… thumbing? Do you say thumbing? You know what I mean.

Thanks for playing!

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Reviews

“Act 1 of Broken Age is a gorgeous, impeccably written adventure that simultaneously tugs at my nostalgic core, while ushering in a new era for the point-and-click genre.”
9.5 – IGN

“...delightful, beautiful, utterly charming and you really should play it right this second.”
9 – Polygon

“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.”
9.5 – Destructoid

About This Game

Broken Age is a family friendly, hand-animated, puzzle-filled adventure game with an all-star cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Masasa Moyo.
Funded by a record breaking crowdfunding campaign and designed by industry legend Tim Schafer, Broken Age is a timeless coming-of-age story of barfing trees and talking spoons.

Vella Tartine and Shay Volta are two teenagers in strangely similar situations, but radically different worlds. The player can freely switch between their stories, helping them take control of their own lives, and dealing with the unexpected adventures that follow.

Starring:

Elijah Wood as Shay
Masasa Moyo as Vella
Jack Black as Harm'ny Lightbeard
Jennifer Hale as Mom
Wil Wheaton as Curtis
Pendleton Ward as Gus

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Lion 10.7.X
    • Processor: Intel Core i series processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6770, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 4000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • Hard Drive: 2500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.
Helpful customer reviews
144 of 210 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
While Act 1 was wonderful, I feel like the game just fell apart in Act 2. There's a feeling of it having been rushed, and so many details you'd expect to have been finessed over the long wait for Act 2 are just glossed over. Yes, the game is finally complete, but Act 1 was far better written in terms of story telling. Having completed the game at long last, I'm sad to say I didn't enjoy Act 2 as much as I did Act 1, and to that point, the game is just...meh. There's just no sense of accomplishment when all is over.

It really does seem like everything that was hyped up just falls apart at the end. Sorry to everyone who was as dissapointed as I was.
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126 of 192 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
Quick disclaimer for this review: I have 9.6 hours on record for this game, but the time played for the game is actually half of that (at around 5 hours), as I revisited the game to replay the first part and screw around for achievements, before giving up entirely. I've included some spoilers for the game under warning. Be aware of it if you don't want spoilers.

Having that said: It is now three years later. The Double Fine Adventure kickstarter asked for $400,000 to make this game and they were given $3.45 million to do it. Double Fine, rather than budgeting themselves to stay within that target, sold the first half of the game on Steam so they could raise money for the second half. They already had more money than they needed, but they still sold a half-finished game to bring in more funds, bringing up to around the $4 million mark. It also took them over a year to release the second installment of the game.

Broken Age is like eating a beautiful, delicious cake, and finding out that Double Fine saved money on frosting by using leftover spackle. Then you have to watch Double Fine eating better, more edible cake, bought with your money.


ART:
The game itself is, admittedly, gorgeous. The art style and animations are very well done. The voice over talent, too, is pretty decent. I'm tired of hearing Wil Wheaton drone his way through video games, but Pendleton Ward and Jennifer Hale are welcome sounds for your ear-drums. That's where the general positivity ends.

STORY:
The story is abysmal. You play as two characters, Shay and Vella. Shay is trapped on a spaceship under a domineering, overly-loving computer named MOM, with basically no life. Vella is about to be sacrificed to the Lovecraftian "Mog Chothra" monster because "tradition." You control each character in turn, and can switch between either, but they're both sectioned off and unrelated adventures for the most part. In Act 1, the game does a pretty decent job of setting up mysteries: What is Mog Chothra? Who is Marek the Wolf? Why is the ship's computer, MOM, so seemingly hell-bent on imprisoning Shay? Who is the mysterious man in the DeadEye Mountain and how does he have technology like we see on Shay's ship? Why are we still pretending Wil Wheaton has a career in acting when he only ever plays himself with a beard?

In Act 2, these questions are swept under a rug quickly. Players are plied with half-hearted exposition, contrived answers, and massive plot holes that are never filled. Characters from the first game are given completely different rules and motivations than before, but offer no explanation for their behavior change. Shay is useless in the grand scheme of the game, and affects NOTHING of the outcome, when you get right down to it. Acts 1 and 2 favor Vella heavily as the "get ♥♥♥♥ done" protagonist and she gets most of the interesting story as a result. Getting into spoiler territory below.

