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So what did you think?

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So what did everyone think? Full reviews encouraged. I want more than just "it was really fun, wow it was worth the wait!" I would love to hear very specifically the aspects, moments, characters, puzzles, frustrations, etc that stuck with you. My review: *vague mentions but no real bad spoilers*

Vella's half gets a 10/10, hands down. Bagel's artwork works best in a natural setting, and as I started with the Vella story I was just floored by how beautiful that vista behind her looked. Then walking into her home, I couldn't help but notice how snappy the dialogue was - not just from a good writing standpoint, but literally the dialogue was very quick. Old adventure games (even Monkey Island) really bugged me with just how LONG they talked, and I was often done reading the subtitles before the characters were done with half of their line. And then there's her character itself - she was softspoken, but she had some fire and personality that I really saw shine throughout her part, she's not a super complex character but she's a very well done character regardless. The rest of Vella's half was very well put together, I got a very comprehensive feeling of the "world map" (IE how everything connected), the locations were unique, each "room" was put to excellent use - there was always something important, but no one room felt disconnected from the others, they all fit together quite cohesively. I just hated that bird who kept knocking my ladder. I don't know if that was a red herring or if they're saving that somehow for Act 2, but yeesh I spent too long trying to figure something out there.

Shay's half gets a 7/10. Where Vella's story started very smoothly, Shay's story was a bunch of quick cuts - I didn't like that I couldn't explore immediately. Then I accidentally "solved" this first part on my second click, so I had to go and find those other rooms later. So the start was very finnicky story-wise. Shay himself felt off personality-wise. I get that he has been in total isolation and has a different perception of "normal," but the within-2-minutes complete trust of Merrick just felt...off. He had zero suspicions, and just blindly accepted to totally betray his own "mother" without a second thought. Then there's the awkwardness of how randomly "into it" he got with the simulations - sometimes he acted like a 4 year old totally digging the simulation, and sometimes he acted like a teenager and just sighed/seemed disgruntled. So...basically I didn't get a consistent character from him, and that bugged me a lot. The level as a whole looked beautiful, and I really appreciated the personalities (the spoon, knife, weaver, and especially a GREAT laugh line from the avalanche people). And that freaking red herring bugged me, in a good adventure game kinda way. Overall I think the level itself was fine and fun and great, it's just that I couldn't get as "into" it because I didn't feel a good story based compelling drive to finish it.

Still overall I loved the game. I got really stuck on a total of 2 puzzles, but as a more or less adventure game noob I still thought the game was on the slightly easier side - but then again, this is only Act 1. Tim has stated it will get harder, and I'm sure it will. Also, as an entire other thread is devoted to, the ending is surprising and leaves you begging for part 2. If I were giving a review to metacritic, I'd give a 90 right now, and I only hope it goes up from there with Act 2. Good job Tim!

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Here's my review from Steam:

As a backer of the Kickstarter for this game, I was given early access to Act I. So I won't spoil any of the story, but I will say that this is a very good adventure game experience, on par with the classics of the Golden Era (80s & 90s). I've been waiting for these games to come back and what better way to re-usher them in than with a brand new game from Tim Schafer himself, an adventure star who designed the likes of Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and Day of the Tentacle. He also had a hand in designing the first two Monkey Island games by Ron Gilbert. These are adventure gaming classics. I've only played half the game so far, but the other half is coming in a few months as of this writing. That said here are my thoughts:

The Good:

-Story. Very intriguing. I was very invested in both the girl and boy's characters and was quite interested to see where their stories would take them and how they'd eventually intertwine. The experience was not unrewarding and definitely wasn't a disappointment!

-Writing. Tim's humour is expectedly very present in the game. His trademark sarcasm and wit are strewn throughout the dialogue and even into some of the look of the locations. It's a very bizarre and funny world Tim has created, but not too bizarre. Just recognizable enough to not seem too far out and unrelatable.

