Broken Age 1 2

  

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Broken Age Act 1 Part 2 Stampy

Shay and Vella have been waiting 15 months to continue their story.

Developer Double Fine Productions left the stars of Broken Age, its newest adventure game, bewildered after a climactic finale in Act 1. But at the time of Act 1’s release in Jan. 2014, the developers didn’t have a follow-up. They needed another year to work on their project.

Three years after launching a trend-setting crowdfunding campaign (earning a then-unheard of $3.3 million), Double Fine is finally ready to deliver on its promise. The complete Broken Age experience is heading to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC (reviewed), Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Ouya on April 28.

In Act 1, we met reluctant heroes Shay Volta (voiced by actor Elijah Wood) and Vella Tartine (portrayed by Masasa Moyo). Their lives couldn’t be more different. Shay grew up on a spaceship while Vella is from a sleepy coastal town. The one thing they do have in common is the lack of control over their destinies. Shay is on a mission to save his dying planet, but he’s stuck doing the same mundane tasks over and over. Village traditions dictate that Vella has to sacrifice herself to a giant monster to save her town, but she’d rather fight it. Players can switch between their stories at any time.

Broken

When I reviewed Act 1, I thought the cliffhanger was too abrupt. It was as if Double Fine shoved that in there just to tease the next part. Playing through it again confirmed my assumption: Broken Age works much better as a cohesive piece. Act 2 picks up after the first act’s finale, where Shay and Vella must continue to push on despite being in unfamiliar territory. The dialogue is still incredibly funny, and the new characters (and revelations about old ones) take Broken Age’s world into strange but hilarious directions.

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Above: Shay’s poor robot buddy.

I say ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’, but it’s not quite that simple. Broken Age wants to be one adventure game, simply rolling along from start to finish as if the last year never happened. A new crowdfunded adventure game from Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions.

What you’ll like

Shay and Vella dealing with the fallout

Act 2 doesn’t dwell too long on its serious moments, but it does recognize the wide-reaching effect that Act 1’s events had on the world. The kids handle it the best way they know how: through humor. Shay maintains his childlike curiosity, occasionally poking fun at things that seem out of place or weird to him. Vella’s deadpan observations are perfect for the absurdities she faces in her new environment.

They don’t spend too much time in deep thought, either. They’re far too busy with their quests. But I liked hearing the introspection in their dialogue. It made them appear more relatable.

Revisiting the areas from Act 1

Act 2 is short on new areas, so you’ll spend most of your time retreading familiar ground. That might sound like a big problem, but I didn’t mind it. All the people you met in Act 1 are back, albeit in different situations. It was fun to see certain characters finally cross paths. Best of all, my favorites — the fruit-obsessed Gus (played by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward) and hipster lumberjack Curtis (voiced by Wil Wheaton) — return with new jokes and ridiculous schemes.

You’ll definitely want to talk to everyone again. I dragged items from my inventory and dropped them on different characters just to hear what they would say (even if I knew those objects didn’t belong to them).

Above: Curtis is up to something.

Puzzle solutions that rely on both worlds

Broken Age’s puzzles consist of finding items in the world and either giving them to people or placing them on other objects. Sometimes, you have to combine these items with each other. The puzzles weren’t that hard to solve in Act 1, but for Act 2, Double Fine ramped up the difficulty. I felt like I had to use more items than last time. Shay must’ve walked at least 50 miles as I moved back and forth between the towns (much more than I did with Vella). His to-do list was pretty long. I spoke with a bunch of people to get clues and objects. Vella doesn’t have as much room to explore, but her tasks require a lot of legwork as well.

Some of these puzzles do something new. To solve them, you have to pay attention to specific details from both worlds. Minor things that have no effect on Shay’s side might be just the hints you need to complete something with Vella (and vice-versa). You can’t transfer items over from one character to the next, but you can quickly switch between their stories by using a button in your inventory screen. The only way to get all the clues is by flipping back and forth between the characters. You’ll hear verbal cues to let you know you’re dealing with these puzzles like, “I wonder what so-and-so would think of this.”