***SPOILERS***

The portrayal of the characters is severely infuriating, too. Shay is a poor protagonist, especially in light of Vella's achievements throughout the game. Shay affects almost nothing story-wise and, in some cases, actually causes problems for Vella as a result of his actions. He is infantilized, both by his overbearing mother and his reliance on child toys for assistance. At one point in Act 2, he is actually, literally replaced by a blow-up doll, while other characters comment on how useless he is. Vella, by contrast, is smart, capable, solves most of the game's big puzzles, directly fights the game's main enemies, and we are told explicitly that she is the most important character in the game because her blood is coveted by the enemies.

The enemies of Broken Age are introduced in the last hour of the game (if you complete Shay's half of Act 2 first) and they barely make an appearance until the last 15 minutes. They are cadaver-white, mutated humans, that have been using eugenics to "purify" themselves and they use the Mog Chothra ships to secure targets for eugenics testing or something. The game kind of skips over most of the exposition when it comes to their history, character, and motivations, confining it all to a single conversation with Vella before she fission bombs them back to the stone age.

The end result is that Shay is a useless boy, easily replaced, and isn't capable of resolving issues without his child toys. Vella is a strong black girl using death lasers and nuclear bombs to take on the (essentially) Aryan Establishment, who desperately want her blood so they can fix their failing genetic structure. The game ends when Vella melts both Mog Chothra ships together into a literal bridge between the "normal" world and the Plague Dam, offering no further information about what the characters do, or how the story ends.

***SPOILERS***

If I wasn't so aware of Tim Schafer's personal politics, I'd almost assume it's unintentional, but it comes off as preachy, pretentious, and frustratingly lackluster.

GAMEPLAY:
The place where this game truly, truly fails... is the game-play. That's a cardinal sin in gaming.

Some of the puzzles for Broken Age are clever. They remind me of old-school gaming, where the solutions to problems generally involved the inventive use of a otherwise off-the-wall item to resolve issues. In the entirity of Broken Age, I'd say there's about a dozen examples of this and it works well for the game. The problem is the other several dozen puzzles, which are not intuitive, inventive, or explained. I'm going to save you all time right now and tell you that one of the puzzles in Act 2, regarding a Boa Constrictor, requires that you stop playing the game for three minutes and wait. The game does not tell you this and does not give an immediate or clear indication that the you should wait. It's not explained before this that the snake will get tired and fall off so you can collect him. It was only after getting frustrated and looking up what to do with the snake that I, and my friends, realized you had to stop playing the game for a few minutes to progress in it. Another cardinal sin.

The WORST PUZZLE IN THE GAME is a wiring puzzle, in which you have to rewire helper robots to perform different functions. This isn't easily explained, the instructions aren't listed in a spot that is easily accessed, and even then, they're not marked as instructions on how to fix up the robot. You have to perform this puzzle at least 5 TIMES, although that number skyrockets if you don't know what you're doing, and the answer is ALWAYS randomized, so you can't just look it up. Trying to figure out this rewiring puzzle easily took up over 45 minutes of my time before the game gave me a hint that the answer was somewhere in Vella's half of Act 2. It was another hour before I found the instructions and realized what they were for. The fact that I had to perform the rewiring puzzle another 4 times after this, for different robot "modes", was just lazy and not fun in the slightest.

The rest of the puzzles in the game either had really boring solutions (like raising/lowering the pH of a mixture, which was more time-consuming than difficult), or they were just run-of-the-mill item fetch quests for things that shouldn't be issues. Shay has a cupcake, at one point, with icing on it and you need to take the icing off, but Shay refuses to just take the icing off. Why the hell is this even an problem!?

SUMMARY:
This is a gorgeous game beset by a lot of gameplay and story issues. Double Fine CLEARLY rushed through development on Act 2 and it shows. There are massive plotholes, the game has no real ending, and the puzzles they set up are lazy in Act 2. The fact that Tim Schafer says this game is a success and he plans to do another kickstarter is reason enough not to support this game, especially after the SpaceBase debacle.

