Long have I been a devout advocate of all that is not Apple, when the smartphone revolution began with Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone, I already had my sights set on the -now a mere memory- Imate Jamin, I thought it looked cool with its matte black finish and big resistive touch panel with a whopping 240×320 resolution, also the promise of a Windows OS was very appealing.

I went from that to a Samsung F480 that my sister had bought me for my birthday, then to my first flavor of Android with the Samsung Galaxy S2, which I had fitted with a nice amount of custom roms/bios and have some articles on this blog for how to unbrick. It was a nice phone, I absolutely hated Samsung’s TouchWiz and swore not to get another Samsung until they got their shit together. My very next phone was a switch back to Windows Phone with the Lumia 920, which I wholeheartedly loved, but was ultimately let down by the lack of apps, I was not patient enough to stick through with Microsoft, not that that would have done me any good anyway. I stayed with mostly vanilla android devices afterwards, jumping from the Nexus 5 to the Nexus 6, to a OnePlus One, then a OnePlus Two, which were all very pleasant devices to work with, albeit having one common problem though, and it’s not the phones’ problems, and definitely not an Android problem, but it was a personal problem, I had gotten bored of how Android looks and works. I knew it inside out and yearned for a new challenge. I knew what I was thinking but did not want to admit it to myself, or to anyone.

So I set these taboo thoughts aside and stayed the course with my Android love, I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, it was praised everywhere as the flagship phone to get with its curved edges and its sexy sleek design. TouchWiz had definitely improved over those 5 iterations, it became snappier, less filled with Samsung bloatware (AT&T made sure to counter that though), and mostly just nicer to look at.

But it was still there… That urge… That need to try something new, Android was becoming stale and there was a new announcement happening in the weeks to follow. One at Cupertino… So I went for it. I bought an iPhone 7 Plus.

Let me give a little more backstory, the only Apple devices I had ever owned were a circa 2009 Macbook Pro, which was fine, but compared to how customizable regular PCs are, it just fell flat on its face, specifically because I do love upgrading and customizing my computers. And a last gen iPod classic, the 160GB one, which still works, and that I still love and consider the best mp3 player to have ever existed. It was fast, it had my entire music library on there, and there was never a place I went to without it in my pocket.

Other than these two devices, I was an Apple hater, challenging the logic of every person buying an Apple device and just wondering why would they ever settle for less? Why wouldn’t they just buy an Android device with the same iPhone coming in year in and year out, with only mild surface changes? It’s like buying Call Of Duty on a yearly basis. What’s the point? It’s the same game.

Make no mistake though, I still feel the same way, the difference between the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 7 is laughable to say the least, it’s an incremental upgrade through and through, and the only noteworthy changes are the missing headphone jack, because that’s what courage is all about, and the new home button.

With that said, let me get back to my experience with an iOS device. Once I got the phone, before I opened it up, I started Googling how I can transfer my texts over from my SGS7 to my new shiny Apple device, this was always a pain for me, I love keeping my texts, I have texts from way back when I had my SGS2 four years ago. All I was able to find was a few dedicated apps that required you to connect to a PC. So I proceeded to unbox my phone first and thought I would get to the text transferring later, to my surprise, Apple already took care of that issue with their “move to iOS” app, installed on my SGS7 and transferred every last thing from that phone to my new one over the course of a couple of hours.

I then spent the next few days with my new phone, I was mesmerized, I wasn’t able to put it down, it was everything I wanted in a new phone, it was sleek, it was intuitive, and most importantly, a complete mystery to me. I had never used or owned an iPhone before, so for me, this was no incremental upgrade, it was a complete overhaul.

I started downloading apps upon apps, and discovering everything my new iPhone has to offer, the camera is stunning, the screen is absolutely fantastic, the force touch feature is something I never knew I’d be enjoying so much, the fingerprint sensor is SO much faster than my SGS7’s was, and man, are those speakers loud!

I will admit to missing a couple of things from my Android days though. I do miss the headphone jack, I don’t use wired headphones on my phones at all, I only use Bluetooth ones for when I go on a run and leave my audiophile music needs to my PC and my work laptop, however my car’s bluetooth is finicky at times, so now the option of connecting a 3.5mm jack into my phone is but a dream, also the ease of syncing an Android watch with an Android device is SO much easier than doing so with an iOS device. Or so my Moto360 would have me believe anyway.

I also miss the myriad of folder explorers on the Android store, there might be an Apple equivalent that I haven’t found but for now, I don’t have one.

And the last thing I miss about Android is that toast notifications aren’t persistent and can be dismissed by a swipe on either side. Apple, take note, don’t give me notifications that block the top part of the screen and that last for minutes on end unless I actively open and then close the notification.

So, there you have it, I love my iPhone, I think it’s a wonderfully built device that’s fantastic for newcomers to the Apple ecosystem, but extremely redundant if you have an iPhone 6 or 6S.


Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel (Album Review)

A couple of months back a good friend of mine introduced me to Ne Obliviscaris, and that’s when I hated said friend because simply no other band came even close to giving me the same “musical high” -or so to speak- that Ne Obliviscaris’ violin infused masterpieces gave me. Obviously I loved Portal Of I, it was what perfection sounds like. Now fast forward to last week when I finally got the band’s new album Citadel in my mailbox and I tore open the package like a fat kid would tear open the wrapper on a chocolate bar. I got my Citadel tshirt, my Citadel album, and my unwavering will to have my mind blown to pieces, put back together, and blown again ready.

I put the disc in my computer and started listening and my god was it good. However something seemed off, still does. I gave it a dozen more listens in my car on my way to and fro work, as well as on my way to client sites which happens way too often, also which gave me an opportunity to listen to the album more. I even forced my parents and sister to listen to the album when they inevitably had me give them a ride somewhere. Even with all the listens, something still doesn’t feel quiet right, I can’t put my finger on it really. Is it the way the tracks are organized within the album? That’s definitely part of it. Pyrrhic coming right after Painters Of Tempest – Part III didn’t give me enough time to recover from the elegance of the Painters Of Tempest trilogy, it just stormed in guns a blazing. That’s not to say Pyrrhic wasn’t good, it’s an absolutely stunning track, along with every single track on the album. For me at least the organization threw me off a little.

However everything I loved from Portal Of I is present in Citadel, and much grandeur at that too. The beautiful and at times haunting violin interludes are there, the insanely good bass chops that positively make me want to grab my bass and miserably fail at replicating the lines are still there, and within the tracks themselves, the blowing of my mind did occur, many times over.

Coming from Portal Of I, I expected something exactly similar, I didn’t want this formula to change, and sure enough Ne Obliviscaris know that, they know that they’re outstandingly good at what they do and they’ll keep doing it because there’s simply too much to explore in that medium. The only drawback to Citadel was the track organization. It just nudged the album’s flow for me a little.

Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I (Album Opinion)

If I were to pick the end all be all of progressive death metal albums, I would go with Portal of I. If I were to pick the end all be all of death metal – Or metal in general, mind you – albums, I would go with Portal of I. If I were to pic… You get the point.


I’ve been addicted to this album for so long it’s become unhealthy, the way the album is structured is perfect, the way the lyrics flow oh so amazingly with the music is perfect, the way the music is simply some of the most elegant music I’ve listened to in a while is outstanding. While there’s only one addition to the traditional metal formula -if there ever was one- the violin work by Tim Charles compliments the music, and even takes lead at most times, but it never gets in the way, when Tim Charles’ work takes lead it never overshadows anything else, every other instrument compliments the new lead, and similarly whenever bassist -Holy crap is he good- Brendan Brown or guitarist Benjamin Baret or also drummer Dan Presland take lead, every one else follow in and work together to make what I truly consider the most elegant progressive death metal album of probably, well, ever.

Songs to take note of (all of them):

Forget Not

And Plague Flowers The Kleidoscope

Of The Leper Butterflies

Existentium – Decadent Desecration (Album review)

I have only listened to Existentium as Alhazred (their former name), and only to a song called Viral Fear which James Spaeth, their drummer, had me listen to when they first recorded, and I distinctly remember getting so hooked on this song that it eventually went into my everyday playlist. So when he told me that his band were making an album I was stoked, and rightfully so. Before I go any further, I can say up front that save for some very minor issues, this album takes the cake. The whole damned cake.



Next to a demo they released back in 2012, Decadent Desecration is Existentium’s first full length album that has just been released this month (March 2014).

Right from the get go, the album deceives you with an acoustic intro track that, at first listen, gave me the impression that this would be a progressive death metal album a la Opeth, or even a doom metal album. Make no mistake though, this album is pure, hard hitting death metal with a LOT of thrash metal influences, and I’m not sure if they intended this or not, but TONS of Hypocrisy influences, mainly in Chris’ voice, and in some of the riffs. Also Obscura influences. The best I can describe Decadent Desecration is that it is what happens when an orgy between Scale The Summit, Obscura, Hypocrisy, and Exodus happens. Lots of beards in there. Lots and lots of beards.

The album keeps up the pace throughout all the ten tracks, with one instrumental in between to keep things varied. Marrying outstanding bass work from Josh with James’ blast beats and everything complimented with Chris’ and David’s melodic work, departing the album at times from the raw brutality it is incorporating to a more melodic death tone, and at times more melodic than death, which manages to keep things interesting.

The mastering and all the audio work really is superb here, save for a few seconds in one of the tracks where the drums could’ve used a little more reverb instead of sounding flat, but again, that was for exactly three seconds in one of the songs that if you are not an audiophile, won’t even notice.

I can’t think of anything wrong with the album, it is a perfect example of how good experimentation can go. In this case I ended up feeding my ears melodies akin to Scale the Summit’s with growls like Hypocrisy’s and riffing between Exodus’ and Obscura’s. It’s the beautiful love child of all these bands with enough substance to stand out on its own.

While Existentium may be new, they definitely have the technicality and sound to make an impact in the death metal scene.

Decadent Desecration is available for digital download here and for physical discs and merch here.

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls (PC) Review

For those of you who know me, you probably know my love for the Diablo series and how I used to play both Diablo and Diablo II religiously when they first came out. Those games opened my eyes and heart to a whole new genre of games… That genre I will call, Loot porn. Now when Diablo III launched I was excited, hell I was awaiting it’s release ever since the first screenshot came out. And when it did launch, it seemed to me as if Blizzard took the Loot Porn genre and did everything in their power to monetize it. Then came Reaper of Souls.


Reaper of Souls is Diablo III’s first expansion set released in March of 2014, and while the “expansion” only added one act and one class – unlike Diablo II’s Lord Of Destruction which added two classes, an act, and a shit ton of items – it seemed as if the expansion was overpriced for selling at $40 when it packed barely DLC content. Or so it seemed anyway before actually playing Diablo III after a hiatus that lasted months.

The reason I had stopped playing Diablo III was because I honestly am not good at economizing stuff. So I was a level 60 monk with shit gear and barely any gold to buy anything off the auction house. And that seemed to be the first thing Blizzard addressed in their numerous – and might I add, free – game patches they released for Diablo III in preparation for Reaper of Souls. The Auction House and the Real Money Auction House were to be gone, no more can you buy your way to a staggering one million DPS, or get that fabled Horadric Hamburger that – and I shit you not – I witnessed selling for 30 euros. And that was certainly a relieve for someone like me who would count on only the loot they’d get throughout farming the many areas the game offered.

But in farming lied another issue, the loot – again, unlike in Diablo II and Diablo – was next to shit. You would need magic find anywhere between 300% and 400% to have a decent chance at getting decent loot, and some legendaries. So throughout my 120 hour journey with my monk, I accumulated exactly three legendary items through drops. None of which were even okay. And in light of that, Blizzard sought to fix the issue, by bringing forth Loot 2.0 – which is basically fancy for “now you get relevant shit” – and with Loot 2.0 the game dynamic changed 180 degrees. No longer do you need to rely on the auction house for your decent gear, the new loot system has increased legendary drops and items suited to your class. Rarely will you see a wizard only orb while playing as a monk. You’ll always get something relevant, and the drops keep getting better and better the higher the difficulty goes, bringing back how we all loved the notion of the loot porn that is Diablo.

The patches also brought a level cap increase, in both regular levels and Paragon, now you can level up to 70, with some new passive and active skills, along with having the chance to build your character a la Diablo II thanks to the revamped Paragon system. Each paragon level grants you one point to put anywhere you want within a set of 16 choices, some of which include critical chance, life on hit, and elemental resistances. Oh, and the paragon cap has been raised from 100 to 300.

Another game mode also made an appearance, that mode is Adventure mode. Basically it’s what you always did in Diablo, but now it’s acknowledged by Blizzard and you get rewarded for it. Each act within the game has some bounties to get, five to be more specific, distributed among areas Diablo players always frequent anyway to farm. Each bounty gives you an objective or two to accomplish and a boss to defeat, after which you are rewarded with gold, experience and a key fragment. Five key fragments make a rift key that you can use to travel to a weird dimension where it’s a regular Diablo area but with monsters from all over the game. Which opens up the game to a lot more of a varied gameplay, you can get those annoying desert bees that spew out poisonous smaller bees alongside fire spiders. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to keep trying to adapt, which in turn validates Diablo III’s decision in not making skill allocation permanent. In the rift you’ll have to kill every single thing you see until a bar fills up, then a rift boss shows up, after beating said boss, you get rewarded with gold, experience, items aplenty, and blood shards.

Blood Shards are basically a throwback to Diablo II’s gambler, with the blood shards you can purchase items that you don’t know what they’ll be. A one handed weapon costs 15 blood shards for instance, you can get a shit item, or you can get that one legendary that finally gives your character the boost they sorely needed.

The new class, the Crusader, is also a throwback to Diablo II’s Paladin – complete with auras and a hammerdin build -. The Crusader, as a friend described the class, is basically the fun version of the Barbarian. You can dual wield two two handed items, or one two handed item and a shield, you have skills that look so sick – think you riding a carriage chaining enemies and dragging them on the ground as your carriage runs – and you get the awesomeness of playing the character class closest to my personal Diablo II favorite class. Not that that would make much of a difference, but points still.

Before I wrap up this review I would like to point out that Blizzard did one heck of a job rebuilding Diablo III. The fifth act looks grittier than ever, definitely in tune with how Diablo III should have looked like all along. The music is sinister and melancholic to perfectly mirror the ambiance of the new act. And the story, as all Diablo stories before it – and again, personal opinion – is next to crap. Which does neither surprise me, nor turn me off from the expansion. Diablo III Reaper Of Souls was set to rebuild Diablo III and make people want to play it again, and at that it succeeded.

If you’re on the fence about this new expansion, don’t be. While at first glance it may seem like it doesn’t add much, it actually adds a ton of stuff to the game and rejuvenates it (see what I did there?).

Vesperia – An Olden Tale (Album Review)

I had honestly never heard of Vesperia until Morgan Rider sent me an email with their latest album, and boy am I glad he did. Considering my love for epic music in general, and death metal in particular, this album was a breath of fresh air.


An Olden Tale is Vesperia’s (surprisingly enough) second full length album, and I say surprisingly because I honestly thought these guys would have had a long line of albums to have expertly crafted something as epic as An Olden Tale.

The album greets you with an atmospheric intro that sets the mood going into the onslaught of folk music to follow with the tracks seamlessly going into the next keeping the same atmosphere throughout the entire album.

Vesperia proceed then to bombard you throughout the album with tight riffage and drumming, with guttural growls you are more likely to find in technical death metal bands rather than folk inclined bands, which contrary to what your first instincts may suggest, actually works really well with Vesperia’s music. Most of the clean vocals work and compliment the gutturals really nice, however in very few cases the clean vocals just didn’t sound right to my ears mainly in Home For A Rest. You’ll also find some harsh vocals and screams mixed in for good measure, which only further prove the vocalist’s versatile voice range.

Guitar work is splendid throughout the album, Frankie Caracci and Casey Elliott do a great job in moving this album from merely a folk metal album to more of a melodic death album as well, which only adds to the concoction of genres An Olden Tale can comfortably fit into. Notable guitar work can be heard in the album titled track, An Olden Tale, which also includes bearded men cheering with mugs of ale in their hands. Beer (Because beer.)

The drum work by Cory Hofing is equally splendid, offering just the right amount of blasts, jazzy transitions, and powerful beats that just make you want to go pick up a double headed ax and go slay yourself a dragon or two.

Nothing much to say about the bass in here, mostly the bass line follows the guitar line (which is impressive still) with the exception of the bass interlude in An Olden Tale. Morgan Rider does deliver nicely on his instrument.

Mixing folk, death, and black metal in a beautiful medley that will keep your ears entertained throughout the entire length of the album. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Amon Amarth, TYR, Korpiklaani, and Immortal (yep, Immortal), the album presents such weird elements all mixed in together creating an even weirder combination that mainly works great.

An easier way to think of Vesperia’s An Olden Tale is that it is the lovechild that resulted from Amon Amarth, Korpoklaani and Immortal having some sort of a threesome. Which is a lot more awesome than what I just said makes it seem.

You can purchase Vesperia’s An Olden Tale through here.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (PS3) Review

There once was a time where more buttons meant better and more immersive gameplay, at least that’s what my friends almost ten years ago used to brag about, how about what game uses virtually all the buttons on your keyboard, or what game required those and the numpad as well. Not that I think any game used an ungodly amount of buttons anyway except as macros, but, well, that was so long ago and somehow I had believed them. The game I’m about to review uses exactly two buttons and the two thumbsticks and has one of the most redundant names in video game history. That game is Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons.



Developed by Starbreeze studios who developed well known games such Payday 2, Syndicate, and both Chronicles of Riddick games. Released in August of 2013, Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons garnered so much praise that I was a little skeptic of all the reviews and had to give it a go myself.


Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons follows the story of, well, two brothers who embark on a journey to get water from the tree of life for their sick and dying father. Throughout their journey they encounter an assortment of dangers including the local bully, a farmer’s dog, a pack of wolves and so on.


The game plays a little like a twin stick shooter and nothing like one. You’ll literally have to change the way you think about controlling a character in order to be able to control your two protagonists in Brothers. The big brother is controlled via the left thumb stick and the L2 button, and the young brother is controlled via the right thumb stick and R2 button. Now this made me more than once use the left stick thinking I’m controlling the younger brother because I was looking at him, and my brain was thinking that the left stick moves the character and the right stick moves the camera, as any top down, third person, or over the shoulder game would play, but Brothers demands that you learn to have your brain focus on the two brothers at the same time, moving each in a different direction at times, or in the same direction when they’re carrying something together, or when they’re running away from a monster.

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons is heavily puzzle based, and they’re all very fun to go through. There was this one puzzle where you had to keep the big brother hanging on to a chain while the small brother raced across a platform to help his older brother get to the other side of the area which was admittedly very fun to get through. The boss fights are also all puzzle based, there are no weapons in this game, you won’t be wielding a sword and hacking through a bunch of enemies, the big fights all rely on good timing and mostly common sense.

Some of the puzzles in the game are not mandatory and those are the things that grant you the trophies, and they’re mostly very fun to go through, like reuniting two troll lovers together, or reuniting a mama turtle with her baby turtles.

Also, before I wrap up the gameplay section, there’s a particular nod to a particular indie game at the end of Brothers that I really liked, also, not sure if it was intentional or not, that same part references Dark Souls as well.


The game is set in a fantasy world that you are not given a lot of information about, but everything looks stunning and very nicely detailed, between the small cottages the brothers lived in to the big hulking castles where the giants dwell (which was another prod at Dark Souls, Anor Londo, anyone?) but there’s not much else to say since the graphics are not particularly impressive or anything, but it does look really nice.


The game’s soundtrack is nice but not stellar, I won’t be looking for the soundtrack anytime soon, not because it’s bad but mainly not that memorable, except at certain points in the game.

Another amazing thing about the audio work in Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons (I just love saying that name over and over, not sure why) was how their regular speech is a weird language, it’s not English, it’s not Latin, it’s not anything, but I did detect hints of Arabic here and there. Nevertheless, the game is done in a manner which will have you understand everything going on through the circumstances, the tones of the brothers’ voices, and even what they’re saying, even if it’s not making particularly any sense language wise, it’s strangely understandable.

Recap and Final Verdict:

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons is a very emotional journey that connects you deeply with the two brothers, even with the language barrier, you end up caring for them and their adventure, my only issue with the game is that it ended a bit too soon, three or four hours long, it could have been a bit longer without being a drag since I genuinely cared for the brothers by the end of the game. If you won’t mind the short length, by all means, buy the game, if you do, I would still urge you to give it a shot, maybe wait for a sale or something, but it is definitely worth your time.

Bioshock: Rapture

Let me start off by saying that this won’t really be a review as you, good readers, are used to from my humble blog, but rather an ongoing (through the comments) discussion of the book. (Don’t worry though, any spoilers will be marked with a //Spoiler tag)

Bioshock Rapture, released in 2011 and written by John Shirley is a prequel to the award winning and best selling and (I could go on and on about how the original Bioshock won awards and was SO good) Bioshock video game!



As a prequel to the original Bioshock, don’t expect to see the ruined underwater utopia you saw in the game, but rather prepare your minds for a wonderful tour throughout Rapture as Andrew Ryan had envisioned it. Andrew Ryan, the visionary behind Rapture sought to do the impossible, to build a city where a man was entitled to the sweat of his own brow, and not have that sweat and effort belong to the authorities, or to God, or to everyone as America, The Vatican, and Russia would have respectively. Every person in Rapture would have the opportunity to rise based on their hard work, for a man builds, but a parasite asks “Where’s my share?”. A man creates, a parasite asks “What will the neighbors thing”. A man invents, a parasite says “Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God…”

As Andrew Ryan begins to realize his vision of the amazing utopia that is Rapture, he decides that it has to be built where no one can find it, so he does so under the Atlantic ocean, and begins recruiting people that he deems worthy of a life in Rapture, the visionaries, the eccentrics, and the under-appreciated.

Slowly but surely, Rapture begins to take shape and form, beginning to be the city he wanted it to be, full of life and hard work. For a time however.

//Here be mild to extreme spoilers

Bioshock Rapture ties a lot of loose (not really ends but, let’s say, events) events that happen throughout Bioshock, like how the Big Daddies came to be, or what is actually wrong with the little sisters (I realize that this is explained by Tenenbaum in the game, but not with enough information). How the plasmids were invented, and my most favorite nod to Bioshock, the “WYK” project (Get it? W.Y.K.?).

At first, everyone is very happy and excited about Rapture and how it is a fresh new beginning and all that until work gets finished and people start getting laid off, now Rapture was built to accommodate the working man, not the laid off can’t find a job man, so the latter kind of people start to show signs of depression and wanting to leave Rapture since they literally have no place in it, and on that point, Andrew Ryan fearing a formation of unions, invites in Sofia Lamb who is a psychiatrist to talk to the people and figure out why they’re upset and try to reverse their emotions, however once Lamb starts to really see the truth behind Rapture, she begins to join these people and riots and, well, she gets incarcerated. Now here’s my first gripe about the book, Lamb doesn’t have that big of a role, you’d think because she’s the first to organize the riots and all of that that she has a major role, but unless I missed it, or have forgotten about it, her role was barely noticeable, which is understandable since she later gets overshadowed but the book didn’t mention what happened to her afterwards even.

One of the other people Ryan hired was Frank Fontaine, a fisher who would, well, feed Rapture. But Fontaine quickly rises in ranks and hires Ryan’s two scientists, Dr. Suchong, and Dr. Tenenbaum, both of whom start the plasmids business after a lucky incident with one of the workers involving a sea slug. Fontaine also starts to smuggle things that were sure to piss Ryan off, but that the people secretly wanted, like bibles or other kinds of food. Which prompts Ryan to  take action against Fontaine and overtake Fontaine Futuristics (the name Fontaine gave to the plasmids business) and rename it to Ryan’s Plasmids.

After that happens, a new rebellion arises fueled by Andrew Ryan’s hypocrisy in overtaking someone else’s business by force in direct contradiction to his own original vision. That rebellion is led by Atlas (yep, the Atlas from the game, and if you finished the first Bioshock, you know who Atlas is).

//End mild to extreme spoilers

And that is pretty much all I can think of in regards to the book, aside from the characters’ stories and everything but this was how the book relates to the game anyway.

If you’ve read the book, or have questions about the characters in the game, feel free to chime in in the comments!

Broken Age: Act I (PC) Review

Games have come a long way from the primitive controls that dominated some of the earlier 90s games, and the dated visuals that technology back then was able to muster, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that games nowadays are better for the advancements, some games this gen prefer to choose a safe path instead of venturing into new territories, sticking to themes that have been milked dry, and that’s what made most of the offerings from this gen (or the last gen, sadly) mundane. Broken Age defies that however, and it defies it in the most original and outstanding manner possible, by tapping into what made old 90s games so enjoyable.


One of the (now) many successful crowd funding stories, Broken Age was advertised on Kickstarter by Double Fine Productions, the development team that brought us gems like The Cave, Stacking, and the mostly underrated (and a personal favorite) Brutal Legend. Also if you’ve been following Double Fine for a while you’d know about Tim Schafer, the guy who brought us the outstanding Monkey Island series back in the 90s with Lucas Arts, and Grim Fandango.

Broken Age is mainly a point and click adventure game, very reminiscent of Schafer’s earlier work. If you’re not into these types of games, I still strongly urge you to give Broken Age a go, and I will elaborate as to why in the following few paragraphs.


Broken Age follows the stories of two individual teenagers, Vella and Shay, Vella lives in Sugar Bunting, a village of bakers who are about to have their maidens feast in which maidens picked from each village are sacrificed to a gargantuan beast called Mog Chothra so that Mog doesn’t destroy the village. This has been the tradition for so long, though Vella’s grandfather tells her stories about how the village used to be a village of heroes and not a village of bakers, evident by the family’s last name as well, which is Beastender. To be sacrificed in the maidens feast is the greatest of honors a teenage girl can bring to her family, and Vella is destined to be sacrificed to Mog Chothra.

Shay lives in a spacecraft, seemingly the only person on board of it, with an overly motherly computer who watches his every step and makes sure Shay is safe and well, he always has the same exact routines, he wakes up, has breakfast, and goes on “missions” that the computer controlling the ship deem safe enough for him, and he’s gotten very sick his life and is always feeling like a prisoner.


Broken Age’s gameplay draws direct inspiration from old point and click adventure games, and that adds so much nostalgic value to it. You click anywhere to move around, and click on some things to interact with them. Some items can be taken and used somewhere else in the game, or can be combined with other items to make something more useful for solving a certain puzzle. Speaking of puzzles, the game is basically made out of them, but nothing is absolutely mind bending that will leave you days trying to figure out what to do, which is okay for such a lite game.

Moreover, the ability to seamlessly switch between Shay or Vella any where in the story is a very welcomed addition to the genre, if, for example you’re stuck in a puzzle as Vella, you can just leave that part for the time being and continue Shay’s adventure. Though at times this made me feel that I progressed much farther in one’s story than the other, but for fear of spoiling anything, I’ll just let you know that this particular event is handled well in the game.


The game doesn’t just stop at offering an engrossing story or nostalgic gameplay, it also offers visuals so charming that I personally can’t think of another game developed within the last few years with a similar visual style, the entire art work for the game is mainly hand drawn which that made me genuinely want to stop at certain places and just stare at everything.


Broken Age features voice actress Masasa Moyo who did certain voices in Bioshock Infinite as well as Batman: Arkham Origins, Final Fantasy XIII and a myriad of other well known games, along with Elijah Wood voicing Shay, Jack Black, and Will Wheaton!

And with such a strong voice cast, the game’s music is equally good and gripping, ranging according to the scene, from cheerful music in Sugar Bunting to space age music on Shay’s end, along with variations to suit the game’s environment.


I found myself wanting to play through Broken Age again immediately after I beat the first act just to re-live that wonderful adventure again, and I’m pretty sure most people who will play, or have already played it share the same feelings.

Final Verdict:

The game is one of the most charming and beautiful games compared to mostly anything that came out in 2013, and a wonderful way to kickstart 2014. Broken Age released on the 28th of January, I wholeheartedly recommend everyone to try this game.