Adventure Time Explore The Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! Review
Come on, grab your friends.
Adventure Time is not only one of the strangest cartoons on TV, but it is one of my personal favorites. You never know quite what you’re going to get when you tune in for another of Finn and Jake’s dungeon crawls so we’re excited to see what Way Forward has in store for us with their latest game. Adventure Time: Explore The Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! is at least one of the most accurate titles of the year, if nothing else. Let’s see if it’s worth saving the Candy Kingdom this time around.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! starts out feeling just like an episode of the show. The premise is silly, the character motivation is nonsense, and the heroes are all in. Prisoners are escaping from the Candy Kingdom’s dungeon and Princess Bubblegum doesn’t know why. Our perennial protagonists, Jake the dog and Finn the human, are ready to explore the dungeon to find out why. They’ll be joined by Marceline and Cinnamon Bun, two of the most unlikely heroes if you ask me, among others later on in the game.
Players will be controlling one of the handful of available characters in a top-down style action RPG. Combat is very simple with each character being able to attack and pick up one secondary weapon at a time. Each character has a special attack that they can unleash once their Imagination meter fills up and one special characteristic. Jake can stretch over pits and Marceline can float over obstacles, for example. Beyond these traits the only thing that distinguishes the characters from one another are the small, often repeated, bits of voice over.
The dungeon you’re exploring doesn’t get much more interesting than the characters either. Each floor uses the same style and tile set as the last, switching things up very infrequently, and is filled with a number of enemies and treasure drops. Find the stairs and you can move down to the next level. Repeat. Every five floors, you’ll be able to return to the surface to purchase upgrades and change your character if you wish and every so often you’ll fight a boss. Some of these sequences hit, changing things up in a fun and interesting way, but most of them miss.
Every so often you’ll meet up with one of the show’s secondary characters, and some of these will become playable. After every boss you’ll be treated to a short, 16-bit era, cut scene which will feature the original voice actors, but isn’t fully animated. When it comes to the story, I was really hoping we would get an episode of Adventure Time but what we ended up with were a handful of referential jokes that don’t carry the weight that the show does.
Four players can join in and play together in Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! but only for local sessions. Having no online option for co-op is a bit of a let down, but at least you can still grab your friends if you’re all in the same room.
We had high hopes for a multi-platform, multi-player, Adventure Time game but Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! fell short. The action was dull and repetitive and the story didn’t live up to the fantastic source material it had to build on. A co-op session with three other fans of the show might make your purchase somewhat worthwhile but, if you want to enjoy more adventures with Finn and Jake, you’re better off sticking to the show.