This post is the closest critique I have seen on the internet to how I feel about the game.
Somehow I don't think DF will take this stuff to heart when making Act 2/possible future adventure games though. *sigh*
It was? Puzzle difficulty and interface design and complexity are certainly the big ones for me, but the more I think about it the more I could "criticize". The sound/music and animation as well as the graphics team probably did the best and it kind of shows in the finished product, but back in the day I was fine with beepity-boops and Stan flailing his arms and jaw around wildly and a lot happier with the increased focus this actually allowed for things that actually matter much more to me like gameplay and puzzles:
But even if I compare it to how I imagined it might look from the very beginning or when compared to some other games out there I don't think the art style itself is exactly the best I have seen but "just good". It seems to be lacking that certain je ne sais quoi that I imagined it might end up having from looking at some of Bagels work:
And even despite not having as many dynamic elements moving in the screen, not being placed on a 3D plane with Parallax or employing things like real-time shadows and reflections I think I actually still enjoy the art style in Daedalics games more.
In regards to the tone of the game it lacks many of the morbid and/or interesting elements that I found in old Lucas Arts games. I brought this up before. Things that I can still remember from Monkey Island include:
If I'd have to describe it I'd say it has too much honey, not enough vinegar.
I also realized another thing that somewhat bothered me about the game I couldn't quite put my finger on (since I overall kind of liked the art and sound design), which was the world building.
In most other Lucas Arts games I can remember (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Loom, Indiana Jones, The Dig, Grim Fandango...) it seemed like you were in a coherent world and there were a lot of areas with specific themes - the islands in Monkey Island for instance felt a lot different from one another and distinct but still familiar (and sometimes the area maps helped with this) while in Broken Age it kind of felt like they had thrown something together to get it done.
There were like 3 screens of Sugar Bunting (outside, inside the house and then the sacrifice) - for instance I would have expected to explore the town first and possibly doing some tasks for its inhabitants as a short introduction to the game like helping to bake the cake or putting together a costume, learning to know the town and its culture building up to the crescendo for the big event surrounding the sacrifice and how Vella sees it, instead I barely even got to know her family and that entire area was a huge missed opportunity for character building.
There were 7 screens of cloud colony that seemed to be built out the most aside from the spaceship but again there seemed to just be people there standing around waiting for you to talk to them and give you stuff (where do they even live, there were no houses or anything?).
Then you were suddenly thrown into the woods that they had used for their initial art tests encompassing 3 screens that really didn't fit in all that much with the rest of the world and there was the fishing town including the Temple of the One Eyed God (I kind of got somewhat of a Monkey Island feeling during this part, but very brief - as was this whole area) and the space ship was entirely separate with like a dozen or so screens in most of which you didn't get to do all that much. Not much of these really fit together very coherently as a whole.