Broken Age (Double Fine, 2014-2015)

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Broken Age, developed by Double Fine Productions and directed by Tim Schafer (PS4, 2014-2015).

Score: Outstanding.

In Broken Age you control Vella, a girl who is being to be offered as a sacrifice to a giant monster (but is having none of it) and Shay, a boy who is travelling through outer space in a spaceship with a rather infantile decor.

I started playing this because it was free for PSN+ subscribers, and even though I’m a fan of Schafer’s work, I had failed to notice this game had been released. For the first hour or so I didn’t know what I was going to play but I was very surprised at its quality. When I looked up who had developed this game, I was more excited that I have been in a long time!

The dialogue is fun and witty, in the best tradition of The secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. The plot and setting are quite original and surprising, and watch out for social criticism where you’re least expecting it. All in all, exactly what you’re expecting from Tim Schafer in an excellent shape.

The gameplay is quite fluid. The 2D stages are a wise choice, since the pointer changes in shape so you can know if you can interact with an object or transition to another screen, so the only difficulty is with actually solving the puzzles. Which can sometimes be annoying, but in general make quite a lot of sense when compared to other classics of the genre (I’ll never forgive the “monkey wrench” pun in Monkey Island 2. I was playing the game in Spanish. How could I have known.)

The backgrounds and sprites are painted in oils and they are just adorable. The voice cast includes Elijah Wood, Masasa Moyo, Jack Black and Wil Wheaton.

If you love old-school point-and-clicks, you will be happy to know there is a new one to play. What are you waiting for?

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