Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Kickstarted: Broken Age

Today I received the code for the Double Fine adventure Broken Age. It was one of the first gaming Kickstarter campaigns, and received a massive 3.3 Million Dollars (way over what was being asked for). I've played the game for a little while, so here are just a few first impressions.
Two characters, but what is the connection?

You begin the game with a choice between two characters. One is sleeping by a tree in a rather quaint countryside locale, whilst the other appears to be in a futuristic bedroom. One of the more remarkable parts of Broken Age is the ability to switch between the two characters (not quite at any time, but almost).

I chose the boy in space first, and found myself on a space ship. However, the ship wasn't quite what I was expecting, with an overly familiar computer system treating the ships commander in a rather childlike manner. Indeed, everything about the ship made it appear like a children's toy, to the apparent annoyance and dismay of the commander himself.

Flipping across to the sleeping girl, I found myself in a village of bakers preparing for a "Maiden's Feast". Apparently I was to be one of the centre attractions, but on closer inspection this wasn't quite such a good thing. It turned out that this was one of those sacrificial sort of things, with a huge monster needing to be pacified by eating five maidens.

The best character at this point was the grandfather, who remembered a time when they used to fight the monsters, which of course has a certain effect on the girl, and after a brief farewell/celebration at home, you have to escape the clutches of the beast (full of eyes and tentacles, like a Lovecraftian horror!).

Switching to the boy for a moment, I was presented with an array of cereals with amusing names, and forced to pick one (or have it chosen for me). Along with my cereal (in a very happy looking bowl), I got a talking spoon, helpfully telling me the number of calories in each mouthful and the viscosity of the milk. I was favourably reminded of the Talkie Toaster from the TV show Red Dwarf.

I haven't reached much further with each character, but so far it's been a great experience. Logical puzzles, amusing dialogue, fantastic artwork and some nice background music. So far, so very good. I had high hopes initially for this project, but as the months rolled by I began to doubt that I would receive anything even half-way decent. I have to say that faith has been fully restored by the opening sections of the game so far, and I hope that it continues to impress me.

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