Broken Age: Act 2 Review

Shay from Broken Age's Act 2 converses with a tree
Dad jokes aplenty

  • Developer: Double Fine Productions
  • Publisher: Double Fine Productions
  • Release Date: 28 April 2015
  • Time played: 8 hours

Well it's taken over a year to finally receive the second act of Broken Age but in late April it was finally released! While a lot of controversy surrounds the development of Broken Age, especially it going over-budget when it received $3.3 million in funding and even Tim Schafer and other Double Fine games in general, I'm going to try to keep the politics aside for this review and judge the game on its own merits.

While I really enjoyed the first act of the game, giving it a rarely awarded 9/10, does the second act of the game conclude in a satisfactory manner? Is it in any way more challenging than the first act?

Plot (4/5)
It goes without saying that there are going to be spoilers so don't read any further if you haven't finished Act 1 yet. In Act 2, all the conspiracies are revealed for what they truly are and both Shay and Vella (our two protagonists) are thrust into alien worlds: Shay ends up traversing around Shellmound and Meriloft meeting characters that know Vella and Vella ends up traversing around Shay's floating ship, the Bossa Nostra (aka Mog Chothra).

While from a gameplay standpoint, the puzzles are more challenging than Act 1, Act 2 seems pretty light on the story. There isn't much focus on character development and I think that's partly why the ending itself isn't very satisfactory – you just don't care what happens to the characters. Despite a short epilogue of pictures playing during the credits, there are still too many loose ends and you'll be wondering “is that it? Surely there's more to this tale..."

Gameplay (4/5)
Remember when I wondered what was the point of switching characters in Act 1? Well there is a point to doing it now (I'm not going to tell you why though because it's part of one of the puzzles). The reason why you need to switch characters in Act 2 is a bit convoluted and breaks the fourth wall but I guess I shouldn't complain since I got my wish in the end!

Other than that, the game obviously works the same way as in Act 1 however some will be thankful that the puzzles are slightly more difficult (except for the aforementioned puzzles that involve breaking the fourth wall). I even had to look up a walkthrough once despite the answer staring at me in the face (I knew what I had to do I just couldn't see where on the screen the vital information was)!

"The reason why you need to switch characters in Act 2 is a bit convoluted and breaks the fourth wall but I guess I shouldn't complain since I got my wish in the end!"

Sound (5/5)
As it was in the first act, you've still got top notch voice acting thanks to professional voice actors and famous screen actors such as Elijah Wood, Wil Wheaton and Jack Black.

Music (5/5)
Once again you've got great music thanks to veteran composer Peter McConnell and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I especially like a jazzy number called "Vella's Mission".

Graphics (5/5)
I love the 2D painting art style. Not enough point 'n' click adventures are taking this approach and I reckon more should.

Replay (3/5)
Remember when I was wondering why they didn't have Steam Achievements for this game? Well, there are now Steam Achievements for this game. Consequently, I'm tempted to replay Act 1 if only to get some more Steam Achievements (gotta catch 'em all!)

Polish (4/5)
The game still has a clunky inventory system but overall the game is pretty well polished.

Score – 8/10

Act 2 of Broken Age ramps up the difficulty of the puzzles slightly but in an unsatisfying way. The ending itself isn't terribly satisfying either but high production values helps to save this game from being just average.

Broken Age is available from these retailers:

Is the game worth $24.99 USD?: Yes, this is about the right price for an adventure game with high production values.

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[ LINK: Official Broken Age Website ]