Broken Age: A Hand-Drawn Adventure Through Two Worlds

Updated On: February 14, 2024 by   Ciaran Connolly   Ciaran Connolly  

Ever felt adrift in the sea of modern gaming, yearning for a dash of old-school charm? We’ve delved into this nostalgic ache and unearthed a treasure named Broken Age—a game where the warmth of nostalgia gracefully waltzes with modern artistry.

This beautifully hand-crafted adventure beckons you to traverse two enchanting worlds brimming with puzzles and narratives that’ll reignite your fondness for point-and-click adventures.

Let’s surrender to our imaginations as we set off on this captivating journey together!

Key Takeaways

  • Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure game where players guide two main characters, Vella Tartine and Shay Volta, through their individual but intertwined stories across different worlds.
  • The game was brought to life via a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that raised over $3.45 million, allowing for creative freedom in its development which includes hand-drawn animation and an original orchestral soundtrack.
  • Notable actors like Elijah Wood provide voice talent within the game, adding depth to the diverse cast of characters that players interact with on their journey.
  • Since its release, Broken Age has been acclaimed for its art direction and narrative-driven gameplay; it has won several awards including Best Art Direction at the 2015 NAVGTR Awards and Excellence in Visual Art at the 2014 Independent Games Festival.
  • Through its innovative approach to storytelling and puzzle-solving mechanics within a visually captivating world, Broken Age has made a substantial impact on shaping modern adventure games.


In Broken Age, players experience a point-and-click adventure where they control the movements and actions of the characters. The game is filled with puzzles to solve and challenges to overcome as players explore the two intertwined worlds.

Point-and-click adventure

We dive into the whimsical realm of Broken Age with a simple click of a mouse, guiding our characters through their enchanting journeys. It’s all about exploration and interaction: we point to where we want to go, click to have conversations with quirky non-player characters, and solve puzzles that weave deeper into the narrative.

This classic gameplay mechanic is intuitive even for those new to adventure games, inviting players of all skill levels into its hand-drawn world.

As we control Vella Tartine and Shay Volta in their distinct surreal surroundings, our actions determine their paths. We examine odd objects like talking silverware and make crucial decisions that propel our protagonists towards self-discovery.

Every scene in this graphical adventure unfolds as if turning pages in an interactive storybook filled with living watercolours and childhood dreams coming alive on screen. Our choices carve out unique experiences within the puzzle-filled adventures of both teenagers seeking freedom from bizarre yet relatable challenges.

Player-controlled character

After navigating the world of Broken Age in a point-and-click adventure, players will become intimately familiar with the two protagonists: Vella Tartine and Shay Volta. As they control these characters, they are tasked with exploring their surroundings, interacting with objects and non-player characters, and solving puzzles to progress through the game.

Each action taken by the player has a direct impact on the story’s development, making them an essential part of shaping the fate of Vella and Shay. This level of interaction creates an immersive experience that allows players to connect deeply with the coming-of-age narrative while actively participating in guiding its direction.

The player-controlled character is crucial to uncovering key elements of Broken Age’s plot. Their ability to move freely within this hand-drawn world enhances engagement as they guide both Vella and Shay through their individual challenges with agency and autonomy, further immersing themselves into Broken Age’s surreal worlds.


Two teenagers, Vella and Shay, find themselves in similar situations but in different worlds. Players can freely switch between their stories as they navigate puzzle-filled adventures and unravel the intertwined plot.

Two teenagers in similar situations, different worlds

Vella Tartine and Shay Volta, the game’s main characters, are teenagers facing similar circumstances but living in entirely different realities. Vella is a brave young woman who rebels against her village’s tradition of sacrificing maidens to a monstrous creature.

Conversely, Shay lives aboard a spaceship controlled by an overprotective AI designed to shield him from any danger. As players freely switch between both protagonists’ stories, they navigate through unique challenges and solve puzzles specific to each character’s world.