TL;DR:
Game is pretty, but dumb and not fun at some parts. Save your money, buy a better adventure game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
95 of 143 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
After waiting a year between installments, the finished product that is Broken Age really wasn't worth the wait.
The first half of the game left a lot to be desired, while the second part had me begging for it to end.
Gameplay is very simple, and while it does get harder in the second part, it does so by making puzzles a lot more obtuse, and only begins to get complex towards the very end.

The music is very nice, but the music loops really quickly and drones on and on in more stressful situations (perfectly matching the gameplay) and characters repeat their lines a lot which broke the immersion for me.
The art style really is outstanding, but many art assets are quite low resolution when played in 1080p, leaving a lot to be desired.

I don't hate this game, but it did disappoint me and I really wouldn't recommend it.
Veterans of the genre will tire of the simple gameplay, and casual players wouldn't put up with the many brick walls this game presents.

Broken Age does have a very nice atmosphere and I kinda enjoyed my time playing it, but nothing really stuck out, I didn't find anything very memorable at all.
Except the knife character, he's the saving grace.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
68 of 104 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
(Review is mostly about Act II. Avoided giving any spoilers).

Man, I hate giving this game a negative review. I really wanted this ♥♥♥♥ to be awesome. I never really played adventure games before Broken Age's kickstarter happened, and the genre just seemed to explode in popularity.

The first Act of the game was great. Superb. Loved it. Interesting world, interesting puzzles that made me go DOH!, fun characters (even if they could be a bit one dimensional sometimes). The tone of the game was calm despite what drove the two main characters.

Then Act II came out. And... eeeeeh.

The big chunk of Act II for both characters is a very long fetch quest. Or at least it feels that way. A very, very long segment that prevents the story from progressing. In Act II, each puzzle pushed me closer to the next grand environment. In Act I, I was running around all the environments I'd already gone to, and it just wasn't as fun.

Both stories blow their big twists very quickly, which are ♥♥♥♥ing amazing. Problem is that I consider them the climax, as the game feels like it just wants to end after that, but feels like it needs to live up to what I hear are 'classic adventure game puzzles', which to me just felt obtuse and forced me to get hints online.

Everything just began to feel rushed after the twists. Knowing Double Fine's budget problems behind the scenes, I understand why this is the case, but the game's still unsatisfying.

I'm a bit bummed by the lack of Merek at the end. The conversations you get to have with him are awesome. But I wanted more of him. He's my favorite character in a cast of characters I really enjoyed (outside Vella's family, which I don't think got enough screen time to feel important like Shay's 'mom' and 'dad').

So when you get to the end, it feels like everything is on a timer and death is soon to come if you don't act NOW. I understand putting a timer on the game would pressure puzzle fans, and I don't want a timer. But I would have enjoyed if the characters seemed more stressed out. There is an entire gang of characters sitting around and doing nothing. I know they can't really do much, but they just seem grumpy or otherwise docile.

The ending is weak. Won't get into it, but I considered it weak.
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108 of 180 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
Three years ago Tim Schafer's DoubleFine sold nearly 90,000 fans on the idea of making and an Old School Adventure game. And after all this time he finally gives us the completed Broken Age, which is a mess and one of the worst games this acclaimed studio has produced.

I've spent a whole day revisiting Broken Age, replaying Part 1 and playing Part 2, as per Mr. Schafer's advice. And that actually made the experience far worse because it made it all the more apparent how cheap this game feels. There's only three (well more like two and a half) locations you'll spend the majority of time exploring in this game, and man does it get boring. This game is supposed to rekindle the love of the LucasArts Adventure games but you aren't exploring a large and varied game world, you're just walking back and forth between the same backdrops OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

And it's not like the artwork does anything to alleviate this, the art as you can tell is awful, it belongs in a cheap kids book that Scholastic would produce. It's not as interesting as the worlds the player explores in prior DoubleFine games or Lucasarts game. And the animation is absolutely barebones, the game is not nearly as fun to look at in motion as the Monkey Islands or Day of the Tentacle was. To be frank I feel like a loser playing this game, as the artstyle is so amatuer and childish I'm truly embarrassed to see it on my computer screen. I'd rather have friends catch me playing Hyperdimension Neptunia than Broken Age.

