I don’t have nostalgic reverence for old adventure games. I never played Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle or Grim Fandango. I’ve only played the first two Monkey Island games when they resurfaced as remasters and appreciated what they offered. Their quirky sense of humor and charming characters amused me but at the same time, there was an air of obtusity that rubbed me the wrong way. Still, when Tim Schafer and DoubleFine Productions wanted to make a new adventure game in the vein of those classics, I didn’t hesitate to give them money.
Broken Age was DoubleFine delivered after three years of waiting. I was patient. I didn’t mind that they broke the game in two and delivered Act 1 last year. I didn’t mind waiting but was it worth the wait? I thought so.
Broken Age was very much like the Monkey Island games. They managed to recreate that charming quirk and even managed to annoy me in the same manner as those decades old games. If that’s what the aim of game then I would say Broken Age was a resounding success.
I absolutely love the look and sound of Broken Age. It’s a very pleasing aesthetic despite the freakish looking characters with their elongated limbs and exaggerated facial features. Everything was very expressive as if it was made to communicate to a younger audience. It reminded me of a children’s storybook but the game was anything but.
Broken Age required pen and paper to figure out some of the puzzles. It also required a lot of trial and error as I used every item with every character in hopes of stumbling across the solution. Even then, I had to resort to Google for nudges towards the right direction — especially for second half of the game where they seemingly escalated the absurdity of the puzzle solutions.
I wasn’t frustrated by any of it though. I knew what I was getting into and ultimately that’s the correct approach to any game that’s trying to relive the past. I realized that I was going to get the good and the bad. I wished there was a built-in hint system of some kind but when a game presents itself in 4:3 aspect ratio, I can’t help but see an inclusion like that would sully the original vision of the project.
I got what I wanted out of Broken Age. It didn’t surprise me but it successfully charmed me and reminded me of the past. I gave DoubleFine Productions $15 and they gave me what was promised and that’s all that I could ask for.
I like it