Broken Age – Review
Follow Genre: Indie point-and-click adventure
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Tested on: PC

Broken Age – Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Graphics, Voice-acting, Animation, Fantastical puzzles
Bad: Less elaborate new places in Act 2, Possible game blocking puzzle near end
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In January last year PC, Mac and Linux users were treated to the first Act of this modern click-adventure fairy tale. Now, more than a year later, Double Fine finally graces all platforms with the long-awaited finale. Intrigued by this amazing KickStarter project, we armed ourselves with our trusted computer, a mouse and a thirst for a good story and jumped right in.

Broken Age Title


Broken Age brings a story about growing up. In two very different worlds, two very different teens go out of their way to break out of tradition and into adulthood. But as everything they know crumbles around them, will they find the one thing that connects them both?

Throughout the game you get the choice between two protagonists and you can freely rotate between their respective adventures. One of the protagonists is Vella Tartine, a young woman who grew up in the bakers’ town of Sugar Bunting. As with all villages in her world, Sugar Bunting and its residents are terrorised by mighty creatures from beyond the mythical Plague Dam: the Mog Chothra. At set intervals, the monsters pass through the many villages, destroying them while looking for maidens to feast upon. Fearing destruction with every visit, the townspeople created an offering to the Mogs: the Maiden’s Feast. Chosen as a Maiden with exceptional qualities, Vella is one of the young women to be picked as a meal for the beast. Her story thus begins with the preparations for her ‘date’ with death. However, she soon becomes defiant and takes it upon herself to end the Mog’s reign once and for all.

Our second protagonist, a youngster living inside of an incubator spaceship, leads less of an exciting live. Shay Volta, chosen at a very young age to travel the universe, faces death by boredom rather than teeth and tentacles. With his home planet facing certain doom, Shay is tasked to search for an inhabitable planet for his people to move to. However, a computer calling itself ‘Mom’ is ruling the place with a gentle but firm hand. As she seems to have been programmed to prepare the lad for his mission and keep him save and healthy through all these years, she dotes on Shay as if he were still a toddler. Feeding her ‘son’ a constant stream of fake juvenile missions while figuratively holding his hand every second along the way, Mom effectively stops Shay from ever truly taking the reigns as captain of the ship. Tired of this situation, the youngster looks for ways to silently defy the computer’s wishes. But does he ever realise what his actions might cause for the world he lives in?

Broken Age 2

The main story isn’t only divided into two separate sections for Vella and Shay, but also into two Acts. While one Act embraces either the freedom or restraint one might feel during childhood, the second tends to break away and peel off the fantasy from the underlying realities. The latter becomes clear the moment both adventures collide at the end of Act 1.

Broken Age does a good job bringing the wonders of childhood alive in a world where little makes sense. The writing is clever, funny and smooth, giving you a clear impression of how normal this wonderous world seems to be for everyone. Our favourite part was definitely Act 1, in which dreams still feel powerful and possible. Because of this, it’s definitely not that strange we felt some sort of homesickness when the realities behind Act 1 finally surfaced and the puzzles in Act 2 matured alongside the game’s protagonists. Unfortunately there are also more points nearing the finale that might feel farfetched or simply bizarre, though we suspect every player will experience these happenings differently.


A great thing about Broken Age is the fact the art matches this contemporary fairy tale perfectly. Anyone who lays their eyes on the location and character designs will probably think right back of lovely children’s books or programs. It thus isn’t a surprise the art manages to carry the general story with magical ease. However, whilst the beginning of the game was able to blast us away with new fancy new decors every time the story moved on to a following location, only a couple of new ones are introduced in the last act, which even feel underdone compared to the rest. On another positive note though, all characters, including random seagulls, are nicely animated. This also includes mouth movement during speech, which adds to the already high quality of the visuals.

Because of the nice animations and looks, this game can be a lovely new adventure to watch and listen to by kids while the parents can puzzle their way out of trouble. So if you have children that love these types of stories and art style, don’t hesitate to team up and fight the mysteries together.

