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Found 6 results

  1. Jason Clement

    Review: Broken Age: Act 1

    Developer: Double Fine Publisher: Double Fine Platform: PC, Mac, Linux (Android, iOS, OUYA in the future) Release Date: January 28, 2014 ESRB: Not Rated (E recommended) Tim Schafer has been responsible both entirely and in-part for some of the most memorable point-and-click adventure games over the last 20 years or so. His work with LucasArts alum Ron Gilbert has been the stuff of legends, with such games as The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, and Grim Fandango being hailed as hallmarks of the genre. Thus it comes with much fanfare that his first adventure game in some 16 years, Broken Age, is finally here. Broken Age follows two seemingly separate narratives - one following a teenage boy named Shay who lives alone aboard a spaceship and is perpetually doomed to live a life of safety and boredom thanks to an overprotective computer that treats him like a child (literally), and the other following a teenage girl named Vella who comes of age and rejects her "honorable fate" as a traditional sacrifice to a large monster that selects maidens to consume from different villages once a year. You can select either storyline at the start, and in an interesting move by Double Fine, you can actually switch between the two stories at any time if you get stuck on one or otherwise want a change of scenery. Like most point-and-click games, you'll need to talk to the different characters you come across in your journey in order to gather information or accomplish certain objectives, all the while making use of various items you collect to help you progress through different areas and situations. For the most part, items have uses that you'll be able to deduce in short time, though there were a few instances where I got stuck before I realized what needed to be done. Both stories, while having similar undertones, actually have a different gravitas or atmosphere to them. If I had to pick one that I enjoyed more, it would definitely be Vella's story; not only does it seem longer, but it also has the more intriguing plot and displays more of the whimsical design and characters that Double Fine is known for creating. Vella herself is also a genuinely likeable character; she's intelligent, funny, and a down-to-earth normal human being like many people, and yet she still believes in her own ideals when no one else does. In contrast, Shay's story is very different in atmosphere. Whereas Vella's situation is much more of an adventure, Shay's is more akin to a mystery that gradually unfolds. You'll gradually discover why the ship is treating him in such a sheltered way and get to explore his surroundings, and the story does a good job of keeping things suspenseful and in the dark until the very end. There also seems to be a bit more puzzle-solving in this arc. Vella's story is more about conversation and finding out certain things while Shay's is more about accomplishing a few objectives, so while they're different in nature, they fill two sides of the same coin nicely. Also, it can't be understated just how good the game's visuals and sound design are. Broken Age is quite possibly the most beautiful point-and-click adventure game I've ever played, with its painterly visuals and storybook-esque edge. It's also fully voiced, including the likes of talented stars such as Jack Black and Elijah Wood. Black's role is actually a cameo but it's in keeping with his zany sense of humor, while Wood puts in a solid performance in the role of Shay. The music is quite good as well, with some especially nice tracks that play during Vella's arc. Ultimately, Act 1 of Broken Age is everything that point-and-click fans could have hoped for; it's a great first half that ends with an interesting cliffhanger. And though it's a shame that we'll now have to wait for Act 2 (which will arrive as a free update), Double Fine assures that it's expected to arrive sometime later this year. Act 1 came out to just over 4 hours of gameplay on my first time through, though I do have to admit I got stuck at one particular point and spent a lot of time trying to solve a puzzle. Still, it's well worth playing if you don't mind only getting half of the story for the time being. And even if Act 2 doesn't live up to expectations, Broken Age has me hoping that it's only the first of (hopefully) many more point-and-click adventures to come from Double Fine. Pros + Beautiful, hand-drawn illustrated characters and backgrounds + Great voice-acting + Story is interesting and whimsical atmosphere is well-done Cons - Some situations might require backtracking or may have you at a loss for how to proceed with little in the way of hints or help Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Broken Age proves that point-and-click adventure games are far from dead. If you're ever been a fan of the genre or you're looking for a good story, dive in and see what all of the fuss is about. Disclosure: This game was reviewed on PC using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  2. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the newest Humble Indie Bundle! This time, it's Double Fine-themed and comes with up to five games and a T-shirt. Every contribution nets you Costume Quest, Psyconauts, and Stacking (pay a minimum of $1 and you'll get Steam keys). Pay more than the average and you can get Brütal Legend, too. For $35, you'll have the upcoming Broken Age pre-ordered. Last, but not least, a hefty, but generous contribution of $70 will grant you an exclusive T-shirt in either black or cream. MP3/FLAC soundtracks also come with Psychonauts and Brütal Legend. Watch this hilarious video featuring Tim Schafer to learn more. This bundle will be up for 13 days, so jump on it while you can!
  3. The Kickstarter-funded Double Fine Adventure project finally has a name! It is now officially called Broken Age, as revealed at a PAX East panel today. The game's website has also been launched. On the website, you can learn a little bit about what the story in Broken Age will be about: "Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure telling the stories of a young boy and girl leading parallel lives. The girl has been chosen by her village to be sacrificed to a terrible monster--but she decides to fight back. Meanwhile, a boy on a spaceship is living a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but he wants to break free to lead adventures and do good in the world. Adventures ensue." If you wish, you may also preorder the game through the official website for $15, which includes beta access, or for $30, which includes backer access.
  4. Almost exactly one year ago, Markus "Notch" Perrson (known for his highly-popular Minecraft) surprised the gaming world by declaring that he'd help Tim Schafer and Double Fine by financing a Psychonauts sequel. Notch even said he would be able to match the estimated $13 million budget that Psychonauts 2 would need. Turns out, it would need even more than that and Notch doesn't want in after all. "I think I gave Markus a heart attack when I told him how much Psychonauts 2 would cost," Schafer says. So, what was that exorbitant amount that almost sent Notch to the emergency room? Notch shared this with Reddit: "I somewhat naively thought ”a couple of million“ was two million. ... Turns out they wanted 18 million dollars, haha. ... I“ve made one private investment into a game so far, at $100K, and it“s frankly a lot more work than I thought." I don't blame him for backing out of that one. But don't lose complete hope on Psychonauts 2 yet. While Double Fine still has its utmost attention on the Kickstarter-funded Double Fine Adventure, it still has plans to "explore alternative funding methods that will require multiple sources to make it a reality." Do you think Notch made the right decision of ultimately saying no to funding Psychonauts 2?
  5. Leah

    Grim Fandango

    From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © LucasArts