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Broken Age (iOS) Review

By André Eriksson 05.06.2015

Review for Broken Age on iOS

Broken Age is more of a story than a game. It is a tale told through the perspective of two teenagers who are about to discover what growing up is all about. At first it is about rebellion against authorities and then disillusionment. Cubed3 has already looked at Act 1 and Act 2 separately on PC, as well as The Complete Adventure on PS4, but how does it fare in terms of capturing the right atmosphere on iOS devices, and do the point and click aspects hold up well enough?

During the teen years, most young people rebel against their parents or other authority figures only to later regret it when learning more about the world around them and figuring out that even if the authorities were not always right, everything they did was with the child's best interests in mind. This is all very familiar territory when delving into the story of Vella and Shay.

The story is wonderfully separated into two parts, the first being about the rebellion side of things. Here, the young girl, Vella, is about to get sacrificed to a great monster in a ritual that aims to make it stop attacking towns. Vella, however, refuses to give herself over to the unknown and decides to start her epic quest to kill said monster alone. On the flip side, a young boy named Shay decided to begin going against his over protective mother and depart on a quest to save space creatures that are captured by horrible tyrants.

Screenshot for Broken Age on iOS

The second part is about the disillusionment that comes after wandering around the world themselves. When figuring out that not everything is what it seems to have been from the eyes of a young child, the final phase of growing up starts properly, and is reflected not only in the main characters' attitudes and demeanour but in the entire world at large, creating a beautiful and symbolic realisation both for the characters and those playing.

The story elements are very good and strongly well thought through, leaving much to reflect upon. However, and is a strong however, the story grows somewhat weaker throughout the game. The rebellion elements of the first act are obvious and impossible to miss, yet the second part, the disillusionment, can very easily be missed due to how subtly the concept is delivered. Most of the main characters are only doing what could be best described as a glorified fetch quests at this point in the tale, with the nuance only delivered through the support characters, most of whom are underdeveloped. This, combined with said fetch quest-like gameplay, ensures that the point is completely missed.

The story is not the only thing that grows weaker as Broken Age goes on, though, as that 'accolade' goes to the puzzles. In Act 1, they are wonderfully crafted and mix humour with constant progression, and the solutions are always logical. However, in Act 2 this quickly goes downhill. To begin with, the massive fetch quest Shay is sent on is heavily presented as filler material and demands a lot of weird connections to be made that are not always completely logical. This, mixed with the giant field to try different things out on, creates a feeling of boredom and will make anyone lose interest.

That part, however, is not the worst, by any means. The worst puzzles are the ones that include repairing and reprogramming certain robots found throughout the latter parts of the adventure. The issue here is not that the puzzles are difficult in themselves, but that it demands gamers to take notes on things they never ever expected to make notes about. This creates an annoying situation where the whole experience may be brought to a standstill for hours, even leading to some giving up painfully close to the climactic end.

It is sad seeing that Act 2 was delivered in such a weak way compared to Act 1. It truly is annoying to witness that the part that is supposed to be the epic conclusion to an epic adventure turns into such a bore where the core is missed out, all because of puzzles that are naught but a nuisance. If the quality was even all the way through, then Broken Age would have been amazing. Saying that, Broken Age is still a decent title when purchased as a full package, but it is shocking how half of it threatens to spoil everything. The story elements that shone in the first part fade so much in the second due to annoying puzzles.

Screenshot for Broken Age on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

In a fair world, both parts would be scored differently, as the first half is such a good game that is easily a 9. However, then there is the second act that is just mediocre, at best. The story delivered is beautiful and has a lot of material to reflect upon. It is just sad that most of that reflective material is found in the second half where many will miss it due to the fact that it is hidden in a mountain of fetch quests and downright annoying puzzles. However, Broken Age is truly a good game that fans of point-and-click adventures should look into, but just be aware of the annoying puzzles in Act 2.

Developer

Double Fine

Publisher

Double Fine

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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