Adventure Time, for those who have had their heads buried in the sand for the last two years, is a cartoon about a boy and his dog going on adventures. 13 year old Finn is joined by his best friend Jake and a cast of loveable and cooky characters as they have adventures across the Land of Ooo. It is a show that has enticed the imaginations of children and adults a like, and created a fanbase that just continues to grow. Now imagine the excitement that fans had when they learned that show creator Pendleton Ward was working closely with Wayforward studious to create an official Adventure Time video game, and that is what brings us to the review of said game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage!? But before we kick things off, let’s get in the mood a little bit and listen to my favorite thing to come from the game, the theme song.
I love this song, I could listen to it on repeat, but the important thing is is it shows what this game is good at, which is encapsulating the feel that the show gives off. Hey Ice King! starts off with Finn having a dream about getting their butts handed to them by the Cosmic Owl, a cosmic entity in the Adventure Time universe that usually shows up when something represents a great omen. After some basic control training the duo learns that the “infamous” Ice King has stolen all of the hero’s garbage, and is forcing them to challenge the dungeons that he set up to get it back. The game plays similar to Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link, meaning that you walk across a vast over world with a birds eye view of the area, and all the dungeons and other locations are played as a 2D side-scroller. All the combat is done in these 2D side-scrolling sections, and is as simple as press an attack button to do damage. Finn starts off with about three hearts of health, a section of heart taken off every time he takes damage, and can heal himself by eating food he finds, which is found by destroying enemies and then stored in his backpack. There are also condiments such as ketchup, which you can add to any kind of food to boost it’s healing properties, and other support items taken directly from episodes of Adventure Time, though you’ll more then likely just be using them to clear up inventory space.
The thing that the game does right 100% of the time is be a good source of fan service. With Pendleton Ward working closely with the development team, the game feels like it came straight from an episode of Adventure Time. All the characters act like they would in the TV show, Princess Bubblegum, royal leader of the Candy Kingdom, is normally a sweet person but has quite the bitter side, Marceline the Vampire Queen acts as quite the neutral party, and only does what she does for fun, and Lumpy Space Princess is the drama obsessed gossip queen that fans know and love. Another thing to note is that one of the sprite animators working on the game is Paul Robertson, who you may know as the guy who did the sprite work for the Scott Pilgrim video game, so the animations in this game are pretty stellar. However, past the fan service and great animations the game falls flat. There’s a total of about 4 dungeons, and most of the game time is spent doing a fetch quest or two before you can access the dungeons. It’s simplistic in gameplay and lacks content, the game can be beaten in one sitting the first time through, and all though it does offer a “more difficult” new game+, I can’t see it extending the gameplay time by any more then an hour or two. The base run through overs no real challenge past missing a jump in a side scrolling section and falling down a pit, and all the bosses are painfully easy.
That being said however, I still enjoyed the game. This might be only because I’m a fan of the cartoon series, in fact I garuntee that’s likely the reason, but even with all it’s fault I enjoyed the time I spent playing it. I loved the character interactions and how things turned out story wise, and would easily recommend it to any other fan of the show. That being said however I do insist you wait for a chance to get it cheap, even as a great source of fan service the game is not worth $40 at retail. If it was a $15 downloadable title, we’d be talking my language, so if you plan on getting it get it cheap, real cheap. As a gift to the fans, I give the Adventure Time game a 4/6, but as a stand alone title I’d have to give it a 2.5/6.