Broken Age, Act 1

I’ve been a fan of Tim Schafer’s games since I was a kid, especially Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. The guy is a fantastic storyteller whose games are often charming, humorous, and even a little strange (in the best way). Schafer’s newest point-and-click adventure game for Mac and PC, Broken Age, proves that he hasn’t lost his touch.

There are two teenage protagonists in Broken Age—Vella and and Shay—whom you can switch between at will.

Vella lives in Sugar Bunting, a town that occasionally sacrifices its maidens to appease a gigantic being named Mog Chothra. Just as she’s about to be sacrificed, she wonders why they don’t just solve the problem by eliminating the monster, and works to escape her fate.

Shay lives alone aboard an intergalactic spaceship, where he is coddled by an overbearing AI that forces him to eat the same food and perform the same activities, day after day after day. Bored of this existence, Shay seeks a way out of his colorful prison.

During their adventures, Vella and Shay meet an oddball assortment of characters and solve puzzles in order to progress. Their respective stories don’t seem at all linked at first, but by the game’s end you will see they are surprisingly intertwined. Keep in mind that this is only Act 1 of the game, with Act 2 expected to release later this year.

The writing is sharp, the voice acting is top-notch, the artwork is gorgeous, the soundtrack is lovely…I just can’t find anything I dislike about Broken Age. You can buy the game alone for $25, or pay an extra $5 to include the soundtrack.