I was brought up with point-and-click adventures. During my youth I played everything from Sierra classics like Leisure Suite Larry to Lucasarts' Monkey Island. You could say that I have more than enough experience of the genre.
The adventure games of my youth were hard. In fact, you were always on the lookout for anyone else that had played the same game so you could exchange puzzle solutions. Once and a while you could get your hands on a magazine that published the complete solution to a puzzle game but this was really rare.
Games have changed. Today it is considered very important that a game won't waste your time. If you get stuck for too long then the puzzle is to hard. The game is at fault, not you for not being able to figure it out.
In this aspect Broken Age is very well balanced. The puzzles in the beginning of the game are easy enough that you can just pick every item in your inventory and try to combine it with everything else on the screen. There is not enough combinations to get tiresome, and some of the responses from the in game characters are quite funny to listen to.
By the end of first part and the beginning of the second, the game has found a perfect balance of tricky puzzles and rewards.
A very important aspect of modern games is not to waste the player's time. The second act introduces puzzles that are in a much higher complexity (we're talking Monkey Island 2 difficulty) and when you've beaten your head bloody for a while you look them up on the internet. This is where double fine has failed to realize that you should not create a "game vs. player" experience, but rather a "game coop. player" experience. Just like you play with a child, you need to give some leeway when you notice that the child gives up and looses interest. Instead you will find out that the hard puzzle is randomly generated and you can't look up a solution on the internet.
This is so stupid. The only point in randomly generating puzzles is to make it harder to look up a solution. If I conclude that I'm done fiddling in the dark and ready to get a solution to the current puzzle, the game should not make this harder. That makes it a "game vs. player" experience, and I'm not really into that.
The end of the game has some really tricky puzzles and it gives the player too little information to be able to figure it out by yourself. I would love a system where the game would reveal some hints after a while, but nothing of the sorts exists. I think this is what draw down the score from 4/5 to a solid 3/5.
The game is still extremely beautiful, with hilarious dialogue and really good characters. The only problem the game have is the puzzle solving is not balanced enough, and it is leaning way too much on old-school way of point-and-click adventures.