This would all be forgivable if yes this game were not for my demographic, as a man in my 20s I obviously understand that everything isn't made for me and Broken Age looks perfect for young children. But I would never suggest this game for children because it's not at all designed for novice or easily distracted players. There is no option for a "Goal" system to remind you what you're looking for or hints, if you forget what it is you're after in the game you just end up wandering around the environment till you find the right NPC. So yes in some ways Doublefine did indeed make an Old School Adventure game, while I can't speak for everyone this isn't what I loved Adventure Games for. I loved them because they felt like semi-interactive cartoons, with puzzles that made me scratch my head and then feel smart for solving them. Broken Age Puzzles are either ridiculously easy or ridiculously obtuse with no middle ground.

The amount of activity is also extremely low in Broken Age. Any of those old Lucasarts games allowed you to click around the environments and your character would say a funny little line, there's only a items in Broken Age that have the characters say anything out loud and it's usually just them stating the obvious with no fanfare. You don't even get a fun line by trying to use the inventory in ways you obviously shouldn't, for an example the character Vella doesn't react negatively to you suggesting you use a knife on her little sister.

The only compliment I can pay Broken Age is that the audio is nice. Tim clearly used a large portion of his 3.3 Million budget to rub elbows with celebrities and hang out with an Orchestra. As if the players really cared if the actor who played Frodo Baggins is the star of the game.

Do not buy this game for $20, hell I'd have a hard time saying it's worth $10. This is mediocrity and not even one that has lovable quirks. Doublefine put so little effort into it that I'm upset at how much time I've spent playing it. I only feel compelled to complete it because I gave them so much money in the Kickstarter.

Shame on you Doublefine and Tim Schafer, you went directly to the gaming enthusiasts and we might not give the cash a big publisher can provide but we allowed you full control on this project. And you squandered it on something completely unmemorable and spent most of that time partying and filming a self-fellating documentary.

Good luck ever trying to make a Kickstarter as popular as this first one was. Because I sure as hell am not pledging again and I doubt I'm an anomaly.

Before you buy this game I urge you to play through all the Lucasarts and Telltale Adventure games, after that play everything else Doublefine made. Trust me they are all better games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
686 of 1,224 people (56%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
With Act 1 and 2, the game took around 9 hours to finish. The atmosphere and character dialogue was really well done.

The puzzles were really easy, usually requiring talking to someone and get something from them to complete the puzzle. They were not fun.

The game mechanic that allows you to switch characters was rarely needed. Only on two occasions would you need to use it. There should've been more usage of this.

The main plot of the story was alright, but nothing special.

Overall, the game was nice while it lasted, but nothing special. I don't really recommend it unless the price was dropped to $10 and even then, there are numerous other point and click games with great plots and interesting puzzles.
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48 of 79 people (61%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
A very pretty game but one that doesn't really merit a purchase or the whole debacle that has been it's development.
Two kickstarters and several years in the making, Double Fine finally finished Broken Age after splitting it into two development cycles.

The first half of the game could be finished in 2 hours without much issue. The 2nd half was dragged out by really un-intuitive puzzles that seemed only to exist because people compained how easy Part 1 was. The solution they had was to require some rediculous trial and error and puzzles that had their solutions hidden in the other persons section of the game. sometimes the thing you needed to interact with really required almost no logical sense at all and had almost zero evidence pointing towards it that I can tell. I suppose this is true to old point and click adventure games, but that kind of logic probably was best left in the ancient era of Sierra games.

To re-interate how messy and nonsense the puzzles are in this game at one point you have to put a character in danger with very little hint that this is a thing you need to do. You have to do it for a while and even the character starts to discourage you towards the end, saying its time to stop. But if you stop you don't solve the puzzle, so you have to ignore common sense and everything the world and characters are telling you.

