Broken Age: Act One review: Not quite kick-finished

Just another day on my city in a cloud…

Back in February of 2012, legendary game designer Tim Schafer took to Kickstarter to subvert the old ways of video game funding. If he had taken the usual route in pitching the classically styled point-and-click adventure game he wanted to make—the genre that originally made him famous, and one he hadn’t worked on for over a decade—”a publisher would laugh in my face,” he said. Fund me directly instead, he insisted, and you could expect something different from the usual blockbuster.

Two years and millions of dollars later, his prediction has been borne out. The first half of Broken Age, which was delivered to tens of thousands of Kickstarter backers earlier this week (this reviewer included), resembles the point-and-click stylings of Schafer classics like Grim Fandango and Full Throttle.

Broken Age‘s general concept is a bit more modern than those well-loved Double Fine games of the past, though. Two children from opposite ends of the galaxy are annoyed by their childhoods, so they strike out on simultaneous quests. There’s little in the way of drama or excitement, but their journeys are buoyed by subtle humor and children’s book whimsy.

The story sure ain’t Halo, and it comes across in an elevator pitch as the kind of game that could only be made by way of blind-faith pre-sales, as Schafer originally promised on Kickstarter. But is the result a testament to artistic freedom or a bad case of careful-what-you-wish-for?

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica

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