The parallel narratives of Vella and Shay showcase diverse environments with contrasting atmospheres, reflecting their distinct personalities and struggles. In this way, Broken Age offers players an enthralling experience as they delve into the lives of these two teenagers in similar yet incomparable situations across separate worlds.

Freely switch between their stories

Players have the freedom to seamlessly switch between the stories of Vella and Shay, unraveling their unique paths and challenges. As gamers progress through the game, they can immerse themselves in the contrasting worlds of these two protagonists, experiencing their individual struggles and triumphs.

This feature adds depth to the storyline, allowing players to engage with each character’s narrative while uncovering the game’s intricately woven plot.

With a simple click, players can transition between Vella and Shay’s stories, gaining insight into their motivations and dilemmas. The seamless switch between their narratives provides an immersive experience for players as they navigate through this captivating coming-of-age adventure.


Broken Age was developed through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, featuring hand-drawn animation and an original orchestral soundtrack. The game boasts an all-star voice cast and has been a significant influence on the adventure game genre.

Record-breaking Kickstarter campaign

Double Fine’s Kickstarter campaign for Broken Age raised over $3.45 million, setting a record as the highest-funded video game on the platform at that time. The overwhelming support from backers not only demonstrated the passion and dedication of fans but also cemented the game’s status in gaming history.

This successful crowdfunding initiative provided Double Fine with creative control and financial independence to develop an innovative, hand-drawn adventure game that defies traditional gaming narratives.

The groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign enabled Double Fine to push boundaries in game development by producing a visually stunning universe with intricate hand-painted artwork and vast narrative depth.

Hand-drawn animation

The hand-drawn animation in Broken Age brings the game to life with its unique and visually stunning art style. The meticulously crafted hand-painted artwork immerses players into the two intertwined worlds of Vella and Shay, adding a layer of depth and beauty to their adventure.

This artistic design perfectly complements the narrative-driven gameplay, enhancing the overall experience for players seeking a puzzle-filled and captivating journey.

The hand-drawn animation is not just a visual element but also serves as an integral part of the storytelling, capturing the essence of each character’s world and emphasising the coming-of-age theme.

Original orchestral soundtrack

The original orchestral soundtrack in Broken Age enhances the game’s immersive experience with its captivating and emotive compositions. The music, composed by Peter McConnell, perfectly complements the hand-drawn art style and narrative-driven gameplay.

Drawing on a wide range of musical influences, the soundtrack effectively sets the tone for each scene, adding depth and emotion to the player’s journey through both worlds.

McConnell’s score is a seamless blend of melodic themes that resonate with players and elevate key moments in the game. From evocative piano melodies to stirring string arrangements, every piece contributes to building an enchanting atmosphere that keeps players engaged throughout their adventure.

All-star voice cast

The highly acclaimed Broken Age features an all-star voice cast, comprising renowned actors lending their voices to breathe life into the game’s characters. The cast includes notable names such as Elijah Wood, Masasa Moyo, Wil Wheaton, and Jennifer Hale among others.

Each character is brought to vivid existence through the emotive and skilled performances of these talented actors, enriching the immersive experience for players.

Every line spoken in Broken Age resonates with authenticity and depth thanks to the stellar performances of its all-star voice cast. The contribution of these seasoned professionals adds a layer of richness to the narrative-driven gameplay, elevating it beyond standard gaming experiences into something truly special.

Reception and Impact

Upon its release, Broken Age received positive reviews for its beautiful hand-drawn artwork, compelling narrative, and family-friendly gameplay. It also won several awards and accolades and has had a significant influence on the adventure game genre.

Read more about how this record-breaking Kickstarter project made an impact in the gaming world!

Positive reviews

Broken Age has received glowing reviews from both players and critics, praising its captivating storyline and unique hand-drawn art style. The game’s focus on characters, worlds, atmosphere, and story instead of just puzzles has resonated positively with the gaming community.

