Broken Age is funny. It is also subtle and mature for an adventure game made by Tim Schafer. But it is clearly also the work of Tim Schafer. You play as two characters with similar plights. They just can’t keep on going through the motions of their lives anymore – at least not without question.
This is an adventure game in the purest sense. With the last adventure game I played being Deponia I haven’t found the puzzles too challenging.
You can freely switch between characters to keep your mind flexible for solving the harder puzzles. I played Vella first and played her part of the story straight through without feeling that I needed a break. I am the type of person that needs to finish something before moving on to the next thing. You can feel that Vella and Shays worlds are connected and you do see that come to fruition. It is quite satisfying.
The characters on Vellas portion of the story are a riot, particularly those played by Jack Black and Wil Wheaton. Shays world despite having no real threat present feels a little more somber so you feel as though your laughs might be the only thing that would perk Shay up – but they also might be at his expense.
There is a nice little nod to Psychonauts in there but if you are an adventure game master, of which I am not, you might never make the mistake that would allow you to stumble upon it.
I’ll say it but maybe not for the reason you are thinking; the game is too short. As of this writing I was mere minutes (though it was probably about twenty) from finishing Shays chapter and I want more. I don’t feel cheated. I know I paid for a game that is coming with a second part. That part, descending on your talent will probably lengthen the game to roughly eight to ten hours. I just enjoyed being in this world so much that I didn’t want to leave. The best tip I can give you is to click on everything. You’ll end up picking everything you need (and hearing all or most of the funny dialogue bits). I could have dealt with some slightly more challenging puzzles but then again I am not sure that this is really wanted. This game makes you think just enough that it feels rewarding when you solve things but you never feel coddled or that a puzzle was too easy.
When I began writing this review, and having played the game in one long and one short sitting (a total of about four hours), I thought I figured out how the worlds connected. In the end I was right – and it is amazing – but I wish that I had been wrong just so my brain didn’t solve that puzzle for me and I could have experienced that epicness in a fresher perspective.
All in all you need to play this. Everyone needs to play this. It will be a game that will be quoted and talked about for years to come. That is, of course, if the second act lives up to the high bar that act one has set.