Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
Adventure Time (and I say this without hyperbole) is a phenomenon! The Cartoon Network series has exploded with popularity, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With great popularity comes great merchandise, and there’s everything from Adventure Time clothing, to posters, sleepware and Funko Pop! figures.
Naturally, when a kids’ show becomes this popular, it usually gets its own video games. The first Adventure Time game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage was released on the Nintendo 3DS and received many positive reviews. ‘Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!’ is the latest Adventure Time game, released on the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW is chock-full of the show’s humour and wild imagination, but is it mathematical?
Developed by WayForward (Ducktales Remastered, Double Dragon Neon), Adventure Time: ETDBIDK casts players as characters from the hit TV show as they explore the immense dungeon that lies beneath the Bubblegum Kingdom. Someone or something has been releasing Princess Bubblegum’s captive enemies from the dungeon. Not only that, they’ve also stolen all of her treasure! It’s up to Finn, Jake and their friends to solve the mystery and kick some butt while they’re at it.
Gameplay-wise, Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! is very similar to early games from The Legend of Zelda series. The game is presented from a bird’s eye perspective, with retro-modeled characters and environments. The dungeon itself is made up of levels, and similar to classic dungeon-crawlers like Gauntlet, where players have the ability to explore the entire level at their own pace, and then descend into lower levels, which ascend in difficulty.
Throughout their adventure, players will come across treasures which will act as currency to purchase upgrades for their characters. Similar to other RPG-lite games, the stats allow the player to reach deeper levels inside the dungeon.
In addition to the game’s main story line, there are also side quests that the player can complete, adding to the game’s length and allowing players the chance to level up more in order to beat a difficult main quest.
Now while there are quests, side quests, upgrades and full voice-acting, it doesn’t feel as though Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW scratches beneath the surface of the cartoon. There is a plethora of brilliant storylines and characters that WayForward could have taken advantage of, but haven’t. It’s a competent game and a fun one, but it falls short of its potential. Kids will be entertained by Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW, but more seasoned gamers and adults will probably find their gaming time spent elsewhere.
- Up to four player co-operative Adventure Time
- Beautifully retro art directed
- Bleeps and bloops make for a great retro soundtrack.
- Not enough Adventure Time content feels like a wasted opportunity
AT:ETDBIDK is a game of mixed results, when I first fired it up, I was delighted by the retro design and the ability to play as Finn and Jake in an RPG on my home console. As my time with the game progressed though, I learnt that it is little more than a diluted Zelda title with an Adventure Time theme over the top. I’m still playing it, and it is worth checking out (especially if you’re an AT fan) but don’t be expecting anything innovative.
Score – 6/10