I became a little paranoid of missing any crucial details, so I took screenshots of anything that seemed important. I frequently used Alt-Tab to switch between the game and the screenshots folder on my PC when trying to solve something. One puzzle in particular made me frustrated. I quit the game and browsed my screenshots to make sure they came out OK. That’s when I saw the solution — right there, on the first screen, staring at my big dumb face. I’m not sure how I missed it.

Drawing on your expertise from both worlds is a cool and inventive way of incorporating Broken Age’s dual-story premise into its mechanics. I felt like an active participant in Shay’s and Vella’s adventures, like some kind of invisible messenger that could cross great distances to help them.

Above: Vella’s not sure what to make of the ship’s navigator.

What you won’t like

Unanswered questions

Broken age 1 2 full

I liked Broken Age’s ending, but it still left me with unanswered questions. Most of them concern a new area we get to visit. But whether it was for budgetary reasons or because the designers never intended for players to explore it, Shay and Vella don’t spend a lot of time there. This leaves parts of the story a bit vague by the time you see the credits.

It’s weird though. In Act 2, characters go into impressive detail about what’s really happening, but they stop short of explaining what I consider key plot points. I understand wanting to leave a little mystery, so players can make their own interpretations. But if you’re going to tell us certain things anyway, why not go all the way?

Buggy animations

Shay’s and Vella’s animations can look a little funky. When talking to people, I noticed impossibly quick transitions from one pose to the next. For instance, when Vella was thinking hard about something, she crossed her arms with one hand touching her chin. A split-second later, her body convulsed and her arms quickly fell down to her side. These jerky movements don’t happen very often, but hopefully, they’ll go away in a future update.

Eggs

Above: It’s hard to show Act 2 without spoiling something, so here’s a pic of some yarn pals.

Conclusion

Act 1 was just an appetizer. Act 2 is the meaty main course that defines Broken Age — and not just because it finishes the story. It’s where Double Fine let loose and went crazy with the puzzles (and the complex train of thought you need to solve them). It’s where characters I previously thought were only there for a joke or two became much more important. It’s where Shay’s and Vella’s rebellion against their preordained fates turned into a cause that is much bigger than themselves.

I would’ve liked more information about the story, but when I reached the ending, any problems I had slipped away. All I wanted to do was hug somebody.

Score: 90/100

Broken Age (along with its new Act 2 chapter) releases on April 28 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Ouya. The developer provided GamesBeat with a PC code for the purpose of this review.

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Broken Age is a uniquely well-crafted classic adventure game that combines a compelling storyline and engaging gameplay with stunning graphics and hilarious dialogue. But, like most point-and-click adventures, it can get really frustrating at times. If you’re stuck on a level or just want to skip a certain part, you’ve landed on the right page. This Broken Age walkthrough guide details everything you need to know to get through tough levels and discover all the secret Easter Eggs. Our walkthrough covers both Broken Age Act 1 (Shay) and Broken Age Act 2 (Vella).

The game was designed for mobile devices so, if you have the option, get the iOS or the Android version. That said, the epic adventure is also available on Steam, PS4 and PS Vita.

Broken Age Part 1 – Shay

Tired of his mundane life and overprotective robot-parents, Shay decides to set out on an adventure. His story is divided into three parts, and our Broken Age walkthrough of act 1 (Shay) will take you through all three.

1. You start with The Daily Grind, which is full of repetitive, boring tasks like eating through an ice cream avalanche, looking for aliens or riding a train through a talking mountain. Everything changes after Shaw meets a talking wolf during an emergency train mission.

Usually, he screamed at the mountain to lower the bridge and let the train through. But one day, he yelled twice on the way down and the mountain raised the bridge. He fell down into the abyss, only to land on a surprisingly soft surface. And that’s where he met Alex, the talking wolf.

2. After you finish those chores and meet Alex, you’ll need to get Shay through the second part, aptly named Breaking Out. After planning his escape, Shay commandeers the ship, disables the shields and flies to the Talon Nebula on a quest to save space creatures. He saves a lot of creatures before being attacked by a giant monster, crashing and abruptly concluding the second part of his story.

3. Shay’s third and final solo level takes place near the crash site. As its name suggests, to get through Fixing the Ship you must piece together debris to rebuild your spaceship. After getting a list of supplies, Shay must figure out where to find each item and how to get them.

