2. The Puzzles
So those of us who are big fans of graphic adventure games should know that the average puzzle one encounters tends to range on a scale of difficulty from something as simple as "Put nearby batteries in the radio" to something more curse-worthy as "Yank hair from a cat to create a fake mustache". Well, I'm here to thankfully tell you that Broken Age's challenge level is pretty much just right...at least for a first act. So nothing of Mensa level (yet, anyway), but it still ends up requiring you to explore every area and interact and experiment with everything you find, be it talking spoons, hipster lumberjack art, or whipped cream guns. It isn't exactly the type of work that breaks the adventure game mold, but it's still a satisfying set of challenges indeed. Nonetheless, here's hoping the stakes get upped in Act 2...
1. The Ending
Okay, I'm sorry. I realize it's a dick move to mention something such as the ending as the best part of a story, especially since I can't even give away any details for fear of spoilers. But as Act 1 came to a close, it left me with a conclusion that just flat-out blew my mind. One that simultaneously left me wanting more to come and looking back on everything that just happened as it all came together. It is something that honestly joins such luminaries as BioShock, The Walking Dead, Spec Ops: The Line and Heavy Rain in my all-time favorite moments in video game storytelling and thus to the game's writers, I say...kudos. I only hope that again, pointing this out does not seem like a dick move for those of you wanting to play it. If so, I offer you one coupon good for one chance to kick me in the nuts in retaliation and my apologies. Thank you.
The Lone Turn-Off
1. It Does Feel A Little Short
...Alas, it kind of does. Maybe that's just because I had such an experience of mind-melting proportions built up in my head for nearly two years, or because I underestimated how long one act would be here, but I had left Broken Age quicker than I expected to, craving even more in the process. Though I should stress that it mainly feels short...judging by the amount of time I put into it, and if Act 2 is as long or even longer, the length of the whole product should even out to the length of an average graphic adventure game these days. But yes, be warned: to those of you expecting a whole $3.3 million worth of gameplay, you may find things ending more abruptly than you'd hope.
In the end, though, the first act of Broken Age is nonetheless a more-than-promising start to what will no doubt be a truly epic adventure harkening back to the days of classic LucasArts. That being said, I admit I might be biased due to my love of Tim Schafer right down to the
ritual shrine I have to him, the fact that he's pretty much my idol, and I did kind of end up gushing so much latte over this game that my crotch now doubles as an espresso machine, but...actually, no buts. It's still just a really damn good graphic adventure game, and the type of game that we could use more of these days. So yes, I highly recommend that you pick Broken Age right now. Indeed, your Kickstarter dollars went towards a truly memorable experience.
...And towards a vomiting sequence. Can't make a grade-A game without that, ya know.
Previously by Kyle LeClair:
6 Great Things About Dead Rising 3 (and Two Notable Flaws)
The Six Greatest Virtues and Two Worst Sins of Saints Row IV
Seven Ways To Make A Better Deadpool Game
The 11 Best New Sixth-Generation Pokémon