Broken Age 3


As with the graphics, the sound quality in Broken Age is enormously high. This isn’t a coincidence however, as the soundtrack frequently gets its ‘oomph’ from a full orchestra. Furthermore, the game is completely voiced and the names aren’t exactly shabby. Don’t be surprised when you notice Shay sounds exactly like Elijah Wood! Furthermore, Jack Black too has a great part, but you’ll have to play the game to find out his role!

While the sound and voicing is mostly superb, the game also has a couple of annoying sounding side characters. Two of these have voices that are so high pitched, they not only make you want to lower the volume, but are also simply hard to understand. Luckily Broken Age features the possibility to activate subtitles at any given time.


Broken Age is an Indie point-and-click adventure. While movement and interactions are all executed by mouse, it is up to the player to lead the protagonists through their ordeals. This is, as is tradition, done by completing puzzles of varying difficulty by using your wits, intuition, fantasy and even some pen and paper.

The game starts with a split screen showing both Vella and Shay asleep in their respective worlds. Depending on who you decide to wake up, you start with either the young lady or the lad. However, players can switch between them whenever they like. While this mechanism is simply there for added fun in Act 1, it is an absolutely necessary feature in Act 2. As the player, you play a vital role combining the knowledge of both, even though Vella and Shay never truly get the chance to share information.

Broken Age 5As expected, moving from spot to spot is done by clicking the space you wish to go to. The ways in which you interact with your surroundings can vary greatly however. For example, clickable objects either show their effect right away or can be put in your inventory. These backpack items can then be applied to different situations by dragging them to the person or spot you expect them to have an effect on. An aura of light will appear should your hunch be correct. Inventory objects can also be combined to create complete new things or even allow interaction on themselves from within the backpack. Certain electronics are great examples of this. Broken Age features a small set of short keys, for example to open up your inventory faster. However, as the full game can be accessed by using the mouse, these can easily be ignored.

Without giving away too much more on the story and puzzles, we do want to provide a little bit of help for the people dying to jump right in and who might not have a wide history with point-and-click games. As you start the story and bump into the first few puzzles, you will notice it becomes increasingly important to be aware of clickable items in your surroundings. While some of them can’t be used early on, they might have a big role to play when you’ve actually just forgotten about them.

Pretty much everything that happens on screen can be seen as a hint in Broken Age, so be sure to keep your ears open and eyes peeled. Also, don’t forget to make notes. Most puzzles can be solved by trial and error, but as you might expect others rely on memory of previous solutions. Without the needed notes, this means you might effectively get stuck with little help. Only once did the game troll us into thinking a hint was to be taken seriously while it had no effect at all. Of course, with a game that offers more and more unforgiving puzzles near the finale, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Broken Age adds a feature to force players using walkthroughs to work out a set amount of puzzles themselves. This is done through the addition of randomly generated solutions. While the methods to solve them stay the same, answers vary from game to game, adding an extra layer. Luckily, as some of these flow into others, generated solutions do stay consistent within the same game.

Broken Age 1


Broken Age brings a story that manages to pour a juicy modern sauce over very familiar concepts. The point-and-click adventure clearly stays true to its roots, giving a lovely mix of intuitive and simply mindboggling puzzles. Of course this also includes very elaborate and rather unforgiving ones near the end. Combined with certain randomly generated solutions, we can expect these won’t always be welcomed with open arms by all players. For example, at least one stops the game in its tracks completely should you have forgotten what you’ve done in the past, which can devastate an otherwise enjoying run. The soundtrack, voice-acting and art are top notch, involving big names and complementing the already great story and gameplay with great ease. Act 2 does feel a bit puzzle-heavy compared to the first one, which can be a bit of a let-down to fans of the story-telling in Act 1. Overall, Broken Age is a great game for any lover of point-and-click adventures and a little bit of childhood wonder.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Broken Age - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. ThaMofo
    May 16, 2015, 03:03

    Looks like a fun one to check out – if I have any spare time. ^^

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