The characters constantly have to rely on knowledge they don't have and brush it off as "instict" that they figured it out after you found teh answer in the other persons story line. Sometimes you even have to do things that are presented as counter productive or perhaps make no real sense to do other than that you, as the player, are aware it needs to be done. And I don't mean stand on a pressure plate or pull a leaver. For a fictional example pretend a character of yours needs to stick a fork in a light socket to knock out the power. They as a character don't know hey need to do this. you as a player know that it will unlock a door down the block, but the character in this fictional example just sticks the fork in there and knocks themself out in the process 'because reasons'. They have no reason to want to do it, and its presented as being detrimental, but you know better. Maybe.

The truth is there isn't much to this game. It has some funny dialog but even that is in short supply, if you were hoping for Tim Schafer's prime material then this isn't it. Plotwise it's a mess. At one point a character actually brushes off a major plot relevation as "oh yeah, I think i knew that but I kinda forgot" They have to have forgotten for it to work out as a big reveal to you, but then it's immediately deflated by the presenting it as your character just being that dumb they somehow forgot about this.

The game being made in two parts will also be quite obvious as it is a glarring jagged scar in terms of gameplay. You will breeze through the first half, then have the second driving you crazy. The final puzzle in the game requires you to do everything perfectly or it all resets back even further than it needed too, and in reality there is no reason it needed to reset at all other than to pad out the game time.

As for the ending, with no spoilers, this game has no real ending. It just kind of stops. You solve an annoying puzzle, there is a cutscene which tries to be epic but in the end it just does.. nothing. You accomplish nothing, you resolve nothing, you get no reward, no explination, and no resolution. It just ends. It might as well just pop a link to another kickstarter page saying "Yeah we ran out of money again, plz donate" Because honestly it feels like they burned through their cash and decided they had to just end it there. NO ENDING FOR YOU.

All in all if you already owned the first half, well you have the game already, if you were waiting for both halves to come out before buying, I can't recommend it.
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226 of 407 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
I love the art style, music, the mood.

However, the game is a bit on the easy side. The puzzles are very obvious and it's impossible to deny the fact that this game is not finished.

6/10 for providing an enjoyable evening.

Since I got it off a sale at 7 euros I'd say it was worth what I paid for it. Full price? No. At least not until they finish it.

Can't recommend this game until they add more content.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
335 of 609 people (55%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
When I got this game, it was priced at $16.99 and I thought it would be a good deal. I was worried about getting a game that was going to be split into two parts, but with that sale and the great things I've heard about it, I decided to pick it up. Here are my thoughts:

Positives:
1. The Art Style- This is the one thing anyone who's played this game (loving it/hating it) can agree with. The backgrounds remind me of a beautiful painting with unique settings, esspecially the sky level and the characters give off a creative design that you'd probably see on an art Tumblr (hopefully you won't land yourself on the political side of Tumblr).
2. The Voice-Acting- If there's a trend I've been getting scared of, it would be big actors in animated films and video games. To make a long story short, there's a major difference between an actor and a voice actor; actors can interact with others and an environment to help potray their characters and they can get away with playing themselves in movies and shows (example: John Malkovich). Voice actors can sometimes interact with others, but usually they have to act by themselves with the added difficulty of not being able to interact with an environment. And the voice actors have to potray a character. They can play the same character or similiar characters (whatever fits their talents), but (for example) Troy Baker can't just play Troy Baker, unless the story (mainly fanfic) calls for it. What I'm getting at is that an actor can have trouble translating their style to acting into another style (example: Bruce Willis in Apocalypse), and it's even worse when it seems like they don't care and they're only doing it for the paycheck (example: Megan Fox in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen [which she won an award for best performance by a human female, seriously]). But there are actors who can voice act and this game is a great example for that (see reincorporation). People like Elijah Wood and Jack Black pull a great performance for their characters and the rest of the cast are great as well. Okay, enough ranting, next point.
3. The Side Characters- If you're wondering about my thoughts on the main characters, I'll talk about them eventually. But I enjoyed the side characters, they're not three-dimensional characters, but they're charming none the less.
4. Music- It's peaceful and calm. Nothing worth buying the soundtrack, but it works in-game.

Overall, the presentation excels in visuals and sound. But there are postives, there are negatives. And the negatives are where things go wrong.

