Stories comes in all shapes, and sizes, and the one in Broken Age is actually composed of two parts of similar ideas, that may, or may not be related. Broken Age comes to the iPad from Double Fine productions after a very successful Kickstart campaign, and it sure does have a story to tell. There are two story lines to embark on with two teenagers, one boy, one girl, with two vastly different story lines. The boy, Shay, is in a space ship with an over protective computer who dreams of something more than kid’s stuff. The girl, Velia, lives in a baking town preparing for the oddest of festivals. The neatest part of Broken Age is that you can switch between the two story lines at will, and each one has a lot to be entertained by.
Broken Age is a point and click adventure game that is actually more of an interactive storybook. There are puzzles to solve, items to discover, and mysteries to uncover, but it still feels more like a story than a game. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing with excellent writing composing both story lines that are packed with humor, peculiar settings, and even odder characters. Each story can stand by itself to offer a couple of hours of entertainment that will keep you thoroughly engaged throughout. The puzzles are never too challenging, but they do keep you actively considering the different elements of each scene, and what’s needed to advance the story. There are plenty of surprises along the way as well as just naturally crazy ideas that set the stage for a narrative that you won’t soon forget.
To enhance the tales, there’s an ornate art design to depict the eccentric scenes to help immerse you in all that’s included. There’s also excellent voice work that includes the talents of Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Wil Wheaton, Jennifer Hale, and Masasa Moyo, to offer an amazing level of production. The further you get into the game the more engrossing the bisecting stories become, and this is just episode one. It’s also easy to appreciate the sheer scope of each story with so many different scenes to explore, and most are interconnected for multiple discovery points. At times, it can be a bit tedious to hunt down one particular item while blandly traveling through scenes you have already visited, but there is a nice double tap to skip redundant cut scenes feature. There’s simply a whole lot to discover, and you will enjoy every minute of all that’s included, always excited to see what’s coming next.
Broken Age ($9.99, iPad) is a finely crafted piece, which offers new age story telling with ornate construction combined with subtle puzzle elements making it a should buy that fits nicely on the iPad.