What You Need

Broken

Generally, there’s no specific order for completing a level’s objectives. But this Broken Age walkthrough follows the fastest, most efficient path to victory. All the supplies Shay needs are listed below, along with instructions on how to find the most elusive ones.

  • Spoon
  • Grabbin’ Gary
  • Screwdriver
  • Deflated raft – The raft is in the air vent located next to your bed. Use your screwdriver to pry it open.
  • Oxygen tank
  • Inflatable man
  • Talon Nebula Star Chart
  • Danger System 5 Star Chart
  • Prima Doom Space Chart
  • Omicron Inhibitor
  • Knife
  • Whipped Cream Gun
  • Crochet hook
  • Hazard Suit
  • Superconductive Gyroscopic Hypercan
  • Hypergravity Thrusters – Talk to Car’l, the local knot specialist, until she offers to draw you a knot diagram. Hand her a pencil, take the diagram and return to F’ther and his brother. Use the diagram to help them unravel a knot to earn the Hypergravity Thrusters.
  • Ship Sealant – Find a cloud with a large peach tree on it and enter the tunnel inside the tree. Pick up a peach and talk to Hunter until he shares some fruit tapper with you. Find your way to Jessie’s eggs. Pour Hunter’s fruit tapper on them to hatch them instantly. In order to make Ship Sealant, bring the eggshells and your peach back to Shaw’s father. Balance the pH of his solution to 7.0, using your spoon to measure it.
  • Radiation Suit
  • Electronics Genius – The genius is Shay’s broken robot Hexipal.

Easter Eggs

Retro Mode

If you feel any nostalgia toward early PC point-and-click puzzle games, you’ll definitely appreciate the 8-bit option. Here’s a quick Retro Mode Broken Age walkthrough:

Step 1: In the Main Menu, press ‘Options’ and adjust the screen resolution to exactly 640 x 480.

Step 2: Press ‘Key Remapping’ in the Options menu. A new button – depicting Shay and Vella – should appear in the lower right corner of the screen.

Step 3: During gameplay, use the button to switch Retro Mode on or off. You can enjoy the cutscenes in HD and play.

Smelling Salts

In certain levels, Shaw can leave the ship, drifting away into outer space. If you manage to pull that off, the ship will pull him back in and use Smelling Salts to wake him up. The creators of Broken Age actually borrowed this Easter Egg from Psychonauts – their first successful classic-style mobile game.

Bonuses

There are dozens of different ways to complete each level of this highly interactive adventure game. Each puzzle can take hours to solve but, if you find all the right bonuses, a whole level can be completed in just minutes. Here are the shortcuts to Shaw’s most difficult missions.

Getting a Mold of the Superconductive Gyroscopic Hypercan

Get a snake in one of the giant snake horns around town. Next, take the snake to Marshall Dune, place it on his neck and it’ll squeeze him until he coughs up a tuner. Pick up the tuner and show Marshall the schematic you got from Alex, so he could make you a mold of it from sand.

Last but not least, put the sand mold under the talking tree, and show Vella’s picture to it. The tree will vomit on the mold, hardening it with tree sap.

Making a Large Radiation Suit

Talk to Brommel about money until he gives you a coin. Use it to buy a cupcake from Vella’s sister and take it to Meriloft. Near the central clouds, you’ll find Walt’r. Offer him the cupcake; he’ll lick the frosting and walk away. Bring the cupcake to Brommel, and ask him for some frosting.

In addition to refreshing the pastry, he’ll also toss you his empty cane. After you make your way back to the peach tree in the clouds, show the cane to Dead-Eye Dawn, and enjoy a cutscene. Last but not least, take the dead-eye robe to Twyla, who will use it to make a radiation suit.

Broken Age Part 2 – Vella

Vella’s story begins with human sacrifice, so it’s probably safe to say her part is more intense. Compared to Shay, she faces more difficult challenges, a wider range of puzzles and even an extra level. Here’s a breakdown of the Broken Age Act 2 walkthrough:

1. During the first level, titled Sugar Bunting, Vella’s goal is simple – avoid being eaten alive. She’ll need to stay alive long enough to plan an escape and disappear before someone sees her. After cutting herself loose, she flies away on top of a giant blue bird.

2. Vella arrives in Meriloft, the town in the clouds, with nothing but a knife, and no way of getting down to Shellmound. Yet, just a day later, Vella leaves with a pair of new shoes and three golden eggs. Before departing, she helps the blue bird who flew her to Meriloft find her missing egg.

3. She climbs down from the clouds, lands in the town of Shellmound and decides to kill Mod Chothra, the monster everyone was scared of. Soon after, she learns of a space explorer who crashed nearby many years ago, and convinces him to help her. Vella plots her revenge and, with the help of the stranded space traveler, builds a powerful laser gun.

Next time Mod Chothra comes around, she poses as a sacrifice. Knowing that she only has one shot at this, Vella waits for the monster to open his mouth and fires her laser into it until the beast collapses.

4.Bossa Nostra reveals a truly surprising plot twist and no Broken Age walkthrough should spoil it for you. All you need to keep in mind about this level is Shaw’s family photo, which is the only way to finish Shaw’s storyline and win the game.

What You Need

Vella doesn’t use as many materials as Shaw, but locating them is just as important to her. If you’re struggling to find a certain item, this Broken Age walkthrough glossary can be a lifesaver.

  • Cupcake
  • Towel
  • Knife – Grab the cupcake with the towel and offer to split it with grandpa. He’ll use a knife to slice it in half, and leave the knife on the towel, allowing you to snag it.
  • Cloud shoes
  • Jessie’s Egg – Free Gus from under the peach tree by shaking a branch and jumping through the hole in the cloud. Gus will be on your right. After you untangle him and get him out of there, you’ll see Jessie’s Egg.
  • Gold Eggs
  • Axe
  • Laser Gun – The guards who gave you a teargas shooter won’t let you in Dead-Eye God’s cave unless you solve their riddle. If you still have a peach from Meriloft, give it to them and move along. Look around the room until you find something like a toy gun made of glass. It’ll break when you pick it up, but take it back to Curtis’s place. Walk into the room where you found the axe, and look around for a glass pane. Replace the broken glass on Dead-Eye God’s gun to turn it into a deadly laser.

Easter Eggs

Just like with most other point-and-click games, there’s no need for a separate Broken Age walkthrough to cover hidden parts of the game. Aside from the Retro Mode and Shaw’s “Smelling Salts” Easter egg, there’s just one other.

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When Vella exits Curtis’s house for the first time, makes a right turn and gets ambushed by a snake, do not do anything. Within a few seconds, the snake gets tired and passes out. After a short scene, you will find a snake trophy in Vella’s inventory.

Bonuses

While there are no bonus levels in this timeline, there are a couple of bonus items. Use the below Broken Age walkthrough to find them and make Vella’s toughest missions a whole lot easier.

Holy Tear Gas Shooter

Broken Age 1 2 Full

Find either the Marshal or the talking tree and take a look around. You should see two people standing on a staircase somewhere nearby. Find them, come upstairs and greet the guards. Be courteous, ask if you can get them anything; once they decline your offer, ask if they need any more holy tear gas. One of them will hand over his Holy Tear Gas Shooter immediately.

Painting

Broken Age 1 2 Violin

After a not-so-smooth landing in Shellmound, you end up in Curtis’s living room. Talk to him about the art on his wall until he insists that you can have it. Later, when you find the sleeping Dead-Eye God, you can show him the painting to wake him up.

Final Advice

Broken Age 1 2

Whether you’re a fan or not, we can all agree that this game is truly unique. It’s a classic-style adventure, except for the sophisticated storyline and mind-blowing plot twists. Therefore, it only makes sense to enjoy the story as much as the game itself. Fortunately, the plot is somewhat independent of gameplay, so you can take advantage of this spoiler-free Broken Age walkthrough at any stage of the game during Broken Age act 1 (Shay), or Broken Age act 2 (Vella).

If you’re a big fan of point and click adventure games, then check out our Machinarium review. Do you know any tips or tricks we missed? If so, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments.