If It Ain’t Broken Age, Don’t Fix It: The Pleasures (not the Hassles) of an Adventure Game

Full review is up at Slant Magazine, but here’s the gist: Broken Age isn’t half as complex as the adventure games of old–particularly Tim Shafer’s own earlier LucasArts products–but it’s every bit as charming, and the watercolor-y aesthetic makes it feel like you’re reading an illustrated storybook. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of adult references; my favorite involves a perfume called “Beast Hooker.”) By making everything contextual and eliminating pixel hunts, players can focus on the heart and humor of the narrative, in which two teenagers explore worlds that at first seem totally unrelated before jarringly crossing over at the game’s mid-point. Unfortunately, that cliffhanger is also where the game currently ends; Act II won’t be out until later this year (as a free update). Now, if only I could figure out how to get more Broken Age sooner.

A literal dialogue tree.

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