Negatives:
1. Predictable Story- I'm not going to spoil the story, so don't worry. My problem with the story is that it's predictable with little to mix it up. The moment a character appeared in the game, I knew exactly what was going to happen to the last detail, and I was right. I felt cheated out of a game that was trying to surprise me with twists. The twists could have been examined to bring up interesting ideas, but the next negative made it so that wasn't the case.
2. The "Split into Multiple Parts" Trope- Something that I've noticed in recent years in movies is the separtation of a hollywood blockbusters (particularly the finale of an overrated book series) into separtate movies. To me, this is only done to make more millions that the original was going to make and this game seems to be taking that idea for its advantage. The game doesn't have enough to split it into two parts, it feels like one whole game halved to make two games, which doesn't allow the game to fully develop its story, without playing both separtate games. And there's not that much in this one game.
3. Length- This game took me 4.5 hours to complete. 1.5 hours of that being completely lost, only to end realizing that the game lied to me. Seriously. I combined two items together, then I tried every combination, then I went out searching for an item that I met have missed, didn't find anything, then I checked a walkthrough to realize that the two items I used before is the right answer (and it didn't make any logical sense [Seriously, Ladder shoes?!]). I even hear the people completed the game in 2 hours, a game that cost $25, half of a game that cost $25. I feel ripped off.
4. Gamplay- Aside the part where I got lost, the gameplay is so basic and bland that completing a 4.5 hour game was made even more a challenge on the psyche and it doesn't help the character walks so slow. There are no extra puzzles, no riddles, just walking and finding items.
5. The Main Characters- As much as I praised the voice acting, even noting Elijah Wood's performance as the main character, I can describle the main characters in a short describation. Shay is the princess with an overbearing king (this time it's changed to a mother-figure) who wants more. Vella is the strong independent woman who don't need no man. That's it. Even at times, they can get annoying, esspecially Shay.

My Overall Thoughts:
Not only am I disappointed in this game, I'm down right pissed. This game left me with such a dirty taste in my mouth, that I can't play the second part of the game. Especially when it's sold separate. There are way better point-and-click games out there, ones that have a better story, better characters, and most of all cheaper. But if you are interested in the game, a word of advice; Do not buy this full price and wait until the second part comes out.

I give this game a 3/10.
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319 of 585 people (55%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
Don't bother.
The biggest complaint everyone has about this is that you're buying half a game, but really it feels more like just a prologue. The four hours I have on record are two playthroughs. Sure, the art is nice, but not almost 4million dollars worth- which is how much kickstarter funding this game got BEFORE it was sold on steam. Maybe it will be worth playing when it's completed, but after waiting a year for the second half, I've just lost interest.
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174 of 316 people (55%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
Truly beautiful. Awesome visual style and amazing sound design, captivate story and live, memorable characters. This is what I'd like to show to my kids someday as a reference model of a GOOD video game of my time.
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49 of 84 people (58%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
A lot of people are going to be including the question "was it worth the wait?" in their reviews of Broken Age so I think I'll start by saying that I don't intend to answer that. This game will be around for a long time and I want this review to reflect what I thought of the game, not the zeitgeist.

Let's also discard the obvious: Broken Age is a beautiful game and the music is excellent. The art design along with the superb voice acting is one of the best parts of the game. You won't find a single sour performance or disinterested NPC in the entire game, I promise you that.

Is it a good adventure game, though? Well, yes. Is it GREAT? No. You better keep reading, though, because the "why" behind that answer is more important than the answer. Puzzle design in the "Act 1" area was genuinely good if not a bit easy. I didn't find myself ever having to ask online for a hint and I didn't get stuck to the point of frustration. It was a very smooth ride all and all. "Act 2" shatters this perception and introduces puzzles that, while somewhat logical, are terribly designed.

One example of this is the tube puzzle at the beginning of Vela's second chapter. The puzzle itself makes sense, but the way one interact with objects is wonky. Often I found that clicking on something to move it required me to hold down the button and drag, oftentimes I only needed to click and move. The worst part of the puzzle is that the entire thing could have occupied one screen, but it was split in half which make moving pieces between the two halves awkward. Luckily, the solution to the puzzle is apparent very quickly so it's really only the wonky interface blocking your progress.

