For those who’ve never watched it, Adventure Time is an animated series that mixes zany adventures and crazy characters with storytelling that switches between and surprisingly deep character development. It has gotten a good bit of popularity, mostly for the reason that it’s actually a good show. With such success, licensed video games are not far behind, which is exactly the case with this one.
Finn and Jake’s Epic Quest is an adventure game published by Cartoon Network Games (who also recently came out with The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville) and developed by NGD Studios, an Argentine company that have also made games like Regnum Online and Bunch of Heroes. This game had been out since 2012, but recently appeared on Steam, which gives it more exposure.
As indicated by the title, you get to play as the protagonist of the show Finn the Human and his sidekick Jake the Dog on adventures throughout the lands of Ooo. You now get to explore the surreal world wherein the show takes place, interact with a lot of the other Adventure Time characters, complete quests, and fight baddies everywhere. It’s pretty much a hack-and-slash adventure game that ties in with the show, and that’s just about it.
In terms of presentation, it takes a lot from the show while doing its best to work in video game format. The graphics are in 3D cel-shaded that simulates the art style of the cartoon well enough for its intended purpose. Most of the music also takes from the show, so Adventure Time fans will appreciate its attention to accuracy. The animation is done well, being smooth enough and with visual effects that highlight combat and otehr aspects of gameplay.
This game is best played with a pad controller, as indicated by the interface that looks a lot like that of other hack-and-slash adventure titles like Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls. Most of the earlier parts of the game are fairly plain and straightforward, but then starts to throw a few curveballs with different mechanics and more difficulty. Different levels also have different effects that make the journey a bit more challenging as well.
As with most hack-and-slash titles, there is tedium in the gameplay that soon gets repetitive. The show’s signature randomness and surrealism does show themselves in some parts of the game, such as encounters with various villains and certain quests that contain tons of references from the show. In a sense, it does a lot of things that Obsidian Entertainment and Ubisoft did with South Park: The Stick of Truth, although it does fall short in a few things.
For one thing, Stick of Truth had the exact animation and voice acting as South Park did, so it translated well in execution and playing the game felt as if the players were a part of the show. With this game though and how it pays homage to its source material, it’s not as good (even though it’s not that bad at all). The repetitive gameplay does the rest in making it fall short from what it could have been. Aside from the combat, it’s just one fetch quest after another, and the characters just repeat quotes over and over again. In the end, it doesn’t have the spontaneity and constant freshness of the show.
It really could have been the epic quest that it was set out to be, but this game is best played by big fans of the show. While it could also introduce new audiences to the show, it doesn’t do it much justice. It looks good at first, but it then gets dull and doesn’t get to match up to the quality and fun of Adventure Time itself, which is what makes it fall short. At the very least though, it’s available on Steam for $10, so it shouldn’t hurt too much to get it. It also plays a lot like ToeJam & Earl, so fans of that game may take to this as well.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 5/10