Point-and-click games were massive in the past, with such classics as Monkey Island and Grim Fandango being highlights to the genre (for me anyway). Sadly the genre has seemed to have died out in recent years in favor of more action packed titles. Fear not, for now things have changed! Tim Shaffer, the head of Double Fine studios and one of the minds behind both Monkey Island and Grim Fandango, has finally released the Kickstarter funded Point-and-click beauty that is Broken Age.
Broken Age tells two stories, the tales of Shey and Vella as they both face difficulties in their lives. Shey is a space captain who is ruled over by his mother/father computer system and longs for adventure. Vella is a maiden selected to be a sacrifice for a monster that rules her town, but decided to go against the odds and run away. The tales first seem unrelated, but as the story progresses it becomes more and more likely that the two teenager’s fates are intertwined.
The games a point-and-click adventure, meaning that the player points and (wait for it) clicks! The genre focuses on small puzzles that involve the player talking to characters, finding out what they need, and then looking around the environment to see what action will cause what correlation. It’s a style of game that takes a lot of trial and error, with some solutions to puzzles being a bit farfetched, but still enjoyable and more often than not, they’re hilarious.
The graphical style of a children’s story book may not have been what fans were hoping for, but it’s hard to deny that the game carries with it a sense of awe. The sheer amount of work put into every environment make every screen a piece of art, and there were times I would sit and watch as the little robots in the distance did silly little dances or cleaned up around the ship. It’s not the style we expected, but it’s a very good looking game.
One small gripe with the game is the voice acting. Nearly all the voices are done fantastically, except the main character Shey. Shey’s voice is performed by the actor Elijah Wood, and while at times his lines are performed well, throughout the game he carries this sense of not really caring about anything and didn’t care about the role. Sure, this may have been the intension for the character, having him not care about what’s going on, but it’s hard to relate to a character and empathize with them when they seem like such a careless person. Other than Elijah Wood seeming like he doesn’t want to be there, the voice work for the game is brilliant and is what gives the game most of its comedy.
Broken Age is only half way through, as part 2 is supposedly coming out before the end of 2014. So if you get the craving for a fun filled point-and-click adventure, Broken Age is something worth spending some time clicking on.