Broken Age: Act 2

Some things have been happening in my life. Good things. Deal with it. Listen to my podcast: I drop a lot of goings on there. I'll probably make a "State of the" post at some point.

Screenshot of the "fake ship" ship factory

SPOILERS! The second part of Broken Age intuitively picks up exactly where the last left off. Vella is trapped in Shay's spaceship, and Shay is stranded on the beach at Shellmound, outside his spaceship monster. The first thing I noticed (after the characters swapped), is that the puzzles are much harder. How much? Like Dark Souls harder (not that I've ever played that to compare to). The final puzzle requires some delicate coordination and proper timing between the two characters.

Immediately, Shay's dad reveals himself as a real person, and not some computer's simulacrum. He apologizes for not coming around lately, and gets to work on trying to get inside. Shay discovers himself from the future, only to realize that it's Alex, the guy who helped take down his spaceship- the one that's flying away right now. Vella needs to navigate the beast, finding it very different than what she had imagined. After a heavy identity misrepresentation, Vella enters the room that Shay never could, where she discovers Mom. Some time later, Vella discovers her "friends" from Sugar Bunting and Shellmound. The realization of what is truly happening hits you.

The game reveals dark undertones of eugenics going on in the background. The masters that control these monster ships are called "The Thrush". They are a people that consider (and engineer) themselves superior to others. To keep it this way, they built a "plague dam" to keep out less desirable genetics. Beyond this dam is Loruna, where all these fake ships reside. Loruna's destruction is part of this world's lore, but this is a lie, likely spread by the Thrush. If you care for it, an enlightening extended conversation can be had. It turns out that these Thrush are fragile, and have discovered that young men raised outside their society have a knack to choose the best maidens, who the Thrush absorb to become better and maybe less fragile. The images that appear during the credits wrap the loose ends up fairly well. It seems like it was a "happily ever after" type of ending. Like another series, I feel that any sequel is not needed.

The game itself is currently $25. The perceived insane difficulty of the last part makes it a deal breaker for me.

As part of the Kickstarter project, a documentary has been released, and is available for everyone. This gives valuable insight not just to how crowdfunded games work, but how game development in general works. While the music for the game is well done, I think that the soundtrack to the documentary is even better. I can't get enough of that dreamy ethereal ambience.

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