This seems to often be the case. The game's final puzzle is huge and intricate, and seemingly involves time-based maneuvers when, in actuality, it uses very illogical movement triggers instead. Instead of giving the feeling that characters are working together to solve a puzzle, it becomes a tedious trial and error affair long after you figure out the entire solution. Sadly, I think the poorly designed puzzles would often dampen my enjoyment of what was otherwise a funny or emotional moment.

The good news, though, is that puzzle design is my only gripe. It's not insignificant. There is one mechanic that was NEVER used in the first game that gets used a few times without any subtle prompting, but I won't spoil it because I consider it a puzzle solution in and of itself.

After all this, why should am I recommending that you buy Broken Age? Simple, because those things I just described were present in Grim Fandango, they were present in Day of the Tentacle, and they were in Full Throttle as well. This game feels old school in the best and worst ways. Plus, the characters are fantastic. Every one of them is so well-written and bursting with personality that I would easily drop money on a Broken Age 2 right now just to see more of them. The story reminds me of Schafer's Full Throttle. It has an excellent flow, but just kind of ends. Not in a BAD way, mind you, but in a way that says, "this story isn't over" without sequel baiting.

Fans of adventure games old and new owe it to themselves to play this game. As long as you understand that it's not a flawless puzzler then you will find beauty and comedy that will make you laugh out loud at time. It captures that mix of wit and almost fatalistic mirth that makes Tim Schafer one of my favorite video game writers (and Doublefine such a fine team). It's a flawed gem, but still a very valuable one and well woth playing.
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296 of 544 people (54%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
[edit 2015-04-28] It just released, will edit this review when played.

===========

I really would like to recommend this beautiful marvel, but there are so many problems attached to it.
Imagine the Mona Lisa but with only one half of the smile and everything else missing. There is just a sticky note saying "coming soon". You can clearly see, this note has dust on it.

Get this image? That's Broken Age for you. And "Broken" could not be more fitting.

[this review may change if episode 2 comes out, but I do not expect this to happen in 2015]
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28 of 46 people (61%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
I enjoyed the beautiful painted images in this game, but felt it became a chore to play because of the amount of provided dialogue you had to click through, which was disjointed and not really contextual. Things you had to ask about would occur before you knew about them so it was an annoying segue and broke the story. The character would say things which as a player I didn't feel were important and wasn't interested in pursuing.

I don't think it was as involving or rewarding as smaller games like Lume which had more ambiguous interactions.
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29 of 49 people (59%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Still waiting for the second episode. Good game, but I wouldn't recommend this game until they release the second episode.
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110 of 203 people (54%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
Note: this review is currently in progress and covers only the first act of Broken Age. It will be updated when act two is released.

Though Broken Age acts as a return to Double Fine’s earliest adventure game roots, it’s also their largest and most ambitious project in years. But if anything, the added scope and possibility that exploded out of their hugely successful Kickstarter has only amplified their talents as a developer, giving birth to what seems easily capable of becoming the game that defines them as a studio.

But playing Broken Age, there’s never the sense that Double Fine has grown beyond the quirky, commercially unviable studio that I’ve loved for years. Broken Age as a game, is exceptionally simple and humble in its construction. It’s unmistakably a product of its creator: esoteric, humorous, and at times even a bit profound, but without the often rough mechanics and invisible cage of possibilities that shackled most of the studio’s prior games. It’s Double Fine in their purest, most unrestrained form, and if you’ve played anything the studio’s made I doubt I have to tell you how exciting that is.

It’s somewhat precarious to attempt to discuss Broken Age’s plot, both for fear of spoilers and for the fact it’s only half finished, but its themes are so strong and its writing on point that it’s deserving of more than a minor conversation. It follows the dual stories of Vella and Shay, two people stuck in vastly different situations but united by their shared lack of freedom, forced to blindly conform to the traditions and expectations of those older than them, unable to even question “why?”.

Shay is the sole human aboard a ship intended as humanity’s last chance at finding a new planet they can call home. Trapped in an endless isolation, he lives out his days following his computer mom’s orders, still treated as a child ignorant to anything outside his daily routine and sheltered existence.

Vella in contrast is a member of a village whose traditions dictate the sacrifice of several young women to the towering Mog Chathra during their annual maiden feast, or otherwise doom them all to its wrath. Vella is the sole person brave enough to propose they fight the beast, but is shrugged off as a silly girl who doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

These two plotlines fold into each other to form Broken Age’s main themes of rejecting the systematic lives their characters are placed in, and being brave enough to discover the world for themselves. It’s rebellion without anarchy; breaking out to find who you are, not out of distaste of the world, but a desire to make it better if only you’d be given the ability to think and act for yourself.

You could label Broken Age a coming of age story (in fact it itself does), but it’s so much more sincere than I feel that commonly implies. Its characters are delightful and lively and often absurd, but also fully developed in how they fit within their world. They fully embody their roles and proclaim them so effectively that it felt like I knew the people I was talking to, as if they had somehow taken on a life outside of the game. Even characters you see in only a single scene or who are given but a few lines of dialogue have so much personality and heart in their interactions that they transcend their small part into the larger world of the game.

Double Fine has always been a developer recognized for brilliant writing and characterization, but I’ve never felt as immersed in the worlds they created or as invested in their characters as with Broken Age. As bizarre as their circumstances become, I connected with Shay and Vella’s plight for freedom of their parental and societal shackles, and was as curious as them upon entering a new area and meeting its peculiar inhabitants.

For all I know act two could be a complete disaster. It could cause Broken Age to go down as one of the most disappointing games in recent memory and probably cause even me to think twice before checking out anything Double Fine puts out in the future. But for now, it’s sublime, beautiful, expertly pinned, and not afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. As a huge fan of all things Double Fine, I’m finding it hard not to readily declare this their best work yet, which I consider no small praise.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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18 of 29 people (62%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
Where's the rest of this game?
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40 of 71 people (56%) found this review helpful
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
This game is wonderful.

I grew up on Tim Schaffer's games. Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Maniac Mansion, and other Lucas Arts titles like Monkey Island and Sam & Max. This game is a continuation of those games.

Some people complain that those old school graphic adventure titles had illogical puzzles that only made sense to the developers. And I'd say those are people with no imagination. Puzzle solving in these games are puns. There are clues that make them perfectly logical for the world that they're in and often require some degree of familiarity with tropes and cliché followed by subverting them.

Act 2 has some very obtuse puzzles, but if you take the time to look at your environment, you can solve them.

Players are so used to instant gratification. That is not what this game is about. Its a much slower game. That requires piecing together clues and exploring your options. Adventure games are not designed to be fast. They're designed to be clever.

This game is very clever. To get everything it has to offer you need to take it slow. You need time to reflect. There is so much narrative packed in to this game that's just hidden in plain sight. If you were able to plow through this game, you'd never notice the little details hidden in the background that helps tell you the story.

It's possible that people don't appreciate experiences like this anymore. But I for one do.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
It's a pretty cutesy artsy game. The presntation I personally found to be pretty goregous, and probably the game's strongest aspect. The soundtrack is pretty notable also. However, the gameplay elements are very rarely engaging, to a point where it seems like it was intended to be a kids game. Very minimal and simple puzzles.

The storyline is interesting, at the very least. It's not particularly notable, but it resonantes well with the style and pace of the game. The real issue with the story however is that this game is basically half of the story. That's right, for the price of $24.99 you're getting an incomplete game that's been promised a completion for a while now, This makes the pricetag very questionable.

I don't really recommend this game for the main reason that you're really promised way more than is given. The storyline is incomplete and the pricetag just doesn't fit with a game this short. This is the kind of game I would recommend picking up during a megasale or discount period. I would also probably wait for the second part of this game to come out before deciding to invest in it.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
Its a good game but only half of one. It pains me to say that kinda thing, but after a year from the release of a 5 hour game its kinda hard to keep waiting for this. Don't get sucked into the this game because its probably not going to be finished considering they got more than triple of what they asked for and didnt release act after they said they would. Its good. But not finished.
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