-Art style. The 2D painted artwork style is fantastic. I was initially skeptical in the beginning of Bagel's art style, once I'd seen some of his work in one of the hidden backer forum threads on the Double Fine forums. But I have to say that my skepticism was misplaced. This game has a lovely quality and very pleasing aesthetic. The artwork truly does resemble a beautiful painting come to life. And despite this it is absolutely brimming with detail in every scene. It's beautiful to just sit and watch, but it also works very well for the gaming experience and story. Some of the girl's locations actually reminded me of Curse of Monkey Island, even though the styles are wildly different. While the boy's space ship is unlike anything I've ever seen for a space ship. It's all very unique and with just a dash of familiarity in it as well.

-Animation. Truly charming and natural. Everything seemed so alive. Not like puppets on strings, but real characters that were moving on their own. Special care was given to these animations. Every one showed amazing attention to detail and added a great deal of character to everything that moved. Every character in the game had their own unique persona that spoke volumes about their motivations and intentions. One of my favourite aspects of the design of the game!

-Voice acting. Top notch. Every voice puts a life and an identity into their characters in a way that binds them to their personas where I could not justify turning voices off and just reading subtitles. The voices are truly special and unique and are really part of the experience in a huge way. So don't mute them.

-Soundtrack. Peter McConnell did a fantastic job with the soundtrack. The themes are very fitting and atmospheric, yet the themes for the boy and girl and their locales are separate and distinct from eachother, as should be expected. Peter doesn't disappoint. As a backer, I also received the soundtrack to the game which I immediately put straight on my player for my long drives to work. And it's played by a live orchestra. Can't beat that. Truly effective work. Bravo, Peter.

The "Wish-It-Was-Better":

-Puzzles. The heart of the adventure game experience (combined with story). There are some great puzzles in this game, but as a veteran adventure gamer I was expecting a bit more of a challenge. Especially in the beginning, the puzzles were fairly simple. I assume to ease in new or rusty players. Luckily these simple "tutorial" puzzles didn't last long at all end began to become more complex soon enough, to my relief. As long as I was thorough, however, I never missed anything. Years of adventure gaming has taught me to leave no stone unturned and to keep a mental map image in my head of where certain characters, objects, and puzzles were located. This made it easier to deduce when and where I'd be needing certain objects or what objects I might need in certain areas. I ended up acquiring all of the objects I needed ahead of time before I needed to use them, which sped up the gameplay a bit. But that's due to my obsessive style of exploration. Other gamers might not share this and thus wouldn't run into the same problem, which would probably extend the experience for them. There was no so-called "moon logic" in this game, which many classic adventure games were infamous for. Personally, I never had a problem with extremely hard puzzles and enjoyed them, but many others (especially nowadays) don't share this feeling. Luckily, they won't be disappointed with this game as a result.

-Length. Keeping in mind that I have only played Act I, I still have to say it was somewhat shorter than I expected. If Act I is truly an exact halfway point in the game, then I can only hope that the puzzles in Act II are much more difficult. I wish it was longer. I'll have to put it away for a year or two after completing Act II and come back to it to see just how long the game actually is with a fresh perspective from beginning to end.

Overall, the world of Broken Age is an immensely pleasing and fun one to live in and explore. The story is gripping and mysterious. By the end of Act I you are left wondering just WHAT in the world is going on! It left me wanting more, but in a good way. Luckily we will be getting more! I encountered no bugs whatsoever. The game played extremely smoothly and there were no unexpected quirks. I was finding myself missing the skip dialogue function from the older LucasArts SCUMM engine games by pressing '.'. Instead it only lets you skip entire "cutscenes" of dialogue. Not a huge issue, as there never really was anything that I needed to skip specifically to get at something new from a repeated conversation. I would like a "retro" filter shortcut for the game to make it seem all pixelated and 90s looking if only for the novelty. ;)

I highly recommend this game to those who enjoy a good story in gaming and those who appreciate a work of art. Newcomers to the adventure genre who are mildly curious but fearful of ominously difficult puzzles needn't worry as everything is intuitive and logical, but still challenging enough I feel to give you a great experience without seeming too easy or too short. Adventure veterans may find the challenge a little lackluster, but what little it may lack in puzzle challenge it makes up for in pretty much everything else. It won't be the next puzzle masterpiece adventure game, but it is surely a very good start to the great Adventure Resurgence! It appeals to old and new fans alike and, I feel, is the perfect bridge to link the two together. Take us onward, Double-Fine! Here's hoping for more adventures after Broken Age!

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