Adventure games are a forgotten root of the tree that is video game history. They still exist, and the best ones from the past are still remembered fondly and even played to a certain extent. But they don’t have quite the same presence as things like first-person shooters and role-playing games.
This is a shame not only because of the history they have, but because of what they offer in relation to other kinds of gaming. Adventure games, especially of the point-and-click variety, are a bridge in the gap between many different kinds of games. You can pick them up and put them down easily like mobile games, they can be as addictive as any RPG, and they can have stories equal to or better than every Triple-A release.
Broken Age is made by Double Fine Productions. It was founded by Tim Schafer, who was the pen behind some of the most superb and influential adventure games ever made: Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango. Their first game was Psychonauts, which I established in a previous column that I was playing because I’d heard so many good things about it. So Double Fine has both the pedigree and the ability necessary to turn out a great adventure game.
Their latest release Broken Age is about to hit the market and all of the available footage I’ve seen looks beautiful. The game tells the tale of two protagonists in different places, related only through common themes of escape and rebellion against prescribed fate: Shay and Vella.
Vella is a village girl who’s been selected as a human sacrifice to a giant monster and decides she’s not going down without a fight. Shay is a boy who lives in a derelict spacecraft with a motherly AI and may or may not be the last human being. Granted, it’s only Episode One; and, between this, Walking Dead, and Wolf Among Us, I can tell that I’m going to get tired of episodic games in a hurry. But I’m still confident.
Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m recommending you play Broken Age despite the fact that I haven’t played it myself. Sometimes I think a leap of faith based on good reputation can be worth it. I’m not telling you to expect another Monkey Island, but I don’t think you have anything to lose by trying this game. Whether you prefer an Angry Birds, a Skyrim, or a Bioshock Infinite, I think this game has something which will charm you.