Its family-friendly content has made it accessible to a wide audience and contributed to its success. Broken Age’s influence on the adventure game genre is evident in its innovative gameplay and narrative-driven approach, making it a must-play for both seasoned gamers and novices looking for an immersive experience.

Moving forward to “Awards and accolades,” let’s delve into the recognition that Broken Age garnered within the gaming industry.


The family-friendly nature of Broken Age makes it a suitable game for players of all ages. With its captivating storyline and charming hand-drawn art style, the game offers an engaging experience that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

The unique elements such as talking spoons and barfing trees add a touch of whimsy that appeals to younger audiences, while the narrative-driven gameplay and puzzle-solving challenges make it enjoyable for older players as well.

Broken Age’s family-friendly appeal lies in its ability to weave a compelling coming-of-age story into an adventure game format, providing entertainment that can be shared across generations.

This characteristic makes it an ideal choice for families looking to bond over gaming experiences or for individual players seeking a heartwarming and immersive journey through two intertwined worlds.

Awards and accolades

  1. Winner of the Best Art Direction award at the 2015 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, highlighting its distinctive hand-drawn art style.
  2. Recipient of the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 2014 Independent Games Festival, recognising its visually stunning hand-painted artwork and ethereal art direction.
  3. Honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in Story award at the 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards for its engaging narrative-driven gameplay and captivating coming-of-age storyline.
  4. Recognised as a nominee for Best Independent Game at The Game Awards 2015, demonstrating its influence and impact within the gaming industry.
  5. Winner of the Adventure Game of the Year at the 2014 Golden Joystick Awards, underscoring its success as a narrative-driven point-and-click adventure game that resonated with players worldwide.
  6. Awarded Best Debut Game at the British Academy Games Awards 2015, acknowledging its impactful debut into the gaming landscape with its unique combination of storytelling and puzzle-solving gameplay.
  7. Lauded with a nomination for Excellence in Audio at the 2015 Independent Games Festival for its original orchestral soundtrack that enhanced the immersive experience for players.

Influence on the adventure game genre

Having garnered critical acclaim and accolades, the hand-drawn masterpiece Broken Age has significantly influenced the adventure game genre. Its unique art style and narrative-driven gameplay have set new standards for point-and-click adventures.

The game’s emphasis on character development, immersive storytelling, and distinctive visual design has inspired a generation of game developers to prioritise depth and originality in their creations, elevating the overall quality of adventure games within the industry.


Broken Age is a hand-drawn adventure game with a captivating storyline and distinctive art style. Players control characters, solve puzzles, and enjoy a narrative-driven experience.

The game’s family-friendly nature has earned it positive reviews and numerous awards. Broken Age has left an indelible mark on the adventure game genre, thanks to its unique elements and engaging gameplay.

With its record-breaking Kickstarter campaign success, Double Fine’s creation continues to be celebrated as a timeless coming-of-age story that offers an unforgettable gaming experience.


1. What is “Broken Age: A Hand-Drawn Adventure Through Two Worlds”?

“Broken Age: A Hand-Drawn Adventure Through Two Worlds” is a point-and-click, graphic adventure game featuring hand-animated artwork and a puzzle-filled narrative.

2. How was “Broken Age” created?

The game’s development involved a crowdfunding campaign and it showcases handpainted artwork, bringing to life its point-and-click adventure in a unique and visually stunning way.

3. Can kids play “Broken Age”?

Yes, “Broken Age” is a family-friendly game that involves puzzlesolving within its coming-of-age story to entertain players of all ages.

4. What type of story can gamers expect from “Broken Age”?

Gamers will dive into a narrativedriven experience where they explore two distinct worlds intertwined by themes found in traditional comingofage stories.

5. Is “Broken Age” available on different gaming platforms?

Absolutely! Beyond PC gaming, you can enjoy the handdrawn adventure game experience of “Broken Age” on various console gaming systems as well.

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