We’re makin’ bacon pancakes..and a review of the new Adventure Time game!
For fans of top down dungeon crawlers, releases are few and far between, like oases in a desert of first person shooters and formulaic sequels. Dungeon masters would get a few bones here and there, like the release of Diablo 3 last year, but the genre really hasn’t seen prominence or a regular release schedule since the Gauntlet games of the late 90’s. It’s into this climate that developer D3 Publisher and Wayforward step with their latest offering: Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know. While this won’t be a comprehensive review, because it just picked up the game from Redbox for a one day rental, I believe that by looking at the core elements of the game, someone could make a decision on whether or not to buy it. So, I without further ado, it’s Review Time!
The game starts off by making a clear appeal to gamers of days long past, with a 16 bit art style on the title screen and opening cinematic, which sets up the story. In a nutshell, all the prisoners that Princess Bubblegum has captured throughout the years and placed in her dungeon have somehow broken out and are now roaming around the depths, and have even taken some of the heroes friends captive. All in all, it’s a loosely pinned together, fly by the seat of your pants story that sets up the biggest, and most fun, element of the game, the actually dungeon crawl. Having already picked your character (Finn, Jake, Marceline, and Cinnamon Bun are available at the beginning, with 4 more to unlock) it’s not long before you find yourself smack in the middle of your first randomly generated floor of the dungeon, with stairs to find, monsters to defeat, and a quest to complete. Yes, that’s right. In addition to the larger quest of rounding up all the ne’er do wells in the Candy Kingdom dungeon, you also have to complete mini quests that earn you treasure to make upgrades to your character.
Each character has unique stats and a unique special ability, like Jake’s ability to stretch over gaps and Cinnamon Bun’s ability to push away enemies when dodging from a block stance. The game plays very much like you’d expect a game of this genre to: wander around, find treasure, fight enemies, find the stairs to make it to the next randomly generated floor. Every five levels you’ll have the option to return to the hub, where you can spend treasure for items and upgrades, or change your character. The game saves your position when you complete a floor as well, so you can return to them later if you wish. There is enough nuanced difference between each character that you’ll want to try them all to find your favorite, so eye turning to the hub can be both necessary and a good change of pace after being down in the dungeon for awhile. Every tenth level you’ll find a boss fight as well, like fighting the Demon Cat on level 10.
All characters are voiced by show talent, and the music and samples are lifted straight from the show as well, so fans will feel right at home here. The controls are tight and responsive, just what you’d expect from this type of game, and keep things simple. In infighting, each character will fill up an imagination meter for a special ability, which sounds great, but actually turns out to be one of the few things I didn’t like about the game, as most characters special ability didn’t feel all that special. The only major gripes I had with the game were that the pacing felt a little slow at times and I wish you could return to the hub after each level, not just every fifth level. However, the game overall is a joy and only moreso when you play with multiple people, which makes managing the item retrieval and enemy smashing that much easier.
If you’re an Adventure Time fan, or if you’re just looking for a fun, RPG style game to play with a bunch of folks over the holidays, I don’t think you could go wrong with Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know. I rented the game simply because the last Adventure Time game took me such a short time to finish, but I can see myself spending quite a bit of time with this title, simply because of its randomly generated levels and the fact that my son enjoys playing it with me. I will definitely be purchasing the game.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know gets a JustUs